Back in the twentieth century, I once heard a children’s sermon where the clergyman urged his small listeners not to kick their socks under the bed. The audience shifted uncomfortably in their seats, convicted by the man who could see under their beds!

A nineteenth-century clergyman once urged an idealistic young adult correspondent not to strive for great spiritual feats, but to take up the enormous challenge of always getting up immediately upon waking and not to drowse.

That is the level of ascesis I am working at in this blog, very basic, but no less ascesis for all that. I am not interested in writing about high theological matters, and grow impatient with such reading when I am daily facing my appetite for novelty and holding a political stance that thinks highly of the marketplace.

This blog is intended to be about the clash between my sincere admiration for the glittering kaleidoscope of the bazaar on the one hand, which could also be called coveting and avarice, and on the other my attempts to overcome my packratting-hoarding-cluttering, all sidelit through the prism of my varied experiences and the unusual constraints of my living situation. As you must suspect, there will be musings on religion as well as exhortations for readers (just not me) to buy (or perhaps denigrate) the desirable items I profile – for themselves or for others.

This blog could be thought of as a list of things that don’t make the cut to enter my life; but it is much more than that, because I sincerely believe the items I will highlight are worthy of ownership or giving at the prices advertised – just not by me, maybe by you.

It is not principally a blog about being a recovering hoarder, because I simply take too much joy in the marketplace. It is not, however, a blog about just wanting things. There are other sites for those. This blog is about the conflict. Not meaning to be pompous (but so being), a string that is limp makes no sound, while a string that is too tight snaps; but there is a level of tension at which the string can sing.

All comments will be moderated, because a blog like this will be a magnet for people who have things they want me to profile. I can find plenty of desirable stuff on my own, thanks. There are other sites unambiguously devoted to selling and I urge sellers to use those sites.

I hope you find this blog amusing, but I am creating it because of my own struggle, and ask commenters to please be gentle with me and one another.

The header of this blog is from the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy: The Three Wise Men” (named Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar). Detail from: “Mary and Child, surrounded by angels”, mosaic of a Ravennate italian-byzantine workshop, completed within 526 AD by the so-called “Master of Sant’Apollinare”. The photographer of the image from which this was cropped is Nina Aldin Thune.

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