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Spirit of Giving, Animism

December 10, 2014 , , , ,

first box to go

first box to go

I have a rather animistic relationship with my possessions and potential possessions.  I find them in a somewhat psychic shopping style, and buy them in a love at first sight condition.  This happens on a regular basis with jackets..and other items of clothing.  I adore costuming and potential costuming.  I like it way too much.  When I first find the unusual jacket/prom dress/beaded top I believe we are meant to be a pair.  I see us as fabulous fashion partners stunning and shocking our fans.  This is where the delusion begins..but not at all where it ends. It ends in my closet, my garage, and alas, gentle readers, in my barn.  The truth is that after a brief romance, all these dazzling duds live a life of drudgery, never seeing any action or fun.  I need to set them free for their own self realization.  They need to party as their original construction intended.  No clothing is happy in the bottom of the drawer or the back of the closet.

Yesterday on PBS radio a lady was reviewing a book about Japanese style tidying up and animistic treatment of the objects in the home.  The author had been a Shinto shrine maiden in Japan in her youth, so she really knew a lot about space and ritual.  Her method of cleansing starts with a realization that we are not treating our objects with love and respect if we allow them to pile up and collect dust.  She emphasizes the feeling of happiness an object must evoke in order to stay in our presence.  She aptly notes that old papers never give us feelings of happiness.  By keeping so many objects that do not make us happy (any more) we restrict our own spacious feeling and daily comfort.  I listened in the car to this radio interview and felt very personally touched by this message.  I recently chipped the glass on vase containing fake amaryllis that my mother gave me about 15 years ago.  It has been on display in my living room in a prominent place all those years and we have enjoyed it.  It is not by any means the only gift I have that she gave me, but I do feel an attachment.  My partner and I talked it over and joked about it, and I am ready to part with the object, for the good of all involved.  Someone may recycle it if I set it free.  It has served its purpose and now it can do something new.

Today my friend is going to visit while I go through my clothing to determine which items truly contain joy for me now.  I do not dare to estimate how much needs to go, but I now see my wardrobe as a family.  I have cramped the pieces into prison quarters with no light or air.  How could they possibly be happy as my wardrobe, overcrowded and starved for attention?  The majority of these items need to live in another person’s wardrobe, where they can be loved and treated well.  Then I will have a well ordered place for the happy items that will remain with me.  The Japanese method suggests that while our socks are in a drawer, they are on holiday.  We want them to rest and feel good for the next time they go on our feet.  We must pay attention to the state of the holiday resort by assuring proper order and visibility for the resting clothing.  I totally love this whole concept, and am sure my clothing will applaud the good news.  I just told a friend that by the end of the year I plan to make my closet look like  a Shinto shrine.  He said, “Send me a picture.”   Now I have made a true commitment, and at this point nothing looks less like a shrine than my closet.  I have a goal and a deadline.  I look forward to making the clothing that makes the cut very happy in the future.

What do you think?

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comments

This is an interesting point of view. Although, I never looked at this from this perspective, I must have some Japanese genes. I check my wardrobe twice a year and give all the things away that I did not wear for more than a season since I conclude that I do not like them anymore. The same goes for home deco and books.

Happy “closet clearing” 🙂

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Brigitte Kobi

December 11, 2014

I have tried that method of determining what to keep, but so much has slipped through the system and stayed. I like deciding if the thing gives me joy or not by holding it..this is working well for me. Thanks! I will have a shrine closet very soon.

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Pamela Morse

December 11, 2014

I’ve just given away a huge quantity of unused things. Including a dress I bought when I was 18(!) and haven’t worn for years. It’s a cathertic process

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London-Unattached.com

December 12, 2014

So far so good..Two days, three friends, and I have nothing left to take to Goodwill…still digging…not finished by a long shot.

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Pamela Morse

December 12, 2014

Me too Pam!! I know when something “speaks” to me and usually it’s right on. If I listen to my kid, I am stuck with duds and she’s great on color but not style. Jewelry, bags, I know what works instinctively. Shoes it’s partially that and also fit. The clothing.. color speaks volumes and often the styling works too. But sometimes I wind up with sack pieces that get returned.

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Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

December 14, 2014

Me too Pam!! I know when something “speaks” to me and usually it’s right on. If I listen to my kid, I am stuck with duds and she’s great on color but not style. Jewelry, bags, I know what works instinctively. Shoes it’s partially that and also fit. The clothing.. color speaks volumes and often the styling works too. But sometimes I wind up with sack pieces that get returned.
I love the Shinto concept! I cleared out tons of clothing that I held onto bec of memories they evoked as well as those things that I bought in error. ( i have a new addition to that club and I am going to donate or sell it. UGH. )

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Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

December 14, 2014

I have had three days of real success gifting items to friends..then a big load to the Goodwill..feeling free already.

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Pamela Morse

December 15, 2014

1 notes

  1. simpleNewz - mermaidcamp RSS Feed for 2014-12-10 reblogged this and added:

    […] Spirit of Giving, Animism […]

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