Thursday, September 9, 2010

owning stuff

One of my close friends likes to do the "100 Things Challenge" every once in a while.  He goes through everything he owns, decides which 100 things he wants to keep, and then gives the rest away or sells it.  I think this is a marvelous idea.  Wanting to follow in his footsteps, but not ready to go all the way, I recently gave away half of certain categories of things: half my books, half my clothes, half my jewelry etc.  It truly felt freeing to give away objects that meant something to me, but was also completely unnecessary for me to have or feel attached to - like my 1999 Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds T-shirt.  I mean, it is just a t-shirt.  It was a big step.  I started to make my list of 100 things.   What topped my list?  My 1920 Gibson Mandolin, my Alvarez Guitar, and my hard drive with all my photos.  The following images are of my gibson...the one thing I own that I don't think I could lose.

I feel that my attachment to this object is ultimately negative.  I don't want any earthly object to have any sort of hold over me.  Truly, the love of this mandolin has little to do with the music it makes (which, by the way, is most glorious), but has everything to do with what it stands for.  It was a gift from my uncle who owned a music store.  I have so many beautiful memories of listening to so many musicians playing in that store.  That store and the tradition of playing music in my family makes this instrument a testament to my heritage.  It represents my home, my history.  I think it is the memory, not the mandolin,  that I really don't want to leave behind.


  1. looks like you still have 97 items to go to make your list! good 3 picks so far.

  2. What a beautiful story. It's funny how objects remind us of such deep ties... like little testimonies of the journey God has taken us on. I'm glad this object brings sweet memories. Thanks for sharing. I always appreciate your transparency.