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Poem: "What Makes a Hoard" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "What Makes a Hoard"
This poem is from the August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles, [personal profile] mdlbear, and [personal profile] callibr8. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.


"What Makes a Hoard"


What makes a hoard
instead of a pile of clutter
is the extent to which
it is known and used:

the rich man hoards cars
in a basement that he never drives

the poor woman saves blankets
to share with friends in need.

What makes a home
instead of a heap of
stuff with a cover on it
is the extent to which
it is loved and lived:

the rich man has a dozen houses
but not a single home

the poor woman has no house
but has made a hidden home.

In the course of a life,
treasures are built up and
passed along, sometimes
more and other times less,
depending on need.

Toward the end
there comes a time
to declutter, to distribute
what has been gathered.

The empty nesters
move out of a big house
to a comfy cottage or
even an apartment.

Against the coming night,
they hoard only memories.

* * *

Notes:

Hoarding is often used as a way to discriminate against poor people. The rich are rarely criticized for hoarding, even though their version of it does massively more damage on a much wider scale.

Decluttering is a way of simplifying your life, if your stuff is more trouble than it's worth to you. However, it's not a cure for everything. Read about how to declutter your home.

Downsizing to a smaller home is something that people do for various reasons, often when their household size shrinks and they retire. Here are some ideas on how to downsize your home.

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7 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: rhodielady_47 Date: August 22nd, 2017 11:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I used to know someone who was rich and he was definitely a hoarder. Walking through his house was like walking through a museum.
:^\
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 22nd, 2017 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

I've seen examples of rich or even upper middle-class people with egregious hoarding behavior. We had a relative who for a while had whole closets full of children's clothes, some with the labels never taken off! A problem caused by having several small children, not nearly enough time, and too much money. :/

On the other hoof, I've also seen people who literally turned their house or other space into a library, museum, or other usually-public type of arrangement. I know a guy with a room-sized collection of magic and game artifacts upstairs of his business. He likes to show it to friends, which is how we got to see it. Looks like the hobby-museum that noblemen used to have; he knows the provenance of every item and can recite its relevance to the field. I really hope he's written that down somewhere.

So there's another distinction between hoarding beyond whether you share it in any way: if it's organized like a museum, that's a bit different.

But I'm still tempted to call it hoarding if one person has two dozen cars in a basement garage that nobody else ever sees and never get used, when there are people without cars. The Indian in me thinks that guy is poor, which matches intrigueingly with the modern idea that hoarding comes from a sense of feeling financially insecure, and loops over to the idea of money as an addictive substance with similar drawbacks to chemical addictions.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: August 22nd, 2017 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

"The Indian in me thinks that guy is poor, which matches intrigueingly with the modern idea that hoarding comes from a sense of feeling financially insecure..."
In thinking about this, I have to say that I agree with you.
Hoarding has always seemed to me to be about someone feeling "poor" or in having felt "poor" while they were growing up. However, it often seems to me that that sort of poverty was often as much emotional poverty as it was financial poverty.
Overeating or binge-eating which could also be viewed as food-hoarding, is often done as means of avoiding dealing with your feelings/emotions.

As for your friend and "I really hope he's written that down somewhere."
I hope he has the information written down and has something written down in his will about what he wants done with it should he die. Otherwise, his prized possessions could hit the dumpster.
I had a step-cousin who died suddenly and his B-thumper half-siblings tossed all his prized possessions into the trash as well as throwing his significant other out into the street.
I'm quite serious when I say I'm an orphan on my dad's side of the family. I'm ashamed of their callous, mean-spirited behavior.
:^{
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 22nd, 2017 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

>>Hoarding has always seemed to me to be about someone feeling "poor" or in having felt "poor" while they were growing up. However, it often seems to me that that sort of poverty was often as much emotional poverty as it was financial poverty.<<

Often true. I think the solution is to find ways of developing this into a practical coping skill, rather than trying to take it away by force.

>> Overeating or binge-eating which could also be viewed as food-hoarding, is often done as means of avoiding dealing with your feelings/emotions.<<

It's related to actual food-hoarding.

>>I hope he has the information written down and has something written down in his will about what he wants done with it should he die. Otherwise, his prized possessions could hit the dumpster. <<

Unlikely given the depth of his connections in the magic community. I suspect that he's made arrangements for his stuff; it's the archival detail that could be lost.

>>I had a step-cousin who died suddenly and his B-thumper half-siblings tossed all his prized possessions into the trash as well as throwing his significant other out into the street.
I'm quite serious when I say I'm an orphan on my dad's side of the family. I'm ashamed of their callous, mean-spirited behavior.<<

That sucks. One time we provided emergency housing was to a friend whose partner had just died, and the asshole parents threw them out with no notice. This was after said parents had previously threatened to burn down the building they were both living in. 0_o
From: rhodielady_47 Date: August 23rd, 2017 01:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

That's a couple of real prizes for parents. I hope your friend was eventually able to get back on their feet after such a tragedy.

If modern Christianity doesn't wake up soon and commence "cleaning house" it's going to become an endangered religion.
:^{

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 23rd, 2017 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

>> That's a couple of real prizes for parents. I hope your friend was eventually able to get back on their feet after such a tragedy. <<

As far as I know, yes.

>> If modern Christianity doesn't wake up soon and commence "cleaning house" it's going to become an endangered religion. <<

They're certainly hemorrhaging followers.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: August 23rd, 2017 12:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

And most of what they're hemorrhaging are their young folks.
:^\
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