Friday, December 13, 2013

What's Worth It?

We are packing up our memories. Deciding what will be stored and what will be looked at fondly one last time before being thrown in the garbage, donated, sold, or given away. Deciding what few things we will bring with us to Berlin.

This process is a great metaphor for what we're doing, in the big picture. We're deciding what, from our past, we will leave behind, and what is "worth" holding on to.

I already took the big step of selling my late grandfather's standing clock (ok, it's a grandfather clock, but it sounded weird to say "my grandfather's grandfather clock"). He had bought it in the 80s when clocks like this were still worth something on the market. Decades later, he asked me if, when he passed away, I would be interested in keeping it. At the time, I was honored and I felt a great sense of duty, a duty to carry on some sort of legacy. I think this was motivated by my grief over my father's recent death, as well. It wasn't just about my grandfather. It was about somehow taking my father's place, perhaps. I'm not sure, exactly. But, in any case, I said yes.

When grandpa died, I dutifully took the clock, even though it was completely out of place in our little apartment. I never set it up, so it simply sat there in the corner for years, a very imposing (seven feet tall!) but beautiful daily reminder of Grandpa Jolly. Eventually we began storing books in the glass-enclosed cabinet - that gave it a purpose and a nicely designed look, at least. The person who got the most use out of it was Flash (our cat) who loved to jump, implausibly, up to the high perch on the very top of the clock and curl up for a princely nap.

This is where the grandfather clock was.
The space feels great!
But over time, and especially with the impending pressure of storing and moving our things, I came to a new realization - the clock itself did not mean as much to me as the photographs, stories, and memories of my grandfather, of the man himself. The clock was symbolic of my sense of guilt-driven responsibility to the departed men of my family, and this was a burden that I needn't carry. My grandfather - and my father - are in me, in my actions every day. So, shedding the physical artifact and embracing, rather, the thought - this seems a far better way to live, and a far better way to memorialize.

Anyway, this is a long roundabout way of saying that it felt good to let the clock go to a new buyer, a new family, and to sort of step forward, carrying my grandfather, and my father, in my heart rather than in a storage unit. So to speak. ;)

(On a lighter note, we are definitely keeping Shannon's old Super Nintendo, because well - it's awesome! And despite being worth a bit of money, perhaps, it's something that we will love to come back to, whenever we do come back, and therefore is worth the slight inconvenience of storing it in a box.)

Well, since we're sharing - here is, in no particular order, an incomplete list of things we're keeping and storing:

- Books, mostly interesting art books, rare paperbacks, and some graphic novels - stuff that would be difficult to re-buy, and that we would like to have in the future. But we were harsh with getting rid of anything unnecessary!
- Super Nintendo and a couple games
- A few PS3 games that have sentimental value, like the Assassin's Creed series and Batman: Arkham series
- A guitar
- Shannon's cool collection of older cameras
- Memorabilia from our wedding
- A handful of cards from family (some with special handwritten notes)
- Comic books - only a couple boxes (I got rid of tons of comics a few years ago)
- Our bed (we got it cheap and love it, and it is a very slim memory foam so easy to store)
- Our very modest supply of linens
- Photographs
- Original artwork
- A few CDs with sentimental value
- Singing in the Rain DVD set - I bought it for Shannon years ago, early in our relationship, and it is something that means a LOT to us both
- Amon Amarth live concert DVD - another artifact from our early years together - super nostalgic!
- Some expensive art supplies
- My beautiful work table that Shannon and our family bought for me
- Photographic equipment, like video lights and some other stuff
- Our small collection of pots and dishes - because that shit is expensive!

Stuff we're getting rid of:

- All our large furniture and appliances - almost all of it is going to my little sister for her new house - freeloader! ;)
- The grandfather clock - SOLD!
- Our TV - going to family
- Old clothing
- A keyboard
- A bass guitar and an amp- already donated
- Some old cracked dishes and scratched up pots
- Microwave
- All those old food products that have sat in the back of the cupboard for years (don't try to tell me that you don't have some, too!)
- Lot of cheap knick-knacks
- Books, CDs, and DVDs that we can find digitally or that we simply don't need
- Crap

Stuff we're bringing:

- Clothing, coats, shoes
- Macbook and Vonage box (Shannon's work equipment)
- iMac and Epson scanner (Rahsan's work equipment - we're Fedexing them to our new address)
- Art supplies
- Two cameras and a couple lenses
- One princely cat

So I don't know if this gives you any insight into our mindset and attitude toward life at this moment, but it does for us, so I thought we'd share anyway. Basically, the process feels very much like unburdening, and then embracing the things we "need" (or, honestly, were too weak to part with).

Days to Takeoff: 30

1 comment:

  1. I want a shirt from the old clothes pile that is being donated! Pick one and I'll rock it!!