Simple Living and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Object

What’s better than downsizing?  –Not acquiring something in the first place. But even if you’re committed to simplicity, a time will come when an object calls your name.  If you feel the temptation getting too great, try this. Take a picture of it.

Inuit carving: Shaman in the act of transformation.

Object: Inuit carving, Shaman in the act of transformation.

Here’s an example. Years ago I saw the collection of Inuit soapstone carvings in the art museum in Toronto and lost my heart. Of course they weren’t for sale, but for the rest of my vacation, I ogled carvings in shop windows. Luckily they weren’t of the same quality, so I wasn’t tempted to acquire one. Then, not long ago, in a Vancouver gallery I came face to face with some that did have the terrifying energy and presence of the museum examples. And, they were for sale. Were they outside my budget? Of course — way outside. But I told myself some things were worth it. And they are, don’t mistake me, but a piece like that wants a home where it’s center stage. A fabulous sculptural object would just disappear into the mess of “stuff” I’m still sorting out here. So, I took a picture of it.

Shamans are the best. This one is powerful even from behind the reflections on the glass case. And who doesn’t long for transformation? Wouldn’t it be symbolic to have one where I see it every day?

Here’s a shawl sized scarf I wanted from a shop in New York. I stopped in twice to admire the embroidery and touch the silk. (And what was I thinking? Where would I wear something like this?) It was right after I’d seen the Indian Exhibiton at the Met — I was vulnerable. Once again, my camera saved me.

An embroidered Indian shawl I didn't buy.

Lusting for a shawl? Take a picture.

Now I’m finding that it even works for things I’m having trouble giving away. Having second thoughts about parting with something? Take a picture — especially now that photographs are digital. I don’t even have to find a place to store prints.

I know I’m not the only one to think of this — it’s Virtual Hoarding 101, and it works like a charm.

Check out more objects in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Object.

What’s your best tip on avoiding the temptation to shop?

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14 thoughts on “Simple Living and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Object

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: OBJECT | The Adventures of Iñigo Boy

  2. Pingback: Natural Resources And Other Precious Objects | this man's journey

  3. What a great idea! You can still love and admire an object without actually owning it. Good idea for those that have tight budgets too.

    • It definitely works for my budget. I don’t always admit why I’m doing it though — it works better in stores if they think I’m mulling it over, and, in a way I am. One of these day’s it’ll backfire and I’ll love it better because I have a photo, and go back.

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