deep end

Helen Gibson: Hazards of Helen #26: the Wild engineI did get a couple of things done this weekend…I finally cleaned and lubed my bike in case I feel the urge to work off the winter weight which I am still hauling around, and I completed the inventory of my Helen Gibson archive.

There’s a reason that project got bumped to the top of the pile,  as I look around the joint and imagine myself  lying in a heap, I can also see my brother leaping over my eyeless corpse in his haste to call in the junkman.   Ergo the 3 or 4 things I actually give a shit about need to be taken care of.  The Gibson archive is basically a lot of old movie stills and a bunch of research material. When I go  I’d like it to go to the National Cowboy Museum’s reference library.  But they wanted to see an inventory before they’d say yay or nay.  I’d send it now, but I like to keep playing with it a while.  Everyone needs a research project in their back pocket. Something to pull out and work on when there are OTHER less interesting things you are trying to avoid.

The other stuff I am responsible for are the 20 or 30 books on bookbinding and restoration, yeah I still got them, regardless of whom I owe money to, those will remain – till death do us part.  I still dip into them from time to time when I am trying to work out a specific problem.   I say I am responsible for them, not that I OWN them…personally I think there are a finite number of decent research books in the universe and when you reach out and buy one and bring it into your home, it is with the understanding that you are only its caretaker for as long as you have it in your possession.  When you are dead or done you or your heirs have to released it back into the stream of ‘good’ books floating around the universe.

I have asked around to different booksellers, what’s gonna happen to your stuff when you die?  Most of them have a roommate who has either good judgement or specific instructions.  I’m gonna be one of those folks no one hears from for a fortnight, then just calls in the house cleaners. I have post it notes on the valuable stuff with the names of booksellers to call in case of inertia.

Schadenfreude moment:  I was reading the new book Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things and I can tell you for sure and certain I am not one of THEM.  Not that I couldn’t be, don’t get me wrong, I love stuff.  And the acquisition of stuff makes me happy.   But decades of deliberate effort has left me with only small clusters of clutter left in my life or at least in my house. Deacquisition also makes me happy on occasion ….I still haven’t reached the point where I toss things into the dumpster just to hear the thud, but who knows one day I might.

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