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Sep 21, 2009


Living in Japan has taught me that culture defines how we communicate our feelings. A Japanese man was telling me how he likes to visit his family's grave by himself. It allows him to clear his mind and relieve stress. He said he felt "purified." I immediately thought he should say he felt "peaceful." But after listening to his reasons for his feelings, I concluded purification was the best word. It is a process of letting go, cleansing the soul, and moving forward.

moving from Sendai, JapanSo this move is my purification.

I spend everyday going through my stuff and deciding what I want to keep. Every tactile object has a purpose, but I can't keep everything. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed at this task right now. At the same time, I am feeling relieved at having less. My closet and art studio are better organized. And I can't help but ask, "Why was I keeping all that stuff in the first place?"

In previous moves, we've kept almost everything which meant it was all shipped and then stored in the States. I have an entire closet and shed of Stuff that I have stored at my Mom's house for the last 20 years. That is just crazy. Thanks Mom and Sis for being so patient with me.

I want to simplify for this move, so I am condensing my last seven years into two suitcases and maybe one box. I will keep only what I absolutely physically or emotionally need. None of what is shipped will be stored.

I needed some stress relief today. Youtube came to the rescue. Since I love cats, "I am Maru" always cheers me up. And a good dose of Grey's Anatomy music videos always sets me straight.


Tracy said...

Hi, Juana! It is amazing how emotional moving is. The physical and mental "baggage" we carry around with us. Like you, I live abroad too, and dragging so many possessions from one place to another I have found confining too. And as I grow older, things, STUFF, isn't so important as what's inside. So very much less is more! :o) Good luck as you continue to do what you need to in saying farewell to your time there in Japan. Oh, and I just loved the beauty of those enoki mushrooms from your previous post. :o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

Gallery Juana said...

Tracy, you're right, and maybe that is what I am starting to realize: "STUFF, isn't so important as what's inside." As you say, moving is emotional, and I like that.

readingsully2 said...

It is amazing how attached we get to our things and it is also amazing how free we feel when we finally let go. Good for you Juana. I don't know if i could do it or not. :)

Marlene said...

Moving is emotional, I have never lived abroad but I am getting ready for a move (I hope my house sells soon). I am finding that I too with age have learned that less is more. I'm not having so much trouble getting rid of excess baggage this time around.

Poetic Artist said...

You are blessed to have lived abroad. So instead of all the things you could pack, you will be able to take so many wonderful memories with you..You have the journey.
I say those words and then I laugh because it is so easy to say those words but I do not know if I could pack in one box and not be emotional about it...Take care. katelen

ZenDotStudio said...

It is an emotional process to pare down, but a good one I think. I have been paring away but not as intensely as you. I always think "we have so much stuff in the western world, it's like we become "caretakers of our stuff" rather than the stuff serving our needs in some way."

Happy purification!

fly tie said...

i recently went through that purfication process when i made a big move in may. i got rid of nearly everything i owned, and when it was all said and done, the only possessions i had fit into a few boxes.

it was a really great feeling. i ended up writing a (myspace) blog about it entitled "stuff" in which i pondered that same question, "why do we hold on to so much stuff??"

my blog reading has been slow as of late, but i always enjoy stopping by yours whenever i get a chance. happy moving! :-)

Rosebud Collection said...

You know, if we ever sell this place and I do hope soon. I will get rid of everything. I want very little. I have been giving the girls/families the things that need to stay in the family, but the rest, out it goes.
It is very freeing. Less is more, my one daughter always tells me..boy, is she right.
Almost feel like you can "fly"..don't try it though...ha, ha...

Chris Stone said...

2 suitcases and a box? yikes! is that except for your art stuff? last time i moved, studio stuff was about 70-80% of all my junk... which filled up a fair sized uhaul! you are inspiring me to start ditching stuff.

loved the story about "purification." nice word usage.

Virginia bed and breakfast said...

I'm not having so much trouble getting rid of excess baggage this time around.I say those words and then I laugh because it is so easy to say those words but I do not know if I could pack in one box and not be emotional about it...Take care.

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