there's nothing like a move to make you realize how much shit you really have. you play it cool all smooth and easy like "yeah, this won't be that big of a deal, just gotta get some boxes and get it in a truck" then you get started and sucked in a worm hole down memory lane that has you stumbling over odd questions all pointing to why the hell did i keep this any way? before you know it there's bags and bags and boxes and boxes and piles and stacks and stuff everywhere. 

when i moved out of san francisco it was a call to purge, to cleanse, to clear. my whole life became about my stuff. what to keep, what to give away, what to try to sell. i had accumulated over sixty plants that filled my home. I had furnished a house. I had dishes and silverware and mugs and things my grandmother had given, things i wanted and things she insisted i take. i had books and books and books and books and more books weighing me down with wisdom, a weighty mirror reflecting my hungry mind and my driving curiosity. i had binders and notebooks and pages and pages and pages of writing and reports and learning and college readers. then clothes. layers and layers of clothes to brave soggy foggy winter chill to embrace sunny city days, shoes for every occasion. scarves hats leg warmers gloves. clothes for tahoe. clothes for my visit home. who the hell needs all these clothes? my god. i was like a clothing store. the envy of millions i'm sure from what i could walk in my closet and choose. the sick irony being a woman and not finding anything to wear. then the things you don't think about that take up space, like your bed and your pillows and blankets and bed spreads, your favorite pens and the photographs you cherish, your computer, and your vitamins. 

one day i dragged boxes and boxes of stuff down thee flights of stairs to stack on furniture i no longer needed, part of a life i was leaving behind to sell on a sidewalk on a busy street in a bustling city. the funny thing about selling your stuff is no one thinks your stuff is as valuable as you do. possession is about perception, my friend marta just wrote that and how true. some stuff sold, much went to the goodwill.

when i got back to kauai and finally started unpacking, much of what i had chosen to send home, after six weeks of not seeing it just didn't make sense. i was stumped as to why i felt i couldn't live without some of the things i packed in those boxes. in a new setting they just didn't fit, yet in my packing i couldn't leave behind and live without. another round of purging. still managing stuff. shedding skins and layers of life as i return to the roots. 

the irony of stuff. we obsess about it, want it, need it, can't live without it. but when we let it go, we rarely think about it again. favorite things that have been stolen, broken, lost, i simply mourned them and let go. surrendering to what is. stepping in to the next wave of belonging and belongings. 

when i look around now what's still here?