I’m an imperfect practitioner of decluttering. I try, but it’s hard. Which today raised these questions in my mind: Are we our things? Do our possessions define us?
For some, the answer may be yes. I think that was true of me for many years.
But perhaps the “things” evoke memories and teachings that go far beyond the physical representations.
I’m much less attached to stuff than I used to be, but I still struggle with my annual decluttering extravaganza.
What does our stuff mean to us?
When people walk into my home, they can see indigenous art from all over the world. It’s clear what I love, what speaks to me.
And what would happen if I lost them all? I’d be sad, but not devastated because it’s the spiritual practices behind these things that give them their beauty in my eyes. And that is something that can stay with me.
My heart broke Tuesday night, as I watched the unthinkable happen. Hillary Clinton, the most qualified presidential candidate ever to run in my lifetime, was defeated by a racist, sexist, mysoginist, bullying, pathological liar.
Of course, it didn’t help that Clinton was a woman.
Ironically, she won the popular vote, but our antiquated electoral-college system gave it to the other guy.
What has happened to our country? What is happening in the world?
I have always known the U.S. was a racist, sexist country, but never knew just how racist and sexist until now. Yet when there is an infection, a festering wound, the puss that comes out also leads the way to healing.
Hopefully that is what will happen here. Seeing what is wrong in our country is the first step to fixing it.
In ancient Ireland, the ceremony of crowning a king included a marriage ceremony in which the king would marry the land, or more accurately marry the Goddess of the land.
This marriage meant that the King swore to protect the land and the people, and be a caretaker of the earth. In return, when a King was favoured by the Goddess:
- he would rule with wisdom,
- the land would be fertile and prosperous,
- the country would always be victorious in war.
When that sacred contract was broken, the land was no longer fertile.
Water. The original peoples teach that it is sacred and we cannot live without it.
It is the first thing we use every morning, and the last thing we use every night.
It allows us to thrive, and plants, trees and our food to grow. It is essential to all life.
And yet we poison it at every turn:
- It’s reported that at the Rio Olympics, swimmers need to ingest only three teaspoons of water to contract a virus. Rio de Janeiro waterways are contaminated with raw human sewage teeming with dangerous viruses and bacteria.
- 14 billion pounds of garbage, mostly plastic, is dumped into the ocean each year, killing sea life. In January, 2016, thirteen sperm whales washed up dead in Germany, their stomachs full of plastic and auto parts.