Sunday, March 1, 2009


I wish I could say this was a Lenten discipline, but it was more a side effect of scheduling. Every year in March the Oakland Museum Women's Board puts on a White Elephant Sale -- actually THE White Elephant Sale, "the biggest, the best and certainly the most enjoyable rummage sale in Northern California." And the way to get in early is to donate!

I thought I had gotten rid of everything I had to be got rid of last year, just before I left for Uganda. But, no! Look at this! This is the back of my car, and it's the second trip I took to donate goods to the WES. Books, clothes, kitchen items, bric-a-brac...Where does it all come from? (You may be noting the problem: I'm donating to the White Elephant Sale in order to get into the White Elephant Sale where I can acquire stuff.)

As I went through my apartment, each time I thought I was being ruthless, I realized I could be more ruthless still. I don't think I was merciless however. There was one item I looked at and asked, "Why am I holding on to this?" and the answer was, "Because I think it's beautiful and it makes me happy." That seems to me to be reason enough. But it amazed me how many things I was holding on to because I thought I should. They were hard to get rid of, but they're (mostly) gone now. I'll be curious to see if I miss them.

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