Friday, March 27, 2009

red chair, blue chair

yesterday i had a thought about object ownership. i feel like as we're older we have much less of a sense of OWNERSHIP (strangely enough, this is probably not true on a consumerism level) because we have owned so many things. there are many things that i remember feeling a strong bond toward because they were the first of something i ever owned.

i had a pair of black sneakers when i was maybe 8. they were the first athletic/nike sneakers i had, i think. i can look over the past and i can't remember any of the shoes i've gone through - running shoes, tennis shoes, black leather shoes, they're all similar and meld together, but the very first time i put on these non-Kmart brand sneakers, i could feel the difference. i distinctly remember the feeling of height and motion they gave me, with the extra padding and support under my sole.

in china, when i was maybe 4, i used to play with my cousin/di di alot, and we'd always get gifts in pairs. one vivid memory was when we got little plastic chairs, and there was one blue one and one red one. i think we fought over who got which color - in the end i got the blue one, and was satisfied that i got the "manly" one. but there was a very strong feeling that these chairs were OURS, and it would have felt weird for me to play with his red chair and vice versa.

i also used to think that once you bought something, they would be with you forever. like clothing. i'm sure i've had a coat that i thought was "my coat" and it was weird when i got a new one because the old one was just too tattered. each time i got a new coat, or new shoes, or a new backpack, it was like i became a new person the day i wore it to school, and i would have to get used to it.

it was the same with organic matter in soils. i used to think that the moment you created the perfect mix of humus, sand, clay, manure, and other organic matter, your garden was set for life. then i realized you had to buy soil every year and dig it into the soil constantly. i was saddened for a little bit...but actually now that i think about it, yearly renewal is better than having a static garden. how sad would it be if you didn't have to upgrade the soil each year?

that's the same philosophy i have come to now. in terms of gloves, winter hats, umbrellas, and clothing, because i keep losing them (>_<) i have to constantly get new ones, and there's very little sense of identity with any particular one. but it does allow you to change a little bit over time, and that keeps it interesting.

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