Thursday, October 25, 2007

Present Value and Meaning

I've been giving the whole "meaning of my stuff" thing more thought. I think that I've discovered the (or maybe just one) reason for my simplification process.

I want my house - and more importantly - my life to be filled with meaning, present meaning. Let me give you some examples. I recently sent my childhood teddy bears to an orphanage in Malawi. The bears had great meaning to me. When I took them out of storage, a rush of memories flooded the room. It was so fun to look at them, smell them, touch the nose of brown bear (where all the fur was worn off from touching his nose).

But, all the meaning was past meaning. I look at them and remember, but their entire value is contained, restrained, confined within those memories. Although I haven't yet heard back from Tracy (the woman who took them to the orphanage) I'm assuming that the bears now belong to a child in Malawi. I get chills when I think about that.

The value and meaning of these two stuffed animals is no longer confined within my memories. It has been brought to the present, updated, renewed. The bears who sat in a cardboard barrel for decades, have been brought into the sunlight - the African sunlight - to bring joy and happiness, comfort and warmth to someone new.

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