Midnight Pub

owning things


Hey, how is everyone doing here?

What are you drinking?

bartender, what about some Irish cream for me to start?

I've been disconnected from the digital lands of Gemini, this pub, and some social platforms. But I guess I'm back after some changes in my life and daily routine. I think it's something healthy.


Today while I was washing dishes and listening to a podcast, I was thinking about how important is for us to own things, I've even written about it:

Quick ideas about 'isms' and ownership

Maybe it's an old topic, but since I started a minimalistic life, avoiding consumerism or at least trying to be more responsible, it's been interesting to me that we are what we own.

Being physical stuff, toys, consumer technology, land, money... Or something intangible like digital money, ideas, time, other people's time, videogames, crazy digital collectables, digital files like songs, and stuff like that.

Why are we what we possess?


Somewhere along the line I began to suspect possessions were more burdensome - mostly in terms of anti-entropy effort, but handcuffing psychological effects as well - than I was willing to see/accept in the seeming glow of acquisition/possession.

Since then, possessions have generally seemed a "one step forward, two steps back" kind of proposition, where the first step is well-infused with the bliss of ignorance, but the second and third essentially prelude to yet another entropy beating....



this is so interesting! wow.

a few days ago my partner was at my house and he told me about how almost everything he owns could possibly fit within his backpack, and all my items are strwen carelessly all over my room.

i think it would be nice to have less items. i have this box that i keep notes and little things that are important to me in, but as birthdays pass and we grow up i get more and more material gifts each year, which are super sweet and nice! but i end up with so many miscellaneous things and i start losing track of them.

i used to make up scenarios in my head, for example, where a fire would happen and i'd have enough time to save three of my items, which would they be?



This -- ownership, the connection between possessions and identity, or ownership and personhood -- is a subject that I think about quite a lot, but haven't ever really been able to say much about, or even reach personal conclusions about.

There was a time that everything I owned fit in a cigar box, and a time before that that everything was borrowed except a single magazine -- a Better Homes & Gardens special about flowers, which I think I still have somewhere. Now I could live fairly comfortably with my own things, even if you took away everything I share with my housemates...but I still haven't really gotten comfortable with owning more things than I can carry on my back. It's not that I would necessarily prefer not to have blankets or a kettle or a spare pair of shoes -- indeed, it's very convenient -- but I just feel...weird about it. When I had very little, everything that I had mattered. Now there are things that I forget about for months in end.

Maybe I am what I possess, and I have trouble keeping track of what I am when I possess too much.

On the other hand, without possessing anything...I left no footprint on the world. There was no proof in my home that I existed. Some of those first and least practical things were the most precious, like pieces of my identity made concrete. I lost three of them over the past two years -- a necklace, a metal pin, and a hairpin someone had engraved for me -- and each time I felt like I'd lost a part of myself. Maybe the items themselves didn't really deserve that kind of emotional attachment, but I think the places they came from did.

Why are we what we possess? Why does so much of me live in what I own? Why is it so important to me to know what belongs to me if my needs are taken care of anyway?