Earlier in this journey a stormy night had put me in frame of mind where it felt like moving deckchairs on Titanic to tackle my stuff. Time has passed and the clutter monster has been tackled and tamed in part but also grown in places where it has been left alone. The world can still be a daunting place, natural disasters and political posturing much to the fore of late. So returning to that post. What can I do? Well, the post reminded me that I can choose to do just one thing today. To give myself the satisfaction of completing a task no matter how small and not just berate myself for the stuff not yet done. What I mused should I choose to get star treatment. I decided to tackle this box.
I have been happily adding to this box with no plan as to what will happen when I can stuff no more in. I have tripped and fallen into the it may come in useful someday trap, a perennial risk for a stuffoholic. Each item added worthy and innocent enough but the cumulative effect unless questioned would be anything that entered this house would stay well past the date when it should have left. For example, how many old newspapers does one really need? One might postulate it depends of course on how many you use and how frequently supply can be replenished. Undeniably so but with free newspapers readily available one could argue the answer thus must be only one or two given that is the most one would use in a week unless decorating or gardening or ….. As a stuffoholic of course I will reason that at some point supply will dry up and demand will increase. Again, almost certainly true but will it be in your lifetime is the question to ask and even if that answer is yes. Will it really matter if you have to ask family and friends if they have any of the item tucked away just in case.
Oh.. to be a minimalist … I am sure you can see that these questions apply to all the stuff.
Back to achievement for today. The emptyish box did not make me smile but the discovery of a guitar playing minion in it did! For now it’s replaced an empty (now recycled) yogurt pot on desk as my must tackle plastic waste reminder.
I recently watched a video which showed a couple collecting bagfuls of litter from around a rocky coastline. It was sobering to see the amount of litter which had been left behind by visitors to this beautiful spot. However, the greater shock came when the couple walked to the water’s edge and calmly tipped all the carefully collected rubbish straight into the sea. The point they were making was that two litter-picking individuals could have no impact whatsoever on the many millions of tonnes of plastic waste currently polluting our oceans.
I understand their bleak message, but refuse to admit defeat. It is never time to give up hope. And thankfully I’m not alone in this conviction. Over the past four days, volunteers have gathered around our shores for the Great British Beach Clean. Organised by the Marine Conservation Society, along with other like-minded environmental groups, the Beach Clean brought people together to remove and recycle tonnes of accumulated rubbish. Though it may not have made even the slightest dent in the amount of plastic pollution in the sea, each of these local events has made a difference.
Whereas the couple who threw all the rubbish back into the sea demonstrated that people are the problem, everyone who joined the Great British Beach Clean discovered that people can also be the solution.
I couldn’t make it to the coast this weekend, so I opted for a street clean instead. Armed with my Litterati app, I recovered and recycled 30 pieces of rubbish from my neighbourhood. I was a little sad that people weren’t taking more responsibility for their local environment, but I did see one person pick up and recycle his rubbish… so I’m not giving up hope.
And I had to chuckle at the rather apt title of the book I rescued from a hedge as I walked home…
At the start of this journey we reflected on what we would take should our houses be on fire and perhaps foolishly thought the shortness of the list meant we would be able to tame clutter easily. This has not proved to be so. There are days I have to admit when the words of title of this post resonate and I’m tempted to set fire to it all so as to not have to face how painfully slow and emotionally draining tacking some of the stuff is.
Today though not focusing on how hard dealing with stuff is but sharing a favourite video which makes us smile and remember to take a bag when shopping. Lesson is to not to take it all so seriously you fail to enjoy the journey. One, two, three it’s karaoke time …
Behold the caddis fly, a quite unextraordinary, brown, moth-like insect. Admittedly, those antennae are pretty impressive, but this dude surely won’t be winning any beauty prizes. It’s the kind of insect of which my dear mum would say “at least his mother loves him.”
The larvae of these insects look even less lovely, but display intriguing behaviour. They create protective cases by spinning together bits of stone, sand, leaves and twig with a silk they secrete from glands around their mouth. The appearance of these cases varies enormously, dependant upon the building materials available.
A caddis fly larva with access to gravel or reeds will create a suitably camouflaged house. But provide your larvae with more precious building materials & they will create positive palaces:To see a magical video of the caddis fly larva building its intricate golden home, check out the work of French artist Hubert Duprat.
What, you may well ask, has all this got to do with Drowning in Stuff? Well, I spend a lot of time feeling negative about all the clutter that surrounds me. But not today.
Today I shall be a caddis fly larva. I will gather about me all the papers, magazines, books, clothes, toys, gadgets and random whatevers, fitting them together in a complex & beautiful way, to create the perfect safe space in which I will install myself until it’s time to emerge, refreshed and ready to fly.