Some objects I love are the photos I have of my childhood dog Patrick. Whenever I see these photos, I smile, because he was smiling. He, overall, led a good life. Although at times there are melancholy feelings as I review these photos, thinking about shouldas-wouldas-and-couldas, if I look at them earnestly, those potentially lukewarm feelings are replaced more with warm sensations. He was so happy. I love objects like those that inspire positive feelings.
The next closest object to that… might actually be my new rower.
Initially, I didn’t like it for petty enough reasons, but especially now with current events preventing me from rowing on any other rower, I guess I would say I love it. This is a weird way to phrase it, however, since I cherish it for its utilitarian value and nothing more. I have grown to appreciate it, similarly with the people and things I love, for its innate it-ness. The qualities it possesses, collectively, make me a better person. Although that seems selfish, that is one reason to love something. Let’s return to something more concrete.
Patrick’s photos remind me of the love we shared.
We loved being around each other. Patrick loved the pets on the head and treats I would give him and I loved being around him. There were a few years after he had passed where I didn’t quite cherish those memories. I never stopped loving him, but it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind, as a reminder of how pure and innocent love should be, untainted by favors or the impurity of communication. We should be free to love whatever we want, as long as that loving doesn’t harm that other person or thing.
I, then, love my rower because of what it does for me.
I love the LEGO minifigs I made to represent John and Trishna from “The Story” because although they were essentially random pieces of plastic, they represent a concept that I’ve held onto for years. I love them so much that I stopped taking them along with me places to photograph them on-location, just because if I lost them they would have been difficult to replace. They would be some of the first things I’d recover in a fire, along with those photos, and my avocational laptop. [If I could, I’d try to rescue the rower, too.]
My love for that laptop is similar to the rower.
The laptop isn’t the most efficient thing around, but for me, it works fine. It’s customized for me and I’ve taken it out to many places over the years. I have some specific stickers on its lid that I have “earned” in the sense that I will only add new stickers on from either significant events or through specific design choices. The stickers, then, tell a unique story of its progress over the years I’ve been using it, so when I finally replace it, I will honor its memory with a sticker walkthrough and try to remove them before donating it to someone that could use it more than me.
With these few examples of objects I love, why tolerate objects I dislike or hate being around?
If those disliked or hated objects stood in the way of me saving or salvaging these loved or perhaps even my liked objects in that hypothetical fire, then what good do they have around me? The primary reason is financial. I would want to get my money back or more, ideally. That greedy capitalist mentality has weighed down my mind for years and inspired more animosity in my mind than any actual sense of decency.
Do I love the idea of getting a good return-on-investment then?
Perhaps, which is why it’s a pathetic notion for me to have kept on writing and re-writing these central thoughts for the years I have, but it’s not easy being honest with yourself. I don’t mind carrying that honesty over into the public eye in essays like this. I have nothing to fear with anything I’ve published over the years. So it should be, then, that I should make this important distinction about what I love, hate, like, and dislike.
The things I love are, generally, things that inspire the best in me.
The laptop and rower are the best I have right now, and inspire me to become better daily. Patrick’s photos reminds me of the good and decent person I was and should continue to be, and the minifigs represent my attempt at trying to realize this goal I love of writing “The Story.” These are all things, and there are others that I don’t want to list because then they could become targets of envy, that I should want to honor by displaying more consciously.
I’ve done some of that, but reduction of the others should help with these.
Reflecting on objects I love, many of them are actually replaceable. Or, rephrased, they should be replaceable. The material the photos were printed on can be destroyed but as long as the contents on the photos remain, then those memories can live on for as long as I want them to live on, and for as long as you want them to live on as well, not just for my memories but for yours as well. If you like my memories, here, you can physically save them for yourself or you can keep them in your memories, as I do with the things I love.
I’ll end on a newly-acquired object I love.
I bought What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and each page is brimming with such deep insights. I feel better after reading each page. Murakami has humbly boiled down the essence of writing and exercising into such a cohesive whole that when I look at this book, even though I bought it at a thrift store, I still love that I own it.
Finally, let’s conclude with objects I owned that I hated… perhaps…
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Besides the “Objects I Like” and “Objects I Dislike” essays?|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.
1 – Like
2 – Dislike
3 – Love
4 – Hate
|Picture: A quick drawing. Don’t mind it.|
|Written On: 2020 April 12 [From 2:30am to “but reduction of the others should help with these” at 2:55am. From 3:28am to 3:333333333am. Gdocs.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 April 22 [Adapted from Gdoc, so, second draft; final draft for the Internet.]|