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The Meaning of Stuff

Moving to a new residence can be very simple if you have the right equipment. And when I say "right equipment" of course what I mean is "someone to do it for you."

Moving can actually be a very simple operation, once you get past hiring a truck and breaking down your world into packable categories and the endless toting of boxes up steps and endless accidentally sliding of boxes down steps into the glassware and also accidentally using the toilet that has not been turned on and marathon placing of objects in new locations and then falling asleep with your face pressed into a take-out pizza.

After that it's a breeze.

The main problem with moving is, you have a bunch of stuff in one place, and it needs to be in another place. Please note this: same stuff, different place. You could move to a new place and get new stuff, but no. You want your old stuff.

So you see, it's the stuff that's important here. It's not you. You can go anywhere, just as easily as you like. You don't need moving vans and rental trucks. You could walk to your new place. Or take a cab. Or take a balloon. You could parachute in from a great height. It really doesn't matter. But your stuff...your stuff needs to be encased in formal containers and borne religiously to the new residence in a suitable conveyance.

When your stuff gets to its new place, it sits there as it always has. Inert. Indifferent. Its role is to be ferried ceremoniously from place to place. You do not wish to offend it.

You may not have thought stuff is important, but of course it is. It's even more important than you think. Without your stuff, you wouldn't be who you are. Your identity consists partially of the things you lay eyes on every day--stuff. Walk into a room with someone's stuff in it, you know whose room it is. If it's not your room and you take some stuff, whoever owns the room will come home and feel pieces of himself missing.

Your Being consists not just in consciousness and self-awareness, but also in stuff. It's your stuff, no one else's. You can share stuff with people, and that is your collective stuff. But some stuff is only your own. Stuff is what you move around in, an environment you have created for yourself. It's the reminder of good things and bad. And you can never get rid of it.

This is actually what keeps the economy going. People have to find larger and larger places to live because of all their stuff. You even hear them saying this. "We need a larger house because of all our stuff." Marriage is a big deal not because you'll be with this person for a long time and knowing them intimately and facing life's joys and sorrows together. It's because you'll be mixing your stuff. You'll be acquiring new stuff as a couple. It's a major commitment.

I have to stop now because I've just moved and have lots of unpacking to do, which I am definitely not looking forward to. I have way too much stuff.









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