When I say pants, I mean underwear.
As far as I know, trousers, as in pants, as they say in America, isn’t funny; pants as in underpants in the UK, is. At least to me. It is used as an expression, ‘Oh, pants,’ which means, not very good or rubbish, e.g. ‘the film was pants.’
I didn’t take my pants to the charity shop.
I didn’t think that appropriate, my socks either.
I delivered several sacks of shirts and jumpers and bags and bags of books.
Eventually the young woman at the shop advised me I had brought too many, ‘You could bring the rest another day,’ she suggested.
I don’t know if they have a limit or a maximum carrying capacity for middle-aged clothes and books or, perhaps, their storage space is limited.
Suffice it to say, I brought one box and one bag home. They are back in my garage. They have moved around like the Wandering Jew, like my wandering library, some of which have travelled with me as I have relocated over the years.
I was a little surprised that there were very few books for sale in the shop. This was a positive in that I didn’t bring home more than I took although it seemed strange. Perhaps they send the books off to a second-hand book store like the one in Alnwick.
Thinned down by a few books I feel lighter. There is more room to move in my office. I am unsure what next. I did consider ploughing through my computer files; I don’t have the heart, or the patience or impatience.
I made an earlier reference to my wandersomeness as a Jew. For two millennia, my people have moved around, mostly expelled, kicked out or forced to flee persecution. Part of this is why Israel is such a big thing to many Jews. It is the one place that fundamentally won’t expel or persecute us for being Jewish.
My reason for alluding to my religious and ethnic origins (which incidentally came-up during Covid when I wasn’t considered ‘BAME’ (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) despite their having been a disproportionate effect of the virus on those of Jewish ancestry and ethnicity)*, is, the concept that Jews are the ‘People of the Book’ – the book being the Torah or the Five Books of Moses or the Pentateuch.
I find this odd, as the same Adam and Eve story is followed by Christians and Muslims, yet, the Jews are the ones who are considered the Book People.
I have always had a strong affinity toward books. I know there are likely as many Jews who see books as a waste of time and prefer to follow football, cricket or horse-jumping.
If you drop a Hebrew prayer book you are taught as a young Jew to pick it up as quickly as possible and give it a kiss. I think the fate of a person dropping the actual Torah or the parchment scrolls themselves is worse.
When a Jewish prayer book is past the point of use because of torn or worn pages or perhaps new editions are published, the thing is not to take them to Barnardo’s or throw them away, it is to offer them a full-on burial, as you might a person.
In the synagogue, when the rabbi reads from the Torah, again, the paper is considered so sacred that a pointer or, ‘Yad’ (hand in Hebrew) is required to mark his place.
Books however are meaningless, they are pigment on paper. They have no inherent value (I could have driven up to Alnwick myself to sell the books; I am sure that wouldn’t have covered the price of the petrol or electricity had I taken my Niro and stayed overnight.)
And yet, the invention of the printing press led to a revolution that we are still experiencing albeit in digital documentation; Wikileaks and various exposés relating to the underbelly of our nation-states has change history.
Putin, in censoring electronic and printed words about the war in Ukraine has allowed himself more time to murder. Ultimately, the truth will find its way. Although if you are a farmer in North Korea you might be thinking, ‘When? It has been a long time…’
Today’s Guardian carried an essay, ‘It felt like history itself’ – 48 protest photographs that changed the world.
Words are powerful, pictures more so.
I haven’t thrown-out any photographs. I am not sure if I ever will.
Photos have undergone a transformation in the past 20 years, from the little packets you would carry with you and share with family and friends, to jpegs on your hard drive.
I am sure I have too many unnecessary photos. You can purchase software that helps clean-out your drives. Goodness knows how many unnecessary photos I will have.
Too many photos.
Too many books.
Too many pants.
Much too much.
*In researching this blog I have discovered that as of 2021, BAME is no longer used by the UK government. I am not sure what is now used to describe non-white folk. It is surely complicated.