Monday, April 10, 2006

Things Left Behind.

Thing: an object that one need not, cannot, or does not wish to give a specific name to. (things) personal belongings or clothing. 2. an inanimate material object, especially as distinct from a living sentient being.

This morning it occured to me that my life has been so much about leaving things behind ...

And it should go without saying, I miss people more, but today I was thinking of things missed.

I lived in one place until I was 20 and so nothing prepared me for the constant stream-lining of possessions that lay ahead of me. I moved house at least 11 times during my marriage, then 4 times after the divorce and before leaving for Turkey ... two homes in Istanbul and now here I am, unbelievably possessionless in Belgium.

I have so many books, a beautiful desk and chair, and a bed that I love back in New Zealand ... photo albums, precious things like that.

I left my winter clothing back in Istanbul, with other things ousted by my 240euro excess book luggage ... I was flying back there last September but haven't managed it yet ... waiting to be legal, then legal to work.

Here ... I have two journals, a laptop full of photographs, my cds and dvds, my camera gear and my books.

The oddest things make me remember ... this time it was the new cup we bought yesterday. I love beautiful things ... the shape, the colour, how it fits in my hand, and what I feel when I use it.

The new cup has made me nostalgic for things left behind ... in Istanbul and in New Zealand.

Mostly I don't think of these things but sometimes, just sometimes, I miss them.

8 comments:

Mozza said...

I hear you. I've lived in 5 different cities in the last 5 years, zealously alterning the continents. And now, I long for a "real" couch, a "real" bed. I would like to say: this is not just a passing piece of furniture, this is one that I really want and will keep as a part of my life. Sounds materialistic, but it's very much emotional...

Ms.Baker said...

Di-

I have "treasure trunks" in storage at my family's home in Kuwait, containing little bits of preciousness accumulated over my lifetime. Little things that I hold on to and can never let go of, that represent the timelines of my little life. Much of my childhood and adult life has been spent moving back and forth between the US and Kuwait. You can imagine the odds and ends I have collected.

I also have this wonderful collectin of traditional Kuwaiti inlaid and carved wooden chest/trunks, that come in all sizes from large to small. Lots of artwork, lots of little tapestries, tons and tons of my beloved books.

Such a poignant, feminine, and personal glimpse of you and your fascinating life :)

MsB, who loved your beautiful and warm little kitchen photograph...

Tracie B. said...

i miss my queen size pillow-top bed...VERY much :(

and my cookbooks...

woman wandering said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who misses 'things' sometimes.

The kitchen, ms baker, was in a cute little cottage on the side of a hill overlooking Otago Harbour.

wandering-woman said...

The only things I HAD to have when I sold my house and sent everything in storage were my books and my CDs. The CDs my darling brother shipped to Spain for me, but the books are scattered n attics and basements all around the US-although easier to get at than if I'd put them in the warehouse in SoCal with the furniture.
I miss my kitchen stuff. My knives, for example. Some nights I cry for my kitchen knives. And oh, I'm with Tracey for my enormous luxuriously soft comfy bed.

I came to Spain with 2 suitcases and swore I wouldn't collect things again, but 2 years later here I am sit with a bookcase full of books (where DID those come from?), a piano (God help me), a ridiculous collection of pots of all sizes on the terraza, and as of today a small fortune's worth of hiking gear.

I have a friend who insists all that stuff scattered throughout the States is giving me bad karma, weighing me down. I'm starting to believe her...

woman wandering said...

I was only allowed 20kgs of luggage when I moved countries ... both times. (42lbs approx)

I couldn't leave my Turkish book collection behind but left other 'things'.

The price of wandering I guess.

Bruce Chatwin wrote, 'and to rediscover his humanity, he must slough off attachments and take to the road.'

The Wandering Turk said...

Di - the interesting thing is how little we really need to be content. For me, the things I miss most evoke memories tied either to people or events. I spend hours perusing my families' books whenever I can get back to Istanbul. Books are good percolators for me - I can usually remember when I read them, the context and what I think I felt at the time. I love rereading good books because if my location and state of mind has changed, I have an entirely different perspective on a book(and think to myself - why didn't I think of that before?). Because you're living silly - that's why.

woman wandering said...

I know what you mean about the changing meaning of books, wandering turk. I find it an exiting measure of how much I've learned, grown and travelled.