We’ve given the go-ahead to the English Teddy Bear Surgeon, who is going to patch up Teddy’s ancient sheepskin so that his stuffing isn’t coming out of his head. Dr. Dave (the Teddy Bear Surgeon), says that it’s not moths that got to Teddy — it’s sheer old age. This makes me feel so much better about all this than I did when I thought that Teddy had succumbed to moths because I wasn’t paying attention. No, no. Just old age. The moths were incidental. Also, we’re told that Teddy (“your lovely bear,” as the Dr. refers to him) is indeed a Chad Valley Tinka Belle Bear. Well. Who knew.
By the time Teddy gets back to the States, he’ll be coming into Albuquerque. He lived there, earlier in his Teddy Bear career, for some years, so he will be coming home.
All of this hoo-hah, of course, is connected to not just moving, and entering the Great Aventure (let’s quit our jobs! Let’s live in Albuquerque! What the hell!), but the foundational issue of What To Do About The Stuff.
I’m quite energized about Stuff these days; I’m moving across the country, and at the same time my brother has been going through my mother’s things. I helped some, when I was visiting. But it’s mostly him. He calls me up sometimes, saying, what the hell! Why would anybody keep this! And I can’t say, really. I’m no use, there.
So I’m very and keenly aware of how much Stuff is around that’s not needed or useful or loved. Even when it’s supposedly loved and cherished. I think often of what Peter Walsh, the anti-clutter guru, says — and I paraphrase here — if you’ve got REALLY IMPORTANT and SACRED OBJECTS stuffed in the closet, where you never look at them or see them, he doesn’t believe you, when you say that they are really important and sacred objects. If they were, he says, you’d have them out where you could enjoy them. In other words, just storing something, even if you do it safely and the moths don’t get it, is NOT really cherishing it.
Oh, how radical. I adore this.
Hence Teddy’s refurbishment. He does matter. I decided he matters. He’s getting fixed up so he can sit on a shelf and watch the world go by. And I can see him, and remember from whence I took my strength, when I was very tiny.
Other stuff I’m getting rid of. Even if I love it.
And I like the idea, that really there’s only so much space, to put out the beloved objects. So it behooves me to pare down. And ask, what really matters? What can I remember, instead of dragging across the country with me? (Or, in Teddy’s case, flying to England and back for surgery.) And if I’m going to keep something, let’s use it! Ha! And let it live its normal little life. So I intend, when I unpack them, to drink out of the nice teacups. And if they break, well, they broke while I was enjoying them.
And if Teddy falls off a shelf and the dogs eat him, well, that’s a much nobler (and narratively interesting!) death than moldering away in the drawer, moths or no moths.