The Reality of Stuff

Toni Morrison Quote on Minimalism


I just finished lunch and I’m sitting at my dining room table and everywhere I look around me I see stuff.

Collectibles. Candles. Wii Games. Books. Records. Trophies. Furniture I don’t use.

Each one of these items came into my home in the hands of one of the family members who lives here. Why?

Why does a woman who wants to practice minimalism have so much stuff?

The reality is setting in about what stuff is. Stuff is a distraction. Stuff has to be displayed, organized, cleaned, repaired. Stuff takes up mental space in my head. It’s another responsibility. I’ve created this tomb of stuff that I live in and I just want to get out.

It’s like a natural disaster and I’m digging myself out from underneath the wreckage. The wreckage of debt and accumulation. I wonder if anyone’s even looking for me underneath this pile of stuff? Hello? Can anyone hear me? I can’t breathe! I can only lift one piece at a time off of myself until I’m free.

I can see the light through the stuff but it’s so far away.

The objective is to be a person who when asked “what’s the one thing you’d grab if your house was on fire?”I can answer nothing. Of course barring all living things getting out alive. Photos can be digitized and stored in the cloud. Books are available on Kindle. Collectibles can be sold to buy experiences which will live in my memories.  Laptops and iPhones and clothing are all replaceable.

I’ll be in the right place when there’s not nothing else to add…but when there’s nothing else to take away.

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