Prior to my big monumental life change in 1997 when I gave up my miniskirts, wedge heels and Marlboro Mediums for a set of chanting beads, rubber gloves and an apron by moving into an ashram, I was definitely into collecting things. Clothes,shoes and other fashionable stuff mainly but also mugs. I had an extensive mug collection which supported my coffee addiction. When I moved into the ashram at Gita Nagari Farm in central PA, I donated my 100+ collection of mugs to the communal dining hall, where somehow they seemed to disappear within a couple of days.
There was a cool bug mug from a science museum, a Denny’s mug lifted from a late nite coffee stop and a cheesy souvenir mug from Florida of a muscle guy in a Speedo that Danny Frank bought for me when we were in high school.
I know I am not alone in my tendency to over-collect things. You would think with moving around so much (this move will be 5 homes in 7 years) I would have my possessions whittled down to one singular box of stuff. Well, I don’t.
I get rid of stuff all the time but more stuff keeps on coming. While I have no collections that would qualify as hobbies, I realize that tendency is there. I am starting to develop quite a pile of those green reusable shopping bags. Embarrassingly, I even have to admit I have a favorite. It is my Riesbeck’s bag which I bought on a recent trip to West Virginia.
I am thankful I don’t have any official collections of stuff, just unofficial accumulations. Like saris. I have a lot of saris. I even have saris I bought on my first trip to India in 1997 which I have yet to wear.
And jars. Filled and empty. There is a certain allure to canning which appeals to my tendency to over collect. But I’ve already written about this somewhere else. Actually it was exactly one year ago today. It must be the strawberries ripening in the fields which are bringing on this meditation.