Saturday, November 20, 2010

Watching your life be sold...

We're having a garage sale today.


It's the American way of preparing to relocate. However, this is not my 'thing' if you will; it's my wife's thing. Now, don't get me wrong, I help. I collect stuff, set up and assist in whatever needs to be done; but I don't 'haggle' or 'sell'... It's just too difficult. I feel as though I am selling my life.

Bit by bit, piece by piece, clothing, furniture, kitchen ware, tools, knick-knacks and other memorabilia that have marked portions of your life are sold to others for next to nothing. We sold a rocking chair for $7, a cabinet for $20 and who-knows-what-else at 4 for a $1 or less... In the heat of the sale, it is strange to see strangers pawing over your life, grabbing some things with lustful possessiveness and simply dismissing other things as if it was junk. Maybe it was, but it meant something to me once.

I walk out to give Melissa a break an hour into the sale and I saw a table cloth, a blue patterned table cloth that I had owned before we were married. I don't remember where I got it; I think from my father in Oklahoma. I couldn't part with it though. So I brought it back inside the house. It was too large a part of my history to let go. Maybe my daughters will want it some day; or maybe they will bury it with me, I don't know. It marked a part of my life though that is worth remembering.

I let go of a lot of other things though - a brief case, some tools, clothes, posters, furniture - and with those things, I saw the memories of each go as well. I don't think I will forget immediately, but over time, without those items, the memories will fade. Obviously, if the memories were that important, I would still have those things.

But alas, life moves onward - new memories and new 'memorabilia' to accompany them. There will be new furniture, new kitchen bowls and more clothes.

It's tough though watching your life be sold to whomever will pay the price your asking; but its actually a very good thing to do.

Aren't you glad that your life is more than the material things you wear and use? Aren't you glad that those things don't own you? Fetishism is what occurs when we imbue common objects with a 'magical' power. When we don't let go of those things because they have a hold on us, we can become crippled by the power we give them... But God takes care of us and stuff is just, well, stuff.

I guess garage sales aren't so tough after all.


  1. I'm always amazed at how much "stuff" we stock pile around here!


  2. Loved this one, Jay! Good luck with your move. I hope that it is a wonderful place for you. Hugs! Cousin Lauri