In the midst of Easter, life after this is a relevant topic. In this regard, the material world is just a very concrete reflection of the universe. A nice containing nutshell. A frame of reference for the bigger picture.
I needed a small handbag, just big enough to fit a couple of necessary things and I saw my sister sporting one that was very close to my specs. She had paid five Swedish crowns for it at a flea market.
So we set out scouting up small handbags at the numerous second-hand stores of Uppsala. Finally, at one of our expeditions at the Red Cross, my sister turned to me and asked, “You wanted a bag that looked like mine, didn’t you?” She then pointed at a perfectly identical bag for the outrageous price of ten crowns.
Karma, kismet, destiny all snug in a fake leather bag.
A cup and a real leather bag made in Guatemala were added to my shopping cart. The lot cost me the price of two lattes in town.
When I come to think of it, my contact with second-hand, or second-life as I prefer to call it, goes way back in time. My most recent apartment was furnished with some things old, some things new, some things borrowed and some things blue. Quite literally.
My little purple bag was my debut purchase from the apparel department. I am not a big fan of shopping and I find the multitude of impressions from rack after rack of clothes in different shapes and colours overwhelming.
However, I just need to think of the 8 kg of textiles that Swedes dispose of per year per capita, or the 2 kg of chemicals and 10.000 liters of water it takes to produce a new pair of jeans and I am converted on the spot.
After all, second-hand shopping is a bit like daring destiny on a blind date. You don’t know what it keeps in store for you. There is something flirtatious about all the items that are waiting for someone to pick them up and turn their past into a new bright future.
Things accompany us in our daily lives, but we are not Made of Things as my wise little sister would say or rather, sing.
There is a lot of beauty in letting redundant things go. Suddenly space is made for the new.
Song composed by Sadness Theory.