The Burning House Blog: RoyLyn Palmer-Coleman Knight of the Round
You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you're satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you've got your sofa issue handled.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
I sent in my submission to The Burning House
blog. The burning house is a blog began by Foster Huntington where people send in submissions to answer this question, "If your house was burning, what would you take with you?" This was a very interesting question to answer. Basically how I tried to answer the question was to show the few possessions that I own he tell the most about myself. It was an interesting exercise. The majority of the things that I show in the picture are things that are actually replaceable, however the stories behind them aren't.
I am not the biggest proponent of owning things. Possessions have not always been that important to me (Haha, I moved to Los Angeles over 3 months ago and my apartment is still mainly unfurnished). Up until January of this year everything I owned could fit in my car. What is the purpose of owning lots of things? The purpose of this has been mainly lost on me. I lived the life of a college student a while after I finished college, maybe too long. I thought, "I want to be mobile. I don't want all of this stuff weighing me down, trapping me, consuming me." So I traveled light.
Then in December of last year (Christmas time is when I always reflect on the state of my life) I was like. How much of my life am I going to live without sleeping on an actual bed. Not that you can't have a fulfilling life without owning a bed, but I started to wonder what was the purpose of this. I have reached a place in my life where I can enjoy some comforts. A bed should probably be one of them. Do I really want to have had not owned a bed for over a third of my life for no reason? It started to sound a little absurd.
Doing this exercise let me take things a step further. What this exercise taught me is that is the most important thing I think about the things that you own is not the item itself, it is the story behind it. It isn't what you own, it is why you own it. What you did with it. I am kicking myself that I didn't put in a different hockey stick that I own. It is one that my teammate bought. When I was in one of my beer league championship games (Silver south Championship at Icetown in Riverside California). We were the Ducks vs the dastardly Canadiens. We rallied at our bench before the game like we were straight out of an Emilio Estevez film. I scored two goals then broke my stick on the side of the net while diving towards the goal. I immediately dropped the pieces of my shattered Excalibur and rushed to the bench (It's a penalty if you don't drop your broken stick in hockey. Found that out the hard way in a previous game that season). Just then one of my teammates John (Half my team was named John) handed me his backup stick in a gesture of ultimate kinship. I felt like we were the Knights of the Round table when I brandished his blue blade. John was a lot shorter than me, but we were both right handed. I went on to score two more goals (Shorthanded as well) with this stick that was too short for me. We defended our homes and our realm. I ate, they drank. We hoisted the trophy and the rest is history.
That is what I want. I want to own items like those. The ones that got me out of a bind. Lead me to greatness. Thwarted evil. I would rather have my brand new top of the line Warrior Dt1 hockey stick shown in the picture above burn in a blaze than John's short blue stick with the wrong curve. I don't want to impress people with how expensive my things are. I want to be able to know what my things mean to me. I want them to know that I use them, and that I use them well. Now I'm off to my hockey game tonight to hopefully make a legend of another stick.