The recent attention in the media to hoarders, has brought the subject, if not the clothes, out of the closet.
And when you see the pictures of these people’s houses, you can feel the tangibility of all that junk. You can be disgusted. You can feel pity. You may be prodded to do a little purging yourself.
But what about hoarding memories? Is it the same as having “baggage”?
It’s the same old problem with dealing with invisible things. Another example of how the eye is a tyrant.
I first came across this notion of the dominance of the visual while reading “The Lords and the New Creatures” when I was 14 and ordered the 1st Edition when I was 14 (I thump my chest).
How much of our consciousness is taken up by memories? How much of our belief systems, values, are informed by memories? And are these memories real, or selective? What goes on?
On a recent episode of CSI, the typical hoarder theme was used to show what hoarding looks like, what the psychology of a hoarder might be, and the mischief that hoarding can lead to. We were already used to a lot of this by way of the reality TV shows about hoarding. But what interested me was the use of “time capsule” hoarding in the CSI episode.
Unlike the usual garbage all over the place, possessions were carefully stored in plastic storage bins and stacked according to a time-line.
This seemed to go beyond “someday this will come in handy” or “I just can’t let go of these things I paid good money for”. This seemed to be someone writing their autobiography by stashing material things in a chronological “order”.
Memories in physical form were being organized into some kind of story.
There’s no question that hoarding takes up space most of us would sooner have as … space. And, as far as I know, there is no way to digitize all the junk you can’t let go of – no way to go “paperless”.
Of course, we can be “virtual” hoarders. Check out “If I Were a Hoarder” for lots of good, clean, messy, fun.
But, as far as “time capsule hoarding” goes, couldn’t this be another way for people to write things down?
The dumpster as diary? Worse things have been written. I’m sure of it.