It seemed that I had acquired way too many things. Some things were useful to me, or had been. I kept some things because I thought they might be useful later on. Things evoked memories. Some things, probably, were necessities, and some things had neither utility nor necessity but seemed in some way obligatory to keep.

My house was cluttered with these things. There was no thing-free sanctuary within its walls. The need to simplify seemed obvious.

To simplify meant to get rid of things, but if it were simply a matter of ridding myself of unwanted things, the task would not be so difficult. Ridding myself of unwanted things was not the problem. The problem was parting with things that belonged with me. That parting was not so simple, not so easy, not so painless.

It was as if the things themselves had magical properties that bound me to them like a perverse magnetism, and it was painful to let go.

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