The impermanence of things

Nothing can last forever. Yuri Semenov, overseer of the deorbiting of the Mir space station.

It’s true.  I’ve never been made aware of anything: animal, vegetable, or mineral, that lasts forever.  And, as humans, it’s very difficult for us to deal with this reality.  We don’t expect the end of things and this makes their ending even more devastating and unpopular.  We mourn the loss of pets, relationships, television shows, money…any number of things that had we thought about it in the first place, we’d realize the impermanence of it all.

Recently, C. and I went to see Toy Story 3 which is probably one of the two best films I’ve seen this year.  It deals with Andy, the toy “owner” and his impending collegiate years.  Andy is leaving for school and his mother insists that he either donate the toys or take them to the attic.  The rest of the film is what happens to the toys when they are separated from Andy.  I won’t ruin it for you.  Instead, I’d like to tell you about my toys.  I’ve been a Star Wars collector since 1978 when Kenner first produced 3 3/4″ SWoriginal12action figures.  I can’t begin to tell you the hours I’ve spent organizing this collection, reorganizing this collection, poring over catalogs, flea market bins, websites.  At first, I dragged my parents all over the city searching rack upon rack for the Han Solo with the black vest and puffy white sleeves.  Then, in later years, my friends and I would cover for each other as we snuck into the back room at Toys ‘R Us or Target to search for unopened boxes of action figures.  Nowadays, the figures and other paraphernalia languish in Rubbermaid containers in the basement for lack of play, lack of space, lack of time, lack of desire.  Nothing can last forever. I’ve thought about selling the whole bit, but have been talked down off that ledge by more than one person.  Often times, I’d like to go down there and really get settled in to collecting again, but my heart (nor my wallet) isn’t in it.  I opened all of my toys.  It’s your call on whether that makes them less valuable, but I love each piece down there and could probably tell you where I got most of it.

I cried at the end of Toy Story 3.  I’m man enough to admit that.  If you see it, I think you’ll understand why.  But the importance of this film is that nothing really lasts forever, even little plastic toys that are 30+ years old.  Things change and people change.  You have to be able to adapt to that and let it happen because there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

See you in the funny papers!

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