Monday, April 07, 2014

Lessons in detachment

The process underway.

Books in the basement. (The stack is a bit
higher now...)
My immanent transfer, even if only for one year, is providing me with more lessons in detachment than I expected. Besides the big ones--my local and national community and its initiatives, the choir at OLMC, the marvelous city of Chicago itself--there are the little daily detachments that keep popping up as I pack. Between the things that will be stored in the Chicago basement until my next assignment (mostly books!) and the things I will need in England (which need to fit into two 5--pound suitcases), there are objects that I have acquired along the way that don't really belong in either category.

It is surprisingly difficult to put them where they need to go, which in most cases is the pile for the Salvation Army. There are items I had to part with that I never wanted, never knew what to do with, but held on to out of respect for the person who gave them to me. There are sacred images (including about 30 rosaries!) that I didn't need, but held onto out of respect for the Person or mystery they represented. Every item seems to have a story, and I had to tell myself the story as I moved the object closer to the Salvation Army pile.

Then there is the technology. This is the hardest of all. Not only does every piece of technology seem to have a story (this is the first laptop I got, in 1998, from Dad, at CompUSA, before going to Rome; this was Dad's pocket PC; this was Mom's iPhone...), but in most cases the equipment works just fine (except for the iPhone, which bit the dust this morning when I attempted to change the battery myself). I remember just how much was paid for each piece of technology, too, which makes it even harder to put on the give-away pile! Even though my phone can probably do more, faster, and with higher quality, there is something in me that protests getting rid of functional equipment, even if it is out of date (Zip Drive, anyone? You never know...). But with the grace of God, I will see this through. (Even now I am reformatting the hard drive of that first clunky laptop, and am almost consoled that the LCD screen is beginning to fade.)

I'm still keeping that bag of cables for now. (You never know...)


Joel Whitaker said...

Boy can I relate! This is me ...hanging onto things because of memories, of attachments, of whom they represent. And hanging onto computer cables because "you never know."

ANDREW J. Di LiDDO, JR. said...

I echo Joel's comment as well. Our Lord has been teaching me a lesson in letting go of stuff that I am overly attached to. In the past five years my wife and I have done 3 interstate moves in an effort to stay employed. "For here we have no lasting city,
but we seek the one that is to come.
Hebrews 13:14 I was pleased to read that you are storing books in the basement in boxes. We have given away hundreds and hundreds of books over the years with our frequent moves. After a while, they just get too heavy and interstate moves are done on the basis of weight. I miss some of the many books we have parted with. I was wondering Sister? Instead of storing your books away, is there any mechanism or process whereby people can borrow your books?? I am sure you must have some interesting volumes and think about how the Holy Spirit may operate by putting one of YOUR books in someone else's hands until you want or need it again?? Just aksin'......Andrew John, in Christ, JMJ