My possessions have been whittled down to books, clothes, movies and paper records of the past. I do have a few other things as well, but much of it is in boxes down in the basement. Most of the time I don't even think of it (that stuff), but sometimes I do miss it. And sometimes I just misplace it. I have lately gone looking for this or that, and have been unable to unearth either of them (this or that) which has left me feeling rather shiftless, rootless, dispossessed and transient.
This strikes me as a rather extreme reaction to what is merely a simplification of my life, a reduction in my belongings. When I don't imagine myself a sad and stuff-less waif, I do have a sense of freedom and unknown possibility. I'm not weighed down by a household and its attendant bits and pieces, and can conceivably pick up sticks at a moment's notice for parts and adventures unknown.
While I am grateful for that freedom, my perverse human nature sometimes rails against the fact that I can't find any of the spatulas I packed away 16 months ago, or the voice recorder which should be in the box marked "Desk stuff" but isn't. It's as if certain key pieces of my past life have cunningly found their way out of their wrappings and hied themselves off, as part of God's question to me: are you really free?
To which - tonight at any rate - I must honestly answer: no. I am not free; I am reduced.