Wednesday, October 14, 2009

On my mind since 2007

Picking up a thread from yesterday:

Maybe the simple act of renunciation, of simplification, is worthwhile enough, even without considering all the "extras" that could be gained. A few months ago -- No, actually it was 2007, now that I checked. Wow. -- A few years ago I wrote something on an old blog about wanting versus having. Here's the post:
August 6, 2007 -- To want is better than to have. This, I concluded, while I was sitting on a park bench and trying to read. My mind started wandering, as usual. To have: fixed, definite, over. To want is process, and consuming, and delicious. I started imagining what I would name my future mini-dachshund. Chloe? Chathulahuextil? Waffle? Walter Mitty? Bernardo? Beezlebub? Until I get him or her, it could be any of these. I am the proud future owner of all or none, at once. And what city will I live in? For years, I'll admit it, I've wanted to find a room of my own. Stop moving every six months. Sit. Stay. Good girl. Now, the act of not moving means I might be anywhere in three years. Boston, New York, San Diego, Rome. All wonderful in a different way. All potentially mine. Ok, so this is banal: Don't commit. We're all so afraid of it in this age, or so the lore goes, that I'm just stating the obvious. It's the "post-modern condition" to be bouncing between binaries. But I'm not afraid of being trapped, or not having options once I make a decision. I can always move, rename the dog, dye my hair a new color... And there will always be new choices. But I'll stop daydreaming about these things, now. Every acquisition or question answered will be the concretization of an abstraction. One less reason to sit on a bench and think. I keep wanting certain material and concrete details of my life to fall into place. But if they don't, or until they do, I am still the root of all of these things: Thursday evening tennis player. Owner of some beautiful dessert plates. Bridge addict. Friend of a flamenco guitarist. About to vacation in India. Each decision is one step closer to definition and delimitation. To have is to not have.
While mostly I agree with myself, I now think it's better to have an actual mini-dachshund regardless of the name rather than have a million phantom dogs you can call whatever you want.

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