Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Saying goodbye to THINGS

I use Ebay and Gumtree a LOT. I buy stuff, sell stuff and browse the useful and useless when i have time to waste. What fascinates me though is that items that a totally central to your life when sold go there usually appearing blank and without history.
For example I'm sending off a Line 6 POD xt today. For the ungeeky this is a guitar FX unit that went on tour with my old band, Plastic Toys, was used to record 50% of that band's album and has been used on ever one of The Lost Souls Club demos. Si (our guitarist) now has a bigger and better one for recording with so this one is now surplus to requirement and as a struggling musician it means i have had to sell it. It leaves me with all my programmed sounds saved on it and a few scratches, but when the new guy (Ebay member Attic757) gets it i have no doubt he'll not give too much of a shit what sounds i had saved and just wipe the memory. Suddenly this device that i knew every trick in the book with, that never failed me has gone, yet it still exists. The new guy will have a similar story with it and then possibly move on or eventually leave it gathering dust.
Its the same with an old guitar I recorded the Plastic Toys album with. A 1970's Gibson SG that sounded AMAZING. Sadly I was broke, needed some leads, fuel and general band stuff to keep my life ticking so it had to go. Next time i saw it it was in the hands of Toby, the guitarist from The Duke Spirit, up there onstage in Portsmouth sharing a stage with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Its as though it was never a part of my life, yet i played it every day for 2 years and spoke about it like a best friend.
I don't really have a point, just this vague feeling that as these things pass on it seems sad to me that the stories are lost and the memories that object might trigger may never be triggered again. Just imagine what might have happened in the back seat of your car before you got it!

1 comment:

  1. I can relate fully as I'm going to have to sell my V-Drums soon and, well, I don't really want to :-( but finances have decreed it necessary :-S I think about more pragmatic issues like the fact that I 'could' need it in future and, to be honest it's always nice to have a play on, and then the more emotive reasons like I've had it for a long time and used to tour with it, had it when I lived in London and we even used it for the Karmic Jera album!!!!

    And going on the same lines as your conclusion I recently held an wrinkled old five pound note in my hand and thought to myself "imagine how many peoples' pockets this has been in and how many peoples' lives this has touched or how many people have held it etc. I bet it could tell some interesting stories...

    I think this brings up a lot of different issues really. One is, going back to what I wrote earlier, do we really 'need' stuff. The problem often seems to be that we tell ourselves we need certain things, when in actuality we don't and in 'that moment' we needed the money more. Maybe this is the more natural order of things? Possessions, at the end of the day, are the same as money as can be used or exchanged for more money, goods or services that we need etc. and 'in that moment' what we exchanged them for was more important.
    On a bit of a side note: I recently went to Poland for a couple of days and took virtually nothing with me, and I have to say I loved the freedom of not being bogged down with possessions. I'm sure you'll agree, coming from me, this is quite a thing as I tend to love my gadgets (Macbook, iPhone, etc.) but maybe that's only when I'm stationary? Maybe when I/we are 'out there' and 'living life' (and other little soundbites we hear all to frequently and embrace far too infrequently) the things we need become far fewer?

    Life can be very complex or very simple I think, depending on our outlook. As much as I can be guilty as anyone of hoarding certain things, or even certain memories, life I think is meant to be lived in 'the moment' the 'here and now' and not the past or the future. I think we should always be constantly 'acting' and realising we did the best we could do/made the best choice we could there in that moment.
    Maybe this can also be relevant with how we deal with feelings and emotions too? Like if someone leaves us or they die etc. we can all too often hold those feelings with us for too long and the inevitably end up controlling or even ruining our future?

    I think basically the point I'm making is relevant the 'things' as well as people or emotions/feelings. That maybe we should just always embrace the impermanence of life and accept that people and things will always, at some stage, leave our lives but a) that doesn't take away the memories or the time we spent together, and b) we should embrace the 'now' and keep acting, keep moving forward because, even if this is just wishy washy delusional thinking to help keep unwanted negative feelings at bay, moving forward and not letting the past control our present or future is, after all, the only choice we have as we can't go back, we only ever live in 'the now' or 'the moment' and that is ultimately what shapes our future.

    I think it's important to remember that with anything in life, 'things' people etc. is nothing can take away those moments you shared and even if you forget they still 'happened' and we should embrace the impermanence of life and just keep moving forward always trying to do the best, and deciding what to keep or not comes under this umbrella, for ourselves in that moment. And, if you are blessed with a good memory look back on the things you achieved or the times you shared with those 'things' or people.

    I think this saying sums it up it much more succinct way:
    "It's ok to look back, but you mustn't stare."

    Aughan out :-D