Just Shelley


Recovered from the Wayback Machine. 

stoplight.jpgYou spend the first half of your life accumulating baggage and the second half of your life getting rid of it.

I’m heading over to San Francisco this week, and I’m taking things with me to leave in the storage unit for later disposal. Among these items is the traffic light you see to your right.

I picked up this traffic light years and years ago at a charity auction. It is a genuine stoplight that’s been converted to a lamp, with a separate switch for each light. When I got the lamp, it had regulation traffic light bulbs in it but they were so bright I had to pull them and put in regular bulbs.

Why the stoplight? I don’t know. It seemed the thing to do at the time. However, it has been useful. I used it for some of my indoor photography years ago, to add a tri-color effect as shown in the photo below.

Of course I picked up the light at the height of what I call my acquisitive period, that peak time when ‘stuff’ meant a lot to me. We had a large multi-room house, and I proceeded to fill it with as many things as I could — large couches, books, entertainment systems, curios, collectables, paintings, and of course, oddities like my stoplight. It was during this time that I bought most of my lava lights, which probably doesn’t surprise you.

This was all before criss-crossing the country twice, as well as getting divorced, and with each move I’d drop more items like a bird shedding feathers. Now, with the knowledge of yet more moves ahead of me I’m paring down to the core. This means the lava lights, the traffic light, many of the pictures, all the furniture, most of the books, and the mineral collection I held on to with the tenaciousness of a child holding its mother’s breast — they’re all going.

No regrets either. These items, they’re just stuff. Baggage. Dropping it all is like dropping anchors.



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