It’s a funny thing, your belongings. Some are practical, and therefore are needed, whereas others are not really that useful at all. So why do we keep all this stuff?
My sister was going through some old CDs the other day, and sending them off to get some money. It reminded me of the time I threw away all my old music cassettes.
I remember it well. It was in 2006. I had a pile of belongings and I was routing through them all. I was essentially homeless and needed to reduce my belongings by about two thirds. I knew, at the time, as I poured plastic rectangular cases from a dusty silver box and into the black bin bag, that I would regret doing so. I don’t think I’d listened to any of the cassettes for years, seeing as my cd player at the time seemed to chew them up and spit them out like a crazy robot.
But it was the memories, the thoughts that were almost recorded into that brown tape. The people I had been with, where I had bought them, why I had bought them. The songs were ones which took me back to events, and people, and reminded me of my terrible taste in music as a ten year old (Wet, Wet, Wet? Shampoo?). I even had a few tapes which I’d recorded myself, carefully waiting by the radio to cut off the talking bits. Recordings of me and sisters radio shows too.
Could I have kept a few? I guess. But what was the point? I’d never listen to them again. As if to prove my point, I no longer even own a product that you could put a cassette into. These tapes, these memories would just sit around in a box, gathering dust, lying dormant.
I chucked lots of other stuff out that day, but I can’t really remember what it was. That stuff is lost to the abyss of time, and if any memories were worth keeping, they should be stored away in my head, not in a box. I regret throwing the tapes away, when I think back to that moment. But you know, I don’t think I really do in reality.
Same with these baby clothes and toys. Harbouring these things, coveting every item. I’ve already sold a few on eBay. Yes, I may keep a few, but do I need to keep everything? keeping things doesn’t mean you remember things any better. I remember reading something (possibly Alex Garland’s The Beach) where it said the person doesn’t take photos as it distorts the memory. I kind of like that idea, which is ironic really being a blogger.
You know I really need to have a clear out sometime soon, cupboards, and boxes, and minds.