In a harried first few weeks of my program, I have had only a little time to reflect on living in the tiny house, on what it means to “settle” into a place. (there, again, is the colonial entendre).
Settling in has brought more getting-rid-of. The old cat toy I found adorable but whose appeal was almost immediately lost on my felines (and that was 5 years ago), the jacket I love but have worn once in 6 years, and the ridiculous amount of recycling from packages – my GOD –, not to mention the many, many small whats-its that I have contemplated ridding of for years. I sent away a lot of stuff- to Bring, to friends and family, and a few items to the garbage (the cat toy found a good home, fear not).
All this culling made me think about the relationship between a thing and the emotion and memory attached. For as much as we hear, as some fauxzenattemptatunattachmentwhichitselfisattachment, that a memory doesn’t reside in an object, I beg to differ. I look around my small surroundings and am just overwhelmed, if I really look, by emotion that is somehow stronger than if I thought on that particular sight, person, moment without the tactile thing. The thing does matter. It is only matter, but its matter matters.
Ex.: I always read with a pen in my hand- marking a text gives me some punctuation for the future memory. and then, scanning old underlines, spotting scrawled exclamations, the evidence becomes memory in some way.
So what, then, does it mean to “Leave No Trace,” really?
Isn’t that a just massive cover up? Is that the aim? To cover up? To hide? To avoid the criticism that the word discard connotes? to displace the responsibility of settling a particular place?
In truth,* we are always already in relationships with waste. We are discarding and discarded. Composts in sight, rubbish heaps at our feet.
Matter matters. Even if it is an affront to our senses, it’s a Front crucial for us to use ours.
Speaking of evidence, we (the collective house, kittehs and I) made a tiny Christian Science Monitor appearance HERE .
aaand, we are alive and well:
*and, children are next to sociopaths.