safe keeping, passing on, and recycling
No doubt about it, many objects really do get thrown out. There
just isn't room for everything, and, if the truth be told, no real
reason to hold on to everything. For those capable of it, there's
something liberating in being able to carry a box of no-longer needed
objects to the trash and to know that you've broken off your relationship
to them. For two years now I've been investigating, from various
perspectives (some repetitive, others rather singular) my own relationship
toward the objects that accumulate in my life. The second year of
this investigation draws to a close with short reflections on three
different alternatives to throwing things away - alternatives which
I personally experienced over the past month.
Recently some friends
moved away for what will probably be two years. I don't know whether
it's an accepted tradition in various cultures, but in our family
in situations such as this we often took part in the ritual of "safe
keeping" - taking something from those moving away which
we promised to hold on to until they returned. Even though the objects
which I was offered were of no real use to me (and I certainly have
no room for them) I was happy to hold on to them.
There's nothing surprising
in the fact that children outgrow toys.
What perhaps is surprising is that we seem to be unable to predict
what they'll be willing to part with and pass
on to younger children, and what they'll want to cling to - beyond
any logical explanation. This month Hila offered us a shining example
There are objects which
we hold onto well beyond any logical explanation, and then, often
by pure luck, find a more fitting
means of parting with them than the trash. I was lucky to have
such an opportunity this month.