Sunday, 6 April 2008

Needing stuff

The first outfit picture I am posting, taken with my new camera, turned out blurry. (I blame my sister though, because she was the one that took the shot.) I bought the camera from my sister's friend Isto. He came over yesterday and we ended up talking for ages about "stuff". He has a lot of it. I am a mere beginner. For starters, he is in his 50s, so naturally he has had plenty of more time to accumulate things compared to myself.
We ended up discussing the reasons why people collect things. Or why people roam the flea markets and car boot sales looking for small (or big) treasures. I tend to feel guilty about having so much stuff I don't need. That was one of the main reasons why I began the flea market project. Not because I was drowning in stuff per se, but because it seemed excessive and unnecessary.
Talking to Isto made me think that for some people, having stuff is necessary. People who collect have a certain mindset. They know that they don't need stuff. They know that if it came down to it, they could give it all up very easily. The point is the process of creating meaning for the things around you, and not just things, but also people and environments. People who collect, collect mind frames, not stuff.
I guess I am a bit like that. I treasure my clothes and my books, not because I like to own stuff, but because I have gone through a process of making them meaningful. Even if I have to give them up, the meaning stays. In the meantime, they make my life more interesting and beautiful.
The fashion highlight of the day was the April issue of Flair magazine. My Italian is terrible, and I didn't even try to read the articles. The fashion stuff was a feast for the eyes though.

P.S. I still don't know how to post nicely! The layout of this post, for example, has "-"s in between every paragraph because the preview insisted on scrapping spaces in between them. Blah!


EJ said...

Re: spacing
In the 'html' view, put a p with pointy brackets around it (can't do it here, it won't accept it in a comment!) before a sentence and a space will appear. I'm sure that's not how you're meant to do it, but it works for me!

I love your outfit by the way, particularly the blue of the cardigan.

Chris R. said...

:) Thank you, Waves (though I am SURE that must not really be your name!! :) for the kind invitation to post at your site! I had never really thought much about the mechanics (the driving force) behind our desire/need to is a very interesting topic to consider. Do you know, as soon as I began to think about the matter, I was reminded of your (lovely) Virginia Woolf quote...she needed the illumination of others' eyes---a reflection of how they saw her, perhaps, and who they thought she was; she collected, in a way, people, and their attentions, I think, to feel more complete; and yet because of this she was not sure, herself, of exactly who she was. And I think it might be a lot of this...I cannot imagine living in an empty, white room, with nothing to reflect who I am, and what is important to me--how would you truly know who you are, as a person? As you do, I too collect books--I was SOOO jealous of that lovely wall of books I saw, behind you in so many pictues! :). And I display them...some are books I have read many times, others books I may never get around to. But they reflect, in part, who I am, and what makes me happy in Life. The same is true for my kitties (yes, I collect stray kitties too!)...I have 5, in my little townhouse)...but they help to complete me, and they help to make my life---the space I inhabit in this world---happier, and richer, and more peaceful. And art, and our eclectic clothing and furnishings...all of these things that we see out in the world, and just KNOW...just inherently understand that they would be so wonderfully at home in our domiciles...the little safe-havens we have carved out for ourselves. I think, really, collecting for many of us is about surrounding ourselves with the things that we see as reflecting who we are, and the things we know will make us happier, just by surrounding us in the our worlds..without books around me, I would feel lost. :) I'm sorry, I'm rambling on much too long. Thank you for a very interesting post!! I hope you have a wonderful Monday, sincerely, Chris R.

j said...

i wanted to let you know that i came across your blog a few weeks ago and think it's lovely! also, i'm sort of fascinated by your bookshelves: are some of them organized solely by color?

The Waves said...

ej: thanks for the spacing tip!

chris r.: thank you for your long but poignant comment. There are times when I worry whether collecting is a sign of insecurity, but even if it is, at least it is an honest way of dealing with it. I think everyone wants to be safe, in one way or another. People who loathe stuff (and there are a lot of people like that) want to feel safe in the sense of not attaching themselves to things. After all, if you attach yourself to things, you might have to deal with the pain of losing them later. I guess people always try to escape from fear. I think we should be okay as long as we make sure to live in the moment and appreciate everything and everyone we have, and create meanings for ourselves.

j: Yes, one of the book shelves in colour cordinated, I actually even posted about it today. Thanks for your comment!

Unicorns Have Whiskers said...

I don't mind blots of stuff either, what I care about is that is stuff I LIKE. Meaning, clothes I love and wear, books I read and look at, things that are beautiful to look at and were made by a close one.. etc etc.. It's useless crap and mindless spending and hoarding that I object to. And when stuff starts to get too much of a grip on people's lives. If I feel like I'm not attached to it, but while it is in my possession it gives me joy, it doesn't suffocate to have stuff. :D
Good post! :D

Laura said...

"People who collect have a certain mindset. They know that they don't need stuff. They know that if it came down to it, they could give it all up very easily. The point is the process of creating meaning for the things around you, and not just things, but also people and environments. People who collect, collect mind frames, not stuff."

That's something I could have written, too. Being a collector isn't always easy, and those who don't collect anything can't really understand the whole process. It's a shame.

Ps. Lovely blog, I've been spying it for a while now, and will surely continue. Plus, V. Woolf is one of my most beloved authors, too! She's just great, however, I haven't read all her works - yet.