Thursday, July 13, 2006

On Stuff

My attitude toward possessions has changed since Katrina. I know my Stuff is still more precious to me than it should be; mementos from my past still bring me the warmth of remembrance, relics of great antiquity still fill me with awe and a sense of my own mortality, objects of beauty still lift my heart and inspire my soul.

Yet I find I no longer lust after possessions in the way I once did. I am content with what I have left and feel no need to add more (beyond the mundane basics—such as sofas, mattresses and frying pans—required for a reasonably comfortable life). I suppose Katrina brought home to me what had before been only an abstract awareness: that while possessions can bring joy, they are also an encumbrance: an encumbrance that weighs us down and can stifle the joy of life with a fear of loss.

What I’m reading… THE CODEX, by Douglas Preston. A fun book with a clever premise and a memorable collection of well-drawn characters written by a master of prose and story construction. Or maybe it just seems wonderful in comparison to its predecessor?

1 comment:

Sphinx Ink said...

C.S., your recommendation of Preston's THE CODEX prompted me to buy a copy myself earlier this week. It was hardcover, remaindered down to $5.99 (less than a paperback would have been), so it was easy to convince myself I should buy yet a another book to add to my truly humongous TBR list. Right now I'm in a suspense/mystery/thriller-reading mode, so THE CODEX will leap up near the top of the list.

Re your remarks on letting go of your Stuff, I too have found that surviving Katrina made me realize how little lusting after more possessions added to my enjoyment of life. Rather, I'm adopting a Zen-like attitude of letting go of my desire for the material.

Except for books. I don't know that I'll ever be able to let go of my books!