upside down

Sometimes I feel like grabbing my house and shaking it upside down until the dead bits that no longer serve me all fall out. But some kind of ancient fear keeps stopping me, whispering, taunting, trying to bury me — all under the guise of protection. THINGS are a lifeline that you might need to survive, it tells me. Don’t you want to survive? Piles and piles of protection. Cloth. Paper. Metal. Wood. A thousand ideas written in tiny letters on fading scraps. Instruction manuals for things I no longer remember. Broken glass and pottery from twenty year old accidents. Kitchen utensils someone gave me that I’ve hardly ever used. A stack of black t-shirts with necks so tight I feel like I’m choking. Keep it. Save it. You might need it. Winter could be hard. The war might go on forever. An ancestral desire to hang on to what might keep me alive, what might help me thrive. A childhood habit of collecting and saving for when I might have a someone to share it with. A cultural mantra that more is better. And yet, when I’m away from this place, with only a bag of clothes and books, I feel strong, not vulnerable. Empowered, not impoverished. Rich, not overwhelmed. So, little house, with your closets bursting, your basement overflowing, your flat surfaces all smothered with stuff, it’s time to let go!

— heidi kalyani, 2018 
from the *nothing is black and white* project: illustration created out of meditation with a single unbroken line