Saturday, January 26, 2013

Small Things v.3

The Things We Own

Sometimes I walk through our home at night and I look at all our possessions. I really love to do this right after I've deep-cleaned, which typically means guests are on their way. I find myself standing in each room, assessing the plumpness of the pillows, or the arrangement on top of the dresser. I look for things out of place: a frame that needs to be tweaked because it's slightly cock-eyed, a stray thread in the carpet, a hand towel that's uneven. I find a reason to pick things up, touch them, dust them, straighten them, and put them back. This behavior sounds mental, but I love these moments. I'm critical of the home I have prepared for my little family. I want it to resemble us, to show our best parts, to be pretty. But, most of all, I want it full of love.

I don't like to have a lot of possessions. I don't think I'm very materialistic, unless we're referring to clothing. (!) There are a lot of things I want, but most of them are more practical: an additional bedroom or proper landscaping. Everything we own must have a use or a purpose, or hold very specific sentimental value. I do not like to collect useless crap or save things for "one day." Every couple of months I donate clothing and home goods we no longer need. I've donated clothing that (shamefully) still had the tags on it. I'm in a constant state of "purging" and reorganization. I'm pretty much the opposite of a hoarder. I hate clutter. 

When it comes to the things we own, I want to be able to walk through our house and know that each one is in its place, and be able to remember what it stands for. Like the little old man and woman salt & pepper shakers, which were our cake toppers at our wedding, or the framed maps of places we've been, and the shelves of books and scripts we've read.

These belongings, they are really nothing. They are meaningless objects, except to us. To us they are little mirrors, reflecting our lives back to us. They remind us of who we were as children: like the framed baby photo on his dresser of me at age 2, holding wooden blocks. They remind us of who we were in college: like the philosophy textbooks and plays that line the bookshelves. They remind us of who we were when we met: like the painting of the Golden Gate Bridge my sister made for us. They remind us of who were were when we became "one": like the potted succulents from our wedding.

Really, our home isn't made of walls and doors and floors. Our home is built from the things we own. We could live in a tent, and still make it a home by carefully placing these little mirrors around us. These things we own, we could live without them, but they make our home a happier little place.

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