Moving day

“Where are we going to put it?” Esteban asked me this morning, as he surveyed the giant box in our living room. “I have no idea,” I answered.

And so we embarked on a daylong journey of rearranging our possessions to make room for my new piano.

Eventually we decided to remove a dresser and a file cabinet from my home office onto the front porch, move one of the couches from the living room into my office, store an extra end table in the basement, and tuck the piano under the huge painting that occupies the biggest wall in our house.

In the process, I found myself weeding out a few belongings that I no longer need or use.

The casualties include a fax machine (roughly the size of a Volkswagen, with more buttons than the Space Shuttle), a laser printer (even bigger than the fax machine), some assorted furniture, and a pile of clothes I’ve outgrown—sadly, not by becoming taller.

I found it a deeply satisfying, liberating experience. But as I looked over the pile of goods I’ll soon sell or donate, I couldn’t help feeling a twinge of guilt. I often bemoan the wastefulness of our consumer culture. Today that pile was looking back at me, as if to say “J’accuse!”

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