Monday, March 17, 2008

real estate

I've been watching a lot of those reality real estate shows on TLC lately. Flip that House. Moving Up. Property Ladder. They suck you in. The people—happy couples—desperately searching for the perfect home. Always on a deadline. Always maxing the budget. Wanting more.

I wonder about that. Everyone aspires for the perfect home, don't they? Everyone has the right to. In its rudimentary form, a good home offers security and protection. To the lost and nomadic, it offers permanence. A perfect home is where you want to stay, where you feel good and happy and contained. And it proclaims this in all its physical luster to the outside world.

Even the origins of the term real estate refer to property that is immovable—that is planted to the land. The French call it immobilier.

Every human has the innate right to aspire for a home. But sometimes I wonder about the wanting more, and more, and more. We attach bits of our personal property to the house like flashy ornaments onto a Christmas tree. Adding new things/ornaments each year. Buying bigger and better houses to hold all of the things we've accumulated. The old things pile up in the basement getting mouldy. They get hauled out to the dumpster during renovation.

We do find comfort in those material possessions. I certainly do. I can't bear to get rid of my books, though they gather dust. The shiny new things are physical proof of our successes in life. But possessions can also be a burden. With each gratification, you lose a little bit of inspiration. Isn't that true? The more you build yourself up, the further you are from solid ground.

Sometimes, I wish I could just give it all away. But I'm not that strong.

1 comment:

Emma said...

I just filled a huge bag for the salvation army, and am getting rid of 6 pairs of designer jeans.
I agree that possessions can be a burden! And it's so liberating to let them go, to let someone else enjoy them.

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