Some years back, I stopped caring about precisely tracking every single album I’d ever heard, so I started tagging those albums as “close enough.” While packing up part of my CD collection to move – with less focus on alphabetical ambitions, and more focus on lumping larger discographies into boxes – I was reminded of how alphabetical accomplishments are yet another example of how pursuing perfection paralyzes progress. Is the work good enough? Is it close enough?
The aforementioned rationalization doesn’t make it easier.
I don’t like the chaotic state of my largest and most empirical collection. That sounded like my collection was always in a definitive alphabetical order, which is a hotly-contested topic among fellow album likers. Unfortunately, besides a brief period somewhere around 2 to 6 years ago, it’s never been in as alphabetical an order as I’d like it to be, where ideally, I’ll think as I’m, say, leaving for work, “I want to listen to [this CD],” grab the CD, plop it in the car, and go.
It was actually: search for way too long, then acquiesce with another pick.
How will the unpacking process look at the next place? Either: I’ll unpack everything strategically over the course of a few days, reacquaint everything with its alphabetical allies, and display everything in a roughly A to Z order, with miscellaneous soundtracks hanging out at the end. Or: I’ll keep everything neatly packed up and politely go through one box at a time, if I end up somewhere loathsome, where I know I won’t stay more than a year.
So: why can’t we typically accept “close enoughs?”
It’s not like there’s a life-or-death association with not getting something perfect on the first try, but maybe we think that subconsciously? Maybe there’s a compulsion that drives me just close enough to the guilt of having a collection of CDs in my perfect alphabetical order, but because it’s an irrational drive, never actually drives me all the way to actually doing it? That’s where there will be some good in this moving process, because, let’s say the next place isn’t objectively terrible.
If I have space, I’d certainly enjoy rebuilding my CD shelf.
Not just for the convenience of being able to easily access any of my collection at any time, but for the aesthetics of being able to admire my collection at random.
I don’t own stuff to impress others.
I own things because I like them. A well-curated CD collection still appeals to me but I’m sure the more I move, the less likely I’ll think like that. Right now, although I fancy the idea of being able to move into a small studio apartment in the city, I have too many mementos I somewhat enjoy owning.
CDs are the perfect nexus of aesthetic and utility.
Of these CDs I’ve boxed up, I bought some at shows, and some I even got signed by the band during a chat about their music.
Those will be close enough to last to sell.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Accepting that the CDs need to get moved with some degree of order, rather than trying to aim for some sort of perfection.|
|Related: Other Moving Zeal essays.
— CD essays:
1. Albums: Move, Sell?
2. Luxury of Ownership
3. “Close Enough” Lumpings
|Photo: CDs of Box #5, including CDs autographed by Dengue Fever, Mystic Braves, Shonen Knife, among others.|
|Written On: December 1st [39 minutes]|
|Last Edited: December 1st [10 minutes] – A second read through, since the essay didn’t conclude well enough before, and though it’s still not perfect, that’s been kind of the theme of these Moving Zeal essays: if they’re merely good enough, that’s fine.|