I’m travelling light these days. I’m getting rid of clutter. I’m consolidating. I’ve copied 500 CDs into my HP desktop and sold the discs. I’ve downloaded forty books into my Victor Reader Stream and I’ve slipped the Stream into my shirt pocket. You see, I’m getting rid of excess baggage. I’m a lean machine.
I feel more free and less encumbered. Still, parting with my stuff brings pangs of loss. But the physical parting is just a faint echo of the emotional loss I felt at losing sight of my stuff. Like when I no longer could see the crew cuts and baggy pants on my 1959 White Sox baseball cards. Like flipping through all those record albums I kept around simply to stare at the pictures, to count all the people on the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club cover.
I miss my books the most. I miss pulling The Great Gatsby from my shelf and reading the first and last paragraphs. I miss the illustrations in The Call of the Wild. I keep a book around just for its feel. When I gave away my books to friends, I did so carefully and with the assurance they would get a good home. Those I donated to libraries I pasted an “Ex Libris: Jeff Flodin” label I had printed as a teenaged book lover into each front inside cover. That way, each patron of the Philadelphia Free Library saw my name and, though having no knowledge of me as a person, knew I had once owned, held and prized this volume.
I try not to get hung up on personal possessions. They’re nice to have around for the pleasure they provide. Becoming free of possessions has been liberating. Letting go is a lesson in living. That said, losing is losing. the loss in vision loss goes beyond the physical separation of me and stuff. The emotions still tug if letting go means never to see them again.