Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bad Feng Shui and Me

This odd feeling: I’m trapped by my stuff. I have all this stuff. Even the area beneath the computer monitor is a cluttered mass of felt pens, business cards, CDRs, batteries, lighters, cassettes with interviews on them, a notebook... Everything screaming for attention, attention, attention: notice me! Deal with me!

That’s me that’s screaming for attention, asking to be dealt with. And even moreso the “cool” stuff all around me – posters, books, movies, CDs. I’m overcompensating. I’m not just some fat nowhere kid, some boring mediocre suburban schlub (or to update myself: not just some fat balding 40 year old ESL teacher. Fuckin’ yikes): I’m screaming out to the world: Look at all this cool stuff I’ve got. I’m interesting! I’m worth knowing! ...It’s like a neon sign on a dingy building, a sleight-of-hand distraction so you don’t see the peeling paint.

It’s also like a security blanket. It reinforces my identity, reassures me that I’m interesting, reassures me that at the very worst I will have the good company of all this manifestation to see me through, even if single. My books and my poetry to protect me.

It might not be all bad. To some extent, it’s also just a natural extension of my mind. It’s how I think – my mind is a busy mess of buzzing, competing interests, and so is my room. But there’s a lot I don’t think about, and that’s also reflected in my space. I don’t think as much as I could about the areas I’m weak in: controlling my life, improving it. Working on my health – losing weight, getting stronger physically; controlling my money – getting out of debt, not indulging myself so much, not NEEDING more stuff. Improving my social status – working on relating in a new way with the people around me, so the need to acquire more stuff and define my worth THAT way isn’t so predominant in my character. All this stuff I’ve got keeps me busily distracted, so I don’t have to attend to this.

My high school buddy David said it over 20 years ago – that my stuff is like a womb, inside which I’m suffocating. (These are old issues with me, which at different times of my life, I’ve attended to better than others). Need to find a different way of relating to the world. Minimize a bit, create a space that doesn't scream so hysterically of the need to be noticed. I think if I really put some of this shit AWAY, calmed my space down, I might also be a calmer, more focused person. It’s stuff I could afford to work on – to re-organize my environment as a first step in reorganizing the self. I feel so much more relaxed in other people’s spaces – no one I know dwells in quite this cluttered an environment. It’s gotten oppressive. Needs dealing with.


(And then I go online to post this and am confronted by this rather jarring article in Slate on pseudocide – faking ones own death and disappearing. It might be easier than clearing up all this goddamn stuff).

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