31 July 2010

No Thing Theory

This morning I abandoned my bike next to a gas station.  I also threw the old sheet i've been sleeping on the last week down a garbage chute.  I'm planning to leave a dying pair of sandals and the toaster I bought when i got here too.  Temporary status is an odd experience... one that I quite like, but i'm not sure i fully understand yet.  To live in a situation which is definitely fleeting is, in some ways, a contradiction.  It doesn't seem like it should be, i mean, we all do things temporarily - take a vacation, go to school, rent an apartmant, i mean even your whole life, right, is a temporary arrangement.  Depending on your persuasion, it might brief layover, one of a sequence of repeating scenes, or the whole shebang, but it's temporal limitations are unavoidable (at least so far).

But to be stably fleeting in this already fleeting existence has been an odd experience over the last several weeks. I've always been a person who likes things - ephemera - objects, but since arriving in Miami none of my stuff (except my books, always always my books) matters much because it's 'miami stuff'. Stuff I will leave behind, or even if i don't, it's stuff I could leave behind.

I'm not sure what this adds up to necessarily, but it seems to me there's some sum worth discovering. Of course there's the cringe-worthy cliché about not letting your things own you or caring more about the people around you than the things around you, but ideas like these are clichés precisely because they are so wildly uninteresting. I'm also not the first to come to this less-than-brilliant conclusion. In the introduction of his recent bookThe Art of Life, Zygmunt Bauman discusses the same phenomenon as it relates to living arrangement and happiness. I've not read it all yet, but his thinking about the state of happiness seems somewhat in line with my own.


I've lost all track of what originally inspired this post, but i know it's something that means a lot to me.  And i'm sure it's terribly important.