I think artifactual things are important to me.
In getting ready for my little brother's return from Indonesia (yay! he's back safe!), I've been sorting through things in my room, trying to see if there's anything I can throw away (we're talking paper, here, not like, huge chairs or something) to free up precious space (my brother and I share a 10x20[ish? I'm not good with numbers or estimations] room). I had the room to myself for the whole summer and quite sprawled over the whole thing. I barely had room for me at times (true story).
So anyway, now we have little Andrew sorting through things (by this I mean a stack of papers [and paper-like things] sitting at the foot of my bed), trying to see what I can throw away. And of course by "throw away" I mean "recycle."
The alternative to recycling the papers is either to a) Use them in a fantastically cool way somehow to decorate my room or b) keep them in the stack.
Most of the stuff I kept in the stack. I threw out a fair amount of papers and things (and found my Portland State University ID, woo hoo!), but for the most part it just didn't seem like the little guys's time had come. And when I did throw things away (talking recycling, here), I honestly felt like I was ending a life. Like I was saying to the thing, you're no good. I've looked you all over, and I find no potential in you.
I think I personify* things too easily. That is, I see them too easily as people. And, oh my goodness, I can't even begin to tell you what I see people as. If I see a card I got in the mail from my dentist reminding me about an upcoming checkup as a pretty close friend, imagine the weight I put on relationships around me.
No wonder I get tired.
So anyway, all this to say I hold artifactual things, the things around me, pretty high. I enjoy putting things up on my wall, and these things remind me of things. They might remind me of an event (the book pass, for example, I had to get for the copies of So Brave, Young and Handsome and Peace Like a River I was bringing into Powell's to get signed by Leif Enger) or they might just be there because they're aesthetic pleasing. Whatever they're there for, they're an expression of myself. As with the other aspects of my life, the movies I make, the conversations I have, the things I draw. Expressing myself, for better or for worse, is all I can do. It's all I can really hope to do through my life and my work and my interaction. Maybe there's more I could do, if I were a stronger, braver person. But, for now, this is all I really can do. God grant me the grace to do it well.
*this word is used incorrectly here.