I read on another blog today that A lot of clutter is a lack of acceptance that a moment has passed. All I have to do is look around me to see the truth of that. The TV sits there long after I gave up TV, and although I say I keep it to watch videos, I could do that on my laptop as easily. If I could make it disappear magically I would, but in fact the darned thing is so heavy Emily and I didn’t speak for a week after struggling to get it into the house. I am not sure how to get it out and into the car for the bi-annual hazardous waste recycling drop-off. The water colors, brushes, and paper are on the table. We won’t talk about a whole dresser full of art and craft stuff upstairs, or 20 years of fabric — for clothes or quilts or curtains — in the basement. The piano I haven’t played for a couple of years. Guitar minus strings (new strings on the back of the piano). Books, including dictionaries and style manuals, when I look everything up on-line. CDs I never listen to. Candles. A Rolodex! Take it all away.
What about pictures? How important is it, really, to have pictures of every person you’ve known and loved or hated, every event? People lived without them, obviously. They’ve been around for barely 150 years, right? What if you had to live without those pictures of your children as toddlers? Would you miss them as they were any less and appreciate them as they now are any more? Would you forget your grandparents, great aunts and uncles, and your parents if you had no pictures of them? Could you remember your mother at 25 if you saw her age to 85? Would you enjoy those family events more if you were not recording them, merely living them? If you disposed of the photographs — in my case a large Rubbermaid tub full because I really don’t like albums — could you live afterward without regret? Does anyone ever let “the moment pass” without a fight?
I think I can do without most of the stuff. The pictures, however, will have to be digitized and turned into CDs or zip drives or something, a smaller version of the tub. I think I need to have the pictures somewhere they won’t be seen often so they don’t interfere with the present, but I can’t be rid of them completely. Having once enjoyed the luxury of time travel, I cannot give it up.