What Am I Doing?

nashdustyour-2

“Auugh!”
             – Charlie Brown

Given how tangled up my physical belongings are with both my emotional and spiritual life (which all gets funneled through my camera, in case I hadn’t noticed), it makes sense that writing about downsizing will be a murky process – so bear with me.

There is a modest abundance of objects in my home unclouded by psychic storms.  I own them with pure love and remorseless attachment.  My grandmother’s Delft pitcher, my butterfly quilt, the greyhounds Karen knitted me, my collection of porcelain hands – to me, these things are unambiguously wonderful and necessary to life.

The inventory of uncluttered attachments is a very brief compared to what lies in my closet, on my shelves and in my basement storage locker.

Shoeboxes of vintage greeting cards to make into baskets; yards of vintage fabric to resell online; velvet leaves and beads and buttons for garlands and necklaces – layers carefully, even pleasingly arranged, waiting to be worked on and created with – all accumulating into a great big ZERO.  Just imagining the unfulfilled intentions attached to a majority of things in my home makes my palms sweat and my heart shrivel.   I stand in their accusatory presence, already judged:  a money-wasting, time-wasting fraud – unable (or unwilling) to bring more than a gasp of half-hearted effort to fulfilling the visions that brought them here in the first place.

Busted.  Caught in the act.  All these dormant desires prove how lazy, weak and self-involved I am.  A dreamer, not a doer, right?  A starter, not a finisher?  A dilettante, not a real artist?

Considering how bad this stuff makes me feel – YOU’D THINK THAT I COULDN’T WAIT TO GET RID OF IT! 

BUT…say it with me, Steve Martin fans…NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  

Instead, I feel compelled to keep these pointing fingers around me, like a self-imposed scarlet A ( standing for Absolutely Not An Artist.)  I tell myself:  If I sell some of this fabric or old wrapping paper, that will make it alright that I spent the money.  I ruminate:  If I give away the vintage greeting cards, and I want to make Christmas card baskets, I won’t have money to replace them.  I ponder:  If I don’t keep the buttons, how will I ever make the button-tree forest I see in my mind?

I hesitate, too paralyzed with guilt to step into the jaws of the guilt-breathing dragon, and face my remorse.  Yet, that is the only way to save the brave Princess – and rehabilitate the dragon.

A tricky spot, to be sure, but – it bears pointing out – FAMILIAR.  Once identified, there are 2 things I can say for sure about this situation.

1) It requires action, not thinking.
2) I CAN DO IT.

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