There have been numerous times in my life when I have felt anchored and in many ways trapped by materialism. Having lived in the same house for 40+ years I have accumulated a lot of stuff as I imagine many others have as well. Every few years I sold off various things to try and make some room and a little money. No matter how much I sold it was still a daunting thought whenever I had the urge to move somewhere else. What would I do with the rest of the “stuff”? While it has provided me with a comfortable life, I think in many ways it has stifled the wanderer in me and perhaps that has not been such a good thing.
Since the death of my father I have found the notion of departing from even the most banal object, painful if not impossible. The entire house has been transformed from objects into memories. Everything is either something father gave me as a gift, something he used, something he never figured out how to use, etc. Practically everything evokes a memory of him in one way or another. Parting with any of it, especially for money, feels like a betrayal – a dismissal of all the memories it evokes.
I suppose the greatest testament to my father’s life is not that he had a lot of stuff, but my realization this Christmas that practically every object in this house was either a gift from him, or something he bought in order to exercise his creativity in order to inspire others. The house is full of the aromas of selflessness, purpose and light. How does one ever go back to looking at items as merely objects again?