TotD: Bruce Chatwin on Possessions

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Thought of the Day | Posted on 08-04-2008

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And do we not all long to throw down our altars and rid our­selves of our pos­ses­sions? Do we not gaze cold­ly at our clut­ter and say, “If these objects express my per­son­al­i­ty, then I hate my per­son­al­i­ty.” For what, on the face of it, enhances life less than a work of art? One tires of it. One can­not eat it. It makes an uncom­fort­able bed­fel­low. One guards it, and feels oblig­ed to enjoy it long after it has ceased to amuse. We sac­ri­fice our free­dom of action to become its priv­i­leged guardian, and we end its impris­oned slave. All civ­i­liza­tions are by their very nature “thing-ori­ent­ed” and the main prob­lem of their sta­bil­i­ty has been to devise new equa­tions between the urge to amass things and the urge to be rid of them.

But things have a way of insin­u­at­ing them­selves into all human lives. Some peo­ple attract more things than oth­ers, but no peo­ple, how­ev­er mobile, is thin­g­less. A chim­panzee uses sticks and stones as tools, but he does not keep pos­ses­sions. Man does. And the things to which he becomes most attached do not serve any use­ful func­tion. Instead they are sym­bols or emo­tion­al anchors. The ques­tion I should like to ask with­out nec­es­sar­i­ly being able to answer it is, “Why are man’s real trea­sures use­less?” For if we under­stood this, we might also under­stand the con­vo­lut­ed rit­u­als of the art mar­ket.,
Bruce Chatwin Anato­my of Rest­less­ness

Happy Friday!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family, Health, Home | Posted on 18-01-2008

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The girl is gone this week­end. I’m start­ing to feel like the house is just a place where she keeps her stuff and does her laun­dry! I sup­pose that’s nor­mal for any par­ent of an old­er teen, and good prac­tice for when she goes off to col­lege. It does­n’t mean that i have to like it, though!

Sam has been Mr. Pod­casty tonight, record­ing a round­table dis­cus­sion for some­one else’s show, then record­ing a new Square One episode with Bill Wal­ton. I’m tempt­ed to do a Fibrant Liv­ing again. It’s cer­tain­ly been long enough!

I have hopes of rear­rang­ing the liv­ing room to some extent tomor­row, to make the house more invit­ing for guests and make it eas­i­er to play the piano. I’m real­ly tempt­ed to reclaim the back bed­room as “office space,” but Sam will kill me if I ask him to move the big sofa again. I just have this feel­ing that as long as our com­put­ers are out here in the pub­lic area, we aren’t going to be very suc­cess­ful at keep­ing the pub­lic areas unclut­tered. I’d need a desk to move my com­put­er in there, though, or we’d need anoth­er table.

We real­ly, real­ly need to improve the light­ing in the liv­ing room. One of the torchiere lamps has a bro­ken switch, and we don’t real­ly have any task light­ing at all. I’d much pre­fer the sort of lamps that have those adjustable heads, so some point up and anoth­er points down at what­ev­er you’re read­ing or stitch­ing.

Yep, I’m total­ly ran­dom tonight. This is Cyn on break­through meds. Whee!