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Franz Marc: Yellow Cow (1911)
"I rid myself of my more troublesome priests …"

About a quarter of my worldly possessions probably qualify as junk. Precisely which items make up that quarter remains in shifting contention. HeadingHomeward brings a forced choice reckoning where I get to reconsider every blessed thing I own. I maintain my corners, shady spots I rarely peek into, places where I store my more embarrassing possessions. Many amount to regrettable purchases which I can explain to myself but to nobody else. I keep those well hidden, even from myself, because I cannot really justify their presence to anybody else, much less to myself. I'm embarrassed to own them but curiously have never gotten around to Purging them. I avert my eyes when in their presence, figuring that I might deserve to own them. They come to own me instead. HeadingHomeward calls a most curious sort of court into session. I get to fill the role of hanging judge.

I finally find the courage to engage in Purging.
The dreaded sock drawer, half-filled with I do not want to know whats, gets emptied and harsh judgements passed. The purely sentimental might receive suspended sentences, but much in there will not. A box, then another, fill themselves it seems, with burdensome things which came to own me. I justify my actions by patiently explaining that those odd-colored pocket tees, worn but still useable, might become another's prize possession. I'm freeing them, I say, to become something other and better rather than to just be hidden away. I might be liberating myself, lightening my load. All my keeper clothes fit into one standard medium-sized box. The discards fill two smaller ones.

Purging feeds upon itself. It becomes self-reinforcing, encouraging what in ordinary times might simply seem a cold, cold heart. I grow wealthy under its spell for I can seemingly afford to part with almost anything regardless of its past associations or any inherent nostalgia it might have once sparked. Some things, though, simply cannot be given away. I remain confident that once the moving van's loaded, about a quarter of our remaining possessions will still qualify as crap, and even discarding that would likely result in an inventory featuring about a quarter eminently discardables we're not quite ready to part with yet. Economists label this effect a Perfect Market because there's essentially no exhausting it. However much gets used, that same percentage remains to be used ad infinitum. It's a bottomless pit and there's never any fully satisfying it. I do my part as I prepare for this parting.

I sense a mastery of sorts emerging. Purging bestows the power enjoyed by despots throughout the ages. I rid myself of my more troublesome priests without remorse because I finally feel that I can rid myself of them. Whatever thrall those items once held over me seems temporarily broken. I'd do Pontius Pilote proud. I could become part of an audience watching gladiators battle, casually flicking my wrist to pass permanent judgement, thumbs down. Next? I fall into a feeding frenzy where the more I direct toward the Goodwill van, the hungrier I become. I'm liking this slimmer almost svelte man standing astride his possessions rather than the slinking one once owned by them. I release those items which once carried obligation, liberating myself again and again and again. I find that I no longer owe them fealty. I abandon some of my familiar story in favor of undiscovered fresh ones. I figure that I can probably find a replacement half pound of mung beans on the other end. I need not transport the old encumbering ones which have been clogging up the larder forever.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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