April 09, 2006



The process, the getting rid of , started in 2001. Born out of guilt and pragmatism--I read some Gandhi and it fucked me up--why can't I live with next to nothing--why do I have all these decorations and broken things I cannot part with and hardcore singles?

Since then: Cycles of aquiring and questioning of the aquiring, questioning the desire and meaning of "more", manners of getting rid of -- they are all weird tests and experiments I give myself. Lots of war: Donation versus selling, gifting versus what I could get for it. Greed versus emotion. Importance of profit on sentiment: does market price reflect what a record, a sweater, a book meant to me back when it meant much more to me-and why? After 5 years, I don't think there is anything I own I couldn't part with aside from practical items: bed, computer, dishes, coat, photos. Having everything else used to feel like safety, but now it feels like burden. I have to keep thinking about it, and the more I think, the more I get rid of.

Last week, I sold more than half of my record collection because I have no reason to keep it; the rest will go save for ones I need for DJing and The copy of Rumours I have had since 9th grade. There were records that when I purchased them, four or six or nine years ago, I thought meant something about me, meant something to me, that there was cultural weight in purchaser/listener/fan status; Capitalism's hard whispering myths hit post-teen collectors just the same. As ever: what would someone think of me if I put a song from that album on a tape* for them. What would some visitor think if they saw it on my shelf, what what that speak to, as far as what shape I held in their mind. When I was a certain age of young, firming self identity in how many Roberta Flack LPs I owned seems way less bullshit than it does now.

I feel embarrassed by it now, and getting rid of them helps. Most of them went unplayed, the crap ones and the 29$ soul records that never came out of their sleeves, not once--they are gone to the bins of Reckless and Hi-Fi, the unsellables are about to be placed on the curb next to the trash. After all the hemming and hawing, after the eight times I moved that first Pavement/Huggybear/God is My Co-Pilot single, I am free of it, and I do not feel any different. I do not miss them. I can hear the songs in my head. Someone else will be psyched on them. I practiced, tested myself it felt like, and accepted $1 on them from the people at the store and tried to purge the E-Bay research I did from my mind; I don't want to have that relationship with stuff, and I don't want that relationship between my feelings and money. I am tired of owning. I wanna disengage and untangle from "worth"--it's not very easy, but it is happening.

(* A CD-R, of course, but in my mind, it's all tapes still, and "mix" sounds like "vibe" ---like a world I do not want to be part of, and "CD" just sounds cheap.)

Posted by Jessica at April 9, 2006 03:17 PM | TrackBack