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Pack mentality - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Pack mentality
I spent most of the weekend packing. This might explain why I've got such big bags under my eyes today.

I don't exactly dislike packing. I like sorting through my stuff, partly just as a general inventory, and partly as an opportunity to throw things out and free myself of some of the clutter that weighs me down. I even quite like the challenge of trying to get as much stuff as possible packed neatly into one box; it's the only time that I feel justified in my belief that Tetris does count as a transferable skill. I like feeling that I'm imposing some kind of order on it all, that just for a second or two I'm making inroads against entropy.

What I hate is the times when I survey the chaos around me and it feels like so many tin cans tied to my ankles, clattering around after me every time I try to take a step. And the times when I look at the slowly-emptying shelves and remember why I put everything here in the first place, and all the little bits and pieces seem to rise up in a huge wave of guilt and sadness.

We're all walking around backwards: we can see where we've been, but not where we're going. We're packing for rain, for shine, for first dates and last rites, for days and nights and all the grey times inbetween. We're packing anything that looks like a map.

I feel as though I have spent half my life cramming heavy-handed symbolism into tattered suitcases.

VLADIMIR:  Where do you go from here?
POZZO:  On. (Lucky, laden down, takes his place before Pozzo.) Whip! (Lucky puts everything down, looks for whip, finds it, puts it into Pozzo's hand, takes up everything again.) Rope! (Lucky puts everything down, puts end of rope into Pozzo's hand, takes up everything again.)
VLADIMIR:  What is there in the bag?
POZZO:  Sand. (He jerks the rope.) On!
VLADIMIR:  Don't go yet.
POZZO:  I'm going.
VLADIMIR:  What do you do when you fall far from help?
POZZO:  We wait till we can get up. Then we go on. On!
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Comments
verlaine From: verlaine Date: July 4th, 2005 10:58 am (UTC) (Link)
You mustn't pack your map! You'll never be able to find it amongst all your stuff when you really need it!

To tell the truth, though, I forgo owning maps entirely, and rely on them being conveniently posted up at bus stops and local information boards along my way.
j4 From: j4 Date: July 4th, 2005 11:03 am (UTC) (Link)
The problem is, other people's maps only include the places they think people want to go.
(Deleted comment)
bluedevi From: bluedevi Date: July 4th, 2005 11:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for this. As you know, I've just got through my own version of the packing experience, and I understand both the satisfaction/decluttering aspect and the sadness of it.

I'm up here in Oxford, technically homeless, and I did pack my map but it has huge blank areas on it saying 'here be dragons'.
juggzy From: juggzy Date: July 4th, 2005 11:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, you can crash at my house if you need somewhere in an emergency, or whatever. Email me.
rmc28 From: rmc28 Date: July 4th, 2005 11:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I find sorting-through things so time-consuming because of all the memories it brings up.
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: July 4th, 2005 12:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

yes

Detritus is depressing, isn't it? Binbags are our friends, really...

Our wonderful movers last year said they could pack a house in 1/4 of the time it took most occupiers because occupiers stop and look at things, read the book for a few pages, remember where and why they got that object, get lost in reveries, and take two hours to pack one box. So you aren't alone in this world of packing miasmas, boxes of sand, and tin cans.

How many bedrooms does the new place have? Does it have a loft?
j4 From: j4 Date: July 4th, 2005 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: yes

Detritus is depressing, isn't it? Binbags are our friends, really...

I have got rid of so much stuff in the last couple of years by selling it on eBay and giving it away on the local giveaway group and throwing things at friends and (as a last resort) just plain chucking it in the bin... and it feels as though it doesn't even make a dent in it.

I think I may have to follow your and bluedevi's recent example and have a garage sale. I'd go car-booting but it's so much more hassle, what with the early-morningness and the paying-to-get-in.

How many bedrooms does the new place have? Does it have a loft?

3 bedrooms (two double, one broom-cupboard), not sure about the loft but there probably is one (though we'd have to beg/borrow/steal ladders from somewhere to get into it, so it's probably only useful for things like empty boxes).
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 4th, 2005 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: yes

Although my 'sale' was a partial success it was a Help: got 'II and me to do a little e-Baying at the moon, anyway.

Heavens, though, I do know what you mean. Cleaning up for The Party leaves me with 28 boxes of books and about a dozen black bin bags of Stuff, not including squirreled away out-of-sight-out-of-mind Stuff.

I keep telling myself "I Am Not My Stuff".

Couldn't resist a quick glim at Bluedevi's LJ, and discovered this: "....she told me her grandmother had a box in her house labelled "Bits of String Too Short To Save". "

Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes. Sometimes it seems my whole life could be labelled like that (and then I give myself a quick slap for being maudlin). I must now go and post some eBay things so 'II won't get a bad reputation [/Shirelles]
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