Monday, 16 April 2012

Downsizing or loving the treasures of a lifetime

Some of my friends, and many bloggers too, are caught up in decluttering. Downsizing. Not quite minimalism, but heading in that direction.

  • Yes, I agree that hoarding can get out of hand. 
  • Yes, I want to see my treasures but I also want them to be safe.
  • Yes, my children do not understand why some of my belongings are incredibly valuable to me.
  • Yes, I agree that when moving house time comes along the new home does not accommodate all possessions in a comfortable way. 
  • Yes, storage can be a problem. 
  • Yes, dusting and cleaning and maintenance can be major issues.

No, I do not want to get rid of things I love. 
I have spent a lifetime collecting these beautiful things. 
These treasures are not me, but they are about my life and why I live it.

They whisper to me. They soothe my soul. Just to see them stirs memories and dreams. The colours, the shapes, the textures, the shadows, the smells are all signs of my personality. They are the parts of me that another person can detect sometimes, but never touch.

I get immediate and lasting pleasure from having these wonderful things around me.

Each special thing I own tells me a story. The degrees that separate us are lessened. International borders are crossed. Philosophies of life are blended. Time fades into nothing.

Of course I could live without beautiful objects. But why?

The day will come when I can not see and that might be the time to give away or sell my paintings.
Dementia could rob me of my memories and that might be the time to dispose of other lovely items.

Of course I am not going to post photos of all my wonderful collections here on my blog. You would get little pleasure from the collection of cooking spices unless you smelled them. I am proud of my collection of hand embroidered house linens, but they are not worth stealing. The rock collection means something to me because of the places where the rocks were collected and who I was with at the time. The cooking knives remind me of my father each and every time I use one.

My collections are not necessarily valuable in monetary terms. Some things are inherited. Some are made by family members. Some are purchased new, some second hand. Some are useful, and some are used regularly. Life is much more pleasant if connected to meaning and memories.

But I am posting a few photos of these visually lovely things.
I am not saying which are mine and which are not.

But these pictures also give me great pleasure.
I hope they bring something to you.

How do the minimalists breathe? When will the decluttering cease? Will the coffin be deemed unnecessary too?

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