Monday, January 7, 2013

eBay beckons. A new project is born.

A few of the things we'll keep.                                                                                                        photo-  Hilary Mosberg •2013

Imagine No Possessions...

I have never thought of myself as much of a "thing" person. I enjoy objects of beauty and utility, I don't collect or have object obsessions. I don't change my home decor much or curate my belongings. I am not a gadget head.  My clothes and shoes get worn till they are shapeless and tattered, beyond Goodwill. Occasionally when flush, I go a little shoe, book and art supply crazy but those episodes have been scarce of late. 

Yet in spite of my best efforts, "things" have a way of piling up. Papers are kept, clutter accumulates and loved ones die or move away and their possessions sneak in and unintentionally become our own. Then, those twin demons, guilt and nostalgia have their way and before long our cupboards and attics are brimming over. 

Lately, I have been feeling the pressure of this accumulation. I have a great need to simplify, to pare down and eliminate all but the necessary and chosen. In theory, this should be easy, but attachments grow when we are not looking. Now that both of my parents are gone I find that even their things I don't like and would never have chosen have become imbued with their essence. Every object kept resonates in some way with my childhood or my parents life together - things they acquired and cherished and couldn't part with - things they wanted me to have even though we had lifelong disagreements on the subject. I find myself pondering my responsibility to the life of these objects and thus their memory.

But eBay beckons and from that necessity, a new project is born. Before listing each object of significance for sale -
I will record my reminiscences as a visual keepsake and share them here as an exploration of the life of objects 
and letting go.

It will be fun to see what form this takes over the next few weeks so stay tuned.


  1. What a beautiful way to honor your parents, your memories and these objects. Eager to read more...

  2. Bootsie, my grandmother, died in 1996. And with my aunt, we cleared out her home in New Orleans to prepare it for selling. Larger furniture went to family members, but odds and ends and framed prints were all bought by an antique/junk shop dealer on Magazine Street. The second they were gone, I began to regret it. Especially a framed drawing that my uncle did in the fifties. Calls were made to the store, but too late. But I realized it wasn't the drawing I was missing, it was my grandmother and nothing was going to change that. Then nine years later Katrina hit wiping out the homes and possessions of two great aunts. Ironically, that took care of having to make any decision of what to keep or not. What's left are my memories.
    Documenting those objects and the memories in your life is a wonderful idea. I so look forward to witnessing your process. Beautiful writing and photograph!