The road to simplification is complicated. Today, I live within this paradox…desperately longing for an ideal and knowing the price of passage requires this chaos and turmoil.
I have named this the year of Sustainability. I want to be clear about what I give and what I take, and careful to consider needs vs. wants. Moving in this direction requires me to consistently and repeatedly ask the question: “What do I need now?”
I’m discovering I need less than I once did.
I have many artifacts that have carefully collected over the years. Pieces of furniture purchased at antique stores, my Great Grandmother’s Persian rug, a piano my husband’s mother learned to play on, and dolls brought back from each country my grandparents visited starting when I was 5 years old.
There is a soft heartache when I think of parting with these precious memories of old, as I imagine putting aside the tangible reminders that have traveled with me through time. I think they are more than mere things to be dusted and cared for, because they became my entourage, shaping my view of who I was, or am, or at the very least wanted to be.
Did I need these sentimental constructs to imagine the possibility of a loving family? Or were they simply meant to remind me of my Great Grandmother’s wavy red curls that bobby pins would not contain?
And why did I buy that eclectic mid-century cherry dining set? Was it to create an aura of respectability, or for a place to gather my family around on special occasions (too often driven by my demon of what it should be like)?
As I create both a smaller and a bigger space for my new life, how many of the old things will I let slip slowly through my fingers? Is it even possible to glimpse at the new me through the ornate mahogany mirror that sits above the buffet?
I am sorting through my life’s memorabilia and I can’t quite comprehend the woman I am becoming. Who will she be when there is less stuff to hold on to?
I envision myself this summer, lying in the grass and admiring how the moon illuminates everything she touches without ever lifting a finger. Will I recognize myself bathed in that moonlight? Can her simple rhythm sustain me?
I look up and ask the moon, “How much must I let go of if I am to live a less complicated life?”
“Just your stuff,” she beams back.