I was having one of those really great conversations with a friend the other day. You know, the kind that make you feel all warm and mushy and you just want to reach out and kiss the person and say "I like you SO much!" But of course you don't, cause then you would be a person with bad boundaries and little self-control and they would always wonder if you are just trying to get in their pants.
Anyway so we are having this excellent intellectual intercourse when I had an eye-opener of a vision. I was talking about remembering how many things (as in furniture, clothes, little scraps of paper) that I have left behind me in all the moves I have made. The realization came to me in a vision of a snake-like trail of all my 'things' stretching out into the distance behind me. First I only thought of furniture, then clothes, then papers ( I am a writer) came into it... jewelry, hair elastics, clothes, luggage, blankets/pillows/towels, did I mention clothes... you begin to get an idea of what the snake looked like. That thought led me to another, bigger idea. A horrifyingly vivid image of all the 'stuff' I have left behind me shot through my brain. I then looked at my friend an imagined the wake of 'stuff' he has left behind him.
The things I saw were not just furniture, or clothing, but everything. All the shit that we accumulate, use, and discard throughout an individual lifetime. I realize that this too is not an original idea, but get over it, all the originals have been taken, we just get to retell them in new and hopefully interesting ways.
Just imagine for a moment, all the stuff you have used and left behind throughout your life. Lets bring it into focus here... for all of you who are not just glorified children yourself, but who actually have children... think of all the pairs of shoes you have had to buy for your growing progeny. Now think of how many you have worn and discarded throughout your own growing and wearing lifetime. How about coats? Gloves? Socks!! Ok, the clothing pile is huge... and even huger for most women (like me), but think about the other stuff. What about paper... lined paper, scrap paper, newspaper, paper cups/plates/containers, toilet paper... How about plastic? Forks, spoons, toys, bags... Monumental isn't it? Think about all the disposable things you used? The coffee cups from the local caffeine peddlers. Toothbrushes, Q-tips, dental floss, tissue paper, ziploc bags, chocolate bar wrappers, ice cream containers, pop cans... the list goes on and on and on... Some of these things we recycle now, which is really really wonderful, but way more then we recycle, we throw away. If you then include beds, dressers, tables and chairs, t.v.'s, telephones, vehicles, bicycles, tires, tools and card board boxes... the pile stretching out to the horizon becomes looming and unavoidable. Just for one person.
Its incredible isn't it? Maybe not to some of you, maybe its something you try really hard to not think about, or try really hard to be aware of, or maybe you don't even give a shit. None the less, when you do think about it, you are faced with an impressive display of shedded 'things', and when you add all of your things to all of your friends things, and to their families things and then add all of those things to the things from the people you don't like or don't even know... well you get where I am going with this. It was an epiphany for me. The amount of clothes alone that I have discarded on my path are probably enough to clothe a small country. What a world we live in, and what a way we live in it.