Children’s author and illustrator (and free coloring page creator) Elizabeth O. Dulemba has done a fantastic TED talk on a topic close to my heart: not letting possessions rule your life. It’s wonderful and magical and true. So true. The quote about having two lives, which I had not heard before, completely captures a change that I felt about 10 years ago. Most of this talk just reinforces what I already feel.
But then there’s this quote from Steven Wright: “I have the world’s largest collection of seashells. I keep it on all the beaches of the world… perhaps you’ve seen it.” Another one I’ve never heard before. He may have said this to be funny, but it’s really an aha moment for me. A new way to think about not needing to own our world, to amass collections of pieces of it. I do treasure rocks I pick up, the piece of petrified wood I have, and, yes, even some seashells…
But somehow this quote makes me breathe this sigh of relief. I can treasure rocks without having lots of them. I can love books without owning all of them. I can adore the natural world and let it be right where it is. And then go visit it.
Liz is so warm and honest in this talk, and I feel like I know her so much better now. I am inspired, and I hope you will be, too.
Jane Heitman Healy says
When one of my friends was preparing to move and deciding what to do with all of his stuff, I asked him, “Do you own your stuff or does your stuff own you?” He told me later that the question was very helpful in deciding what to keep and what to throw. I’m putting it out here not because I’m such a wise crone, but have done some moving myself.
Yes! I love that question, Jane!
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater says
Thank you for sharing this, Laura. That quote made my day….