Monday, September 10, 2012


My partner and I have just returned to the house we left fifteen months ago. It's been surprisingly easy to settle in. The couple who were living here were extremely conscientious about giving it back to us more or less as we left it.

But what's surprised me over the last ten days is how little I'm in a rush to unpack the stuff we stored in a corner of the basement the spring before last, or to reclaim the five or six boxes we shlepped to a friend's attic. It's not just that I've lived without this stuff for over a year and probably don't need it back right away. It's that I wonder why I need it back at all. And why I'd want to weight myself down with it.

I don't want to romanticize this impusle to chuck some ballast. It's one thing to live a thoroughly middle-class life (as I do) and think, wouldn't it be great not to be so thoroughly owned by my possessions? It's quite another to be living on the street, trying to piece together the price of a room for the night. But it does seem like a good opportunity to remember that life isn't all getting and spending.

And now for the wisdom of George Carlin:

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