the amory park dispatch: May 10, 2006
The past year and a half has been eventful. Charlie, my personal obligatory albatross died, my longtime boyfriend returned to California, and I met jb.
Change is good, and after a rather whirlwind courtship, I moved into jb's Armory Park home at the end of August. His charming 1917 railroad house is slightly larger than my 1950s ranch house -- but not by much. We took inventory of each other's furniture and household effects and kept the best, objectively Goodwilling or selling the rest.
The process of combining households (and eliminating mine altogether) is ongoing. Each time I return to my house in Avra Valley, I am struck by my increased detachment from my belongings. I have begun to view my stuff as an impediment to happiness and freedom.
I have been a lifelong auction, flea market, and estate sale junkie -- I accompanied my parents to auctions as a kid, and began rummaging through local thrift stores on my own in my early teens. The real thrill was always in the hunt and not the owning, so purging has been easy.
Tchotchkes -- some bonafide scores -- accumulated through decades of obsessive treasure hunting -- I have just boxed up and sent to the Salvation Army. With great relief, I have donated garbage bags of clothes, shoes, and books, and moved furniture to the street with a giant FREE sign attached to it. (Although, I am torn about the mermaid lamp I scored when I was 14 and later outfitted with a shade made from seashells that I collected in Cuba -- I might have to keep that.)
I have eliminated anything remotely mediocre -- whether it was clothes, music, art, or collectible ceramic. I've made no secret of being somewhat of a snob over the past 20 years and anything commonplace or uninspiring has no privilege being in my possession. It's been an exhiliarating and liberating process.
Likewise, I have scaled down my website. I've been compiling this site (first on Page Mill on a pink iMac, presently with Dreamweaver on a 3-year-old iBook) since 1999, and much of what I posted years ago isn't relevant to me any longer, or just bored me.
Additionally, I have managed to amass dozens of broken and neglected links. I need to take a load off my long-suffering host's shoulders and tidy my site up a bit. The easiest way to accomplish that was to eliminate, to purge ruthlessly.
Gone are the photo essays of my road trip to Baja in 1999, and my cross-country trip in 2000. If you hadn't seen them, I am sure you know the drill -- random shots of quirky roadside attractions or amusing happenstances accompanied by quasi-witty text, relevant possibly only to me at this point. Or not.
I removed my Burning Man 1999 pictures. I didn't like Burning Man; I don't need to pay $200 a ticket to remind myself to feel free or self-actualized, and ultimately I prefer going to the desert by myself. I deleted an entire section consisting of scans of weird stuff I owned or found in the street. There are entire websites devoted to urban fringe ethnography, and they do it much better.
Amongst all the purging, I have also added some content. Long overdue postings of images from 2004 roadtrips with the previous boyfriend to the annual pilgrimmage in Magdalena de Kino, and to the Mojave. I recently discovered an abandoned ranch in Pinal County and took a few photos as well.
A new website, tecopajane, is in the works but don't go there since it isn't hosted yet.
Additionally, on flickr, you can find my Italy and giant pink bunny photos, Tucson's All Souls Procession pictures, windows in Zurich, a trip to Bisbee, and some rusted metal photos. I do like the rust. Early in January, jb and I salvaged a rusty Biscayne (with an Impala V8 hidden under the hood) from the desert north of Winkelman, Arizona and we have great plans to fix her up. I'm going to try my hand at nose art (among other things) and I promise to keep you posted.
Everything © 2006 by Molly Kiely.