Author Topic: Joy in possessions  (Read 2190 times)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Joy in possessions
« on: November 11, 2019, 08:41:08 am »
Inspired by this overhearing.
Like just about all of us, I have more clothes than I need, and some I haven't worn for a couple of years or more. But none of them bring me joy. Not that they're necessarily bad clothes, joy isn't something I associate with clothes. On the other hand, music does bring me joy but I own very little music.

I therefore conclude that the volume of a type of possessions is not related to the value placed on that category by the owner. More joy does need lead to more possessions.

(The obvious flaw being that music is not a possession. The joy in music is listening to it and making it, not in possessing CDs and so on. Except, of course, where joy in music is actually joy in CDs/vinyl/etc, which brings us back to the start, more or less.)
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2019, 09:20:42 am »
I have a hard time throwing stuff away, but it's not really joy, it's that 'but what if I need...' which on a logical level I won't (really, a Palm Pilot, ian?). It applies to clothes, but I fear I'm a functional dresser. My wife throws my holey socks away, I'd keep them, it's only a little hole after all and I don't live in Japan so no one is going to see them. She buys lots of clothes and more shoes. I'm not sure why. We always do the 'is that new?" and 'oh no, I've just not worn it for ages' which is always a big lie. (I don't actually care, beyond the fact she's filled every wardrobe to neutronium density and if I make the mistake of opening one, it all falls on me and makes me squeak.)

I don't think I'm a possessions person really. I did hang onto physical music for a while but a while back, gradually making the transition from CDs (now piled up in the garage) to digital music and, finally, to streaming. I found that a bit hard, but I had to admit in the end that I was buying several albums a month and some were getting listened to once or twice only, and for a third of the price, I could listen to everything.
!nataS pihsroW

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2019, 09:41:46 am »
Yeah, being reluctant to throw things away is a different topic really, albeit the one that led to this.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2019, 10:22:35 am »
Tools. Nicely made THINGS. Art. All three can induce joy in their possession.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2019, 12:05:18 pm »
books, the tactility of realbooks.  Not all books, just some.

Like my signed copies of Bonsai Techniques I and II by John Yoshio Naka, you can't get those anymore, and the joy is not in using them as reference works (that is a very different kind of joy), but just leafing through them and thinking "Wow, this is a life devoted to art, whilst I'm piffling away on the edge"

Or my lined up almost complete collection of Alistair MacClean, with scraps of paper sticking out where the gaps are. Not good first editions, but that's not the point
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2019, 12:19:56 pm »
I'd agree those are different kinds of joy.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2019, 12:24:14 pm »
I'm naturally inclined to hoarding data, which would include music and books, though I'm a lot more precious about that which I can't just buy or download another copy of.

Quality tools (everything from allen keys to computer screens, or even cars) certainly bring joy, though it's more in the using than the having.

Of the things I've built myself, I'm more attached to the designs and (where applicable) software, rather than the physical objects, which just represent a quantity of work.  I can make them again, and they'll probably be better.

Clothes are important in that by having them you can avoid nakedness and clothes shopping, both of which are deeply unpleasant.  Occasionally clothes might qualify as 'quality tools', by being particularly effective outdoor gear, or having plenty of pockets or something, but in general they're uninteresting.

I'll hoard tqt that might come in useful, because it often does.  I'm not attached to it.

And looming over it all is the understanding that I could lose it all tomorrow.  If I can keep a decent pair of shoes and one of the Important Stuff hard drives, I'd consider that a win.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2019, 01:12:17 pm »
Have you considered Buddhism, Kim?
(I'm being simultaneously serious and flippant, just in case you wondered, though I'm sure you know better than to wonder.)
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2019, 01:30:38 pm »
I like my five mechanical watches (and revel in their years-old technology).


Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2019, 02:22:46 pm »
Snap (ish). I have just the one mechanical watch (the other is a Seiko Kinetic that lives in a draw) and I chose it as a present, and wear it virtually all the time.  Added pleasure from it having a ceramic band and an exhibition back.

Untitled by Richard Fletcher, on Flickr

I've never held on to books, despite reading a lot (i now only buy what I can't reserve via our local library systems), and have got rid of all my physical music (nothing was ever as pleasurable as LP's IMO).

We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2019, 02:50:36 pm »
Have you considered Buddhism, Kim?
(I'm being simultaneously serious and flippant, just in case you wondered, though I'm sure you know better than to wonder.)

Not as much as I've considered homelessless.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2019, 04:32:23 pm »
Have you considered Buddhism, Kim?
(I'm being simultaneously serious and flippant, just in case you wondered, though I'm sure you know better than to wonder.)

Not as much as I've considered homelessless.
Cargo bike.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2019, 07:20:42 pm »
I take considerable joy in certain of my possessions. I think the piano is top of the list, probably followed by my bike.

In the past I have taken great joy from precision machinery. When I used to go fishing, I had some very beautiful and expensive fishing reels which were utter jewels. I have one of these:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/352832169053

which I haven't use for years. Still in pristine condition. I also used to build my own rods and they gave me considerable pleasure.


Regarding the OP and people taking pleasure from their clothes, this takes me back well over 30 years when my dear wife's Great Aunt May stalked the planet. There was a good deal of hilarity after she said to Jan's dad, as a conversation starter, "Are you enjoying your new trousers, Harold?"

The same Great Aunt May once confused the two words "kagool" and "goolies". This too led to a certain amount of amusement, but perhaps less than one might have expected as Janet's mother was always most Not Amused by anything slightly risqué.
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2019, 09:18:23 pm »
What a great reel, I have a split cane built rod made by my dad, needs a new tip eye and ideally a new ferrule, but unlike other commercial made rods I can't bring myself to get  rid.

Re books, its definitely not all books, whilst they are tactile, certain books could be let go in an instant as just modern imprints that could equally be electrons.  Some are much more involved, to me.

I have an early, but not first edition Origin of Species. That's interesting but hard going. I'm not sure though if its more important to me than a book of short stories by Witi Imahiera that I picked up on my only trip to New Zealand. Some books have a place and an association that the proliferation of published vwords does not capture.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Jaded

  • The Codfather
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Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2019, 11:27:43 pm »
I like a camera that fits in my hand and captures what I think I see. An extension of my odd brain.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2019, 09:33:14 am »
One of the seemingly un-bookish things I like about some books, and I know I'm not alone in this, is the texture, colour and even smell of old paper.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2019, 09:49:15 am »
My violin. Also, to a lesser extent, the other musical instruments. I don't like my viola as much, even though I play it more.

My bike(s) bring joy, too, but it's more fleeting. I'm not totally attached to them, because I know they're likely to get replaced every few years.

Clothes aren't particularly joyous things, though I have sometimes held on to things I never wear for far too long, because I like them and might wear them one day (which inevitably never arrives). My metallic purple Dr Martens made me smile, except when I wore them and they hurt my feet, so they had to go.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2019, 09:58:26 am »
I don't think I care about stuff. Clothes are just there to prevent a judge having stern words with me, bikes and cars get me places, a computer is a practical thing. I end up collecting superannuated crap because I have difficulty ridding myself of it, not because I especially wanted it in the first place.

I think I'm an experience person. I take pleasure from a well-typeset page, spine-tingly music, a good read, a visit to far-flung place. There's no ownership, those are ephemeral, little bubbles on the surface of the tawdry, and part of the pleasure is that they're fleeting moments.
!nataS pihsroW

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2019, 10:45:54 am »
My violin. Also, to a lesser extent, the other musical instruments.
I know a bloke who recently split up with his partner of many years and had to move house. After a brief period of house surfing he's settled somewhere now and is most pleased to be reunited with his piano. He recently took Grade One, being about 45 years older than the other candidates, so it's nothing to do with talent.
Quote
I don't like my viola as much, even though I play it more.
Which just goes to show something or other. The viola always struck me as a sort of inbetween instrument, but that's just my impression.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2019, 12:45:36 pm »
Musical instruments made me think... there's a certain joy in any man-made object that isn't aggressively cost-engineered like most modern consumer products.

Which is a vague category encompassing most objects of Art; high-tech equipment that's engineered on some other criteria (eg. anything built to medical or military spec, engineered for servicability, or simply from such small production runs that it makes sense to use expensive parts and construction techniques to save design time); high-end mechanical tools; most surviving objects from before the days of plastic; most decent musical instruments; and (on a good day) things like power tools, motor vehicles and firearms, where it's doing something so inherently dangerous that it has to be sufficiently well-engineered that it won't kill the user.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2019, 02:19:47 pm »
My double bass (big brother of the viola) gives me great pleasure (when I play the right notes in the correct order). :-D


P.P.

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Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2019, 10:26:41 pm »
Musical instruments made me think... there's a certain joy in any man-made object that isn't aggressively cost-engineered like most modern consumer products.

Which is a vague category encompassing most objects of Art; high-tech equipment that's engineered on some other criteria (eg. anything built to medical or military spec, engineered for servicability, or simply from such small production runs that it makes sense to use expensive parts and construction techniques to save design time); high-end mechanical tools; most surviving objects from before the days of plastic; most decent musical instruments; and (on a good day) things like power tools, motor vehicles and firearms, where it's doing something so inherently dangerous that it has to be sufficiently well-engineered that it won't kill the user.

Personally I think the inderviduality thing has a big part to play in an items desirability.

For instance every musical instrument is different, due to the grain of the wood or the patina of the metal, every print book is slightly different due to the way the paper absorbs the ink or the pages crease and I suppose, if that’s what floats your boat, that even clothes could fit into this catagory once they start to wear.

But most (insert most modern consumer items of your choice) are identical and lack that tactile, indervidual, human touch we all crave and thus provide less joy.

fuzzy (retd.) AAGE

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Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2019, 10:48:10 pm »
I have very few, if any, posessions that give me joy. A small handful of analogue books that I read repeatedly over the years (having the same books as Kindle editions wouldn't give the same enjoyment), a couple of albums (vinyl and CD's). In both these cases the output of the object is what brings the joy and being able to experience that joy at a time of my choosing means the physical object alo brings that joy.

Otherwise, it is the product of some of my possessions that is joyful- an image from my camera that captures exactly what I wanted to show- viewing something I have not seen before through my telescope eyepiece.

Clothes might make me happy- putting on a comfortable pair of jeans or boots. Not joy though.
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Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
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Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2019, 10:50:20 pm »
I had a chess career (weak-to-moderate amateur) that lasted from about 1972, when I first earned to play "properly" to around the time that my youngest child left school (she was 33 last Sunday). So over 30 years. I have kept a very large number of the scoresheets on which I wrote the moves of those games. I played quite well in some of those games and it gives me a lot of pleasure that they are still around. I ought to put them on a website somewhere because some of the games are quite good.

That piece of paper represents a happy memory, rather like my fishing reels. Similarly, every so often I delve through the archives of this forum and re-read some of my old ride reports. That gives me a lot of pleasure, but that's because of the memories associated with the thing. With my piano. I have very few memories of playing which give me pleasure: it's the ability to play and enjoy what I do. It's much more spontaneous. Although my piano is a thing of great beauty (1936 Blüthner) both visually and aurally, I can lose myself when I am playing it. There's very little that beats finishing your breakfast and then spending an hour or so playing Bach preludes & fugues.

It's also something I can share. If I work very hard on a piece, I can make a reasonable fist of performing it. In May, my friend Ruth NOTP (she was in my music group at college and we've known each other since we were 18) had her 65th birthday and I recorded "Traumerei" from Schumann's "Kinderszenen" for her. She was very appreciative. I also shared that with my friend Penny (also NOTP) and she told me that she was reduced to floods of tears when she heard it. "My mum used to play that," she said. She told me I played it better than her mum had. So that gave me pleasure as well - being able to share something.

It just wouldn't be the same on a modern piano made in the far east.

But that's indirect joy arising out of possessions. I think it starts to get all existential from here...
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

Re: Joy in possessions
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2019, 06:56:11 am »
Just the one: my Hilleberg Nammatj 3GT tent.