Having Too Much Is The Same As Having Nothing

Having Too Much Is The Same As Having Nothing

I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about objects. If you have too many objects they don’t all fit. You start stacking new rows of books in front of old rows of books. Dresses smash too tightly against slacks hiding cute sleeveless shirts. Popsicle molds cover unopened cocktail napkins cover nearly empty plastic satchels of rubber bands. Junk mail hides to-do lists making whole swaths of surface space a desert of utility.

If you can’t see it, you will forget it. Forgetting is, for all practical purposes, the same as not having it at all. Actually it’s worse because it’s robbing you of space. You would be living in a more spacious environment without these invisible space stealers.

What you are conscious of is what you will attend too. Everything else doesn’t exist. Making do with less actually makes everything you have and use a treasure. Real treasure is not an embarrassment of riches but rather the result of conscientious gratitude.

Stains. What are they good for?

Stains. What are they good for?

I can’t think of any positive connotation for stain, can you? The word implies degradation, even ruination. Yet I hunt for these spoilers of the pristine. What’s the attraction?

For starters, I can’t add to perfection. If everything was unmarred, unsullied, untainted, unworn it would be like finding myself in a giant art studio with a huge canvas and no paint. There would be nothing to do. Boring!

So as the lowly maggot is to processing waste, I am to soiled pavement, an agent of transformation. Okay, not quite. My contributions are ephemeral and symbolic rather than transformative and pragmatically useful. Nevertheless, as I pass by the same stains week after week, I find that having spent time turning them into little characters I look forward to seeing them again. The stains become like neighbors, friendly ones I wave at rather than blemishes upon some vast field of unbroken conformity. The familiarity makes me feel I’m really here. Their specificity means I could be no where else.

To deeply notice a thing is to change your perception of it. To interact with it is to become intimate. To collaborate with it is to create a bond. That is why art is so transformative. It is like friendship but with a process rather than a person.

I can’t make the world a less blemished place but I can make the stains more fun.