Animism and the Burden of Stuff
I tend to be very connected to the objects in my home — they are memory holders for me, so I choose them carefully. Ritual objects are problematic when it comes to thinking about my death. I can’t give them away (here, random person, have a shaman’s coat. @_@) , can’t discard…so I’ve had to put careful instructions in place for my family about how to handle these things. This piece, is a very good read about one’s world, and the connections we carry to Gods, to spirits, to our things too (and for an animist those things aren’t unrelated) as ecosystems. go. read. learn. 🙂 (also, “Swedish death cleaning” is my new fact for the day lol).
I have always had a complicated relationship with my belongings. Even as a child, I would periodically go through my room and collect all the toys I no longer wanted, giving them to my parents to donate to the thrift store. This is perhaps strange behavior at that age, but even then I had this visceral feeling of the burden of ownership. (It’s hard to say for sure but I think this was true even before seeing Labyrinth at the age of 8, and being horrified at the scene where Agnes the Junk Lady piles all of Sarah’s toys and games on top of her, threatening to turn her into a hunchbacked packhorse too with the weight of everything she thought mattered. Either way, it was a dramatic lesson for me in the way that the stuff you own can own you.)
Later on, I began to identify various…
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