Escape the Matrix

Everyone’s* talking about escaping the matrix and since that is essentially what this blog is (now) about, I’d better explain what that means to me.  This blog is me documenting my practical application of this idea.  If my blog was previously the practical application of becoming ‘spiritually awake’, now it’s the practical application of ok, I believe it’s a matrix, now I’m going to set about tearing it down brick by brick.

What does it mean, or, what’s the practical application of:

  1. You realise/know/agree with people who say, that this is all a dream/illusion/creation of our minds/holographic universe/computer programme (pick the one that works for you)
  2. You want to get out/free your mind (and thereby change your life)

*Not strictly true: no one talks about it where I work, but it is all over YouTube.

I recently spent a weekend sorting out all my old photographs.  ‘Good luck with that’, my friend Jane said when I told her what I was planning to do.  She was right, it was hard.  All the old tattered colour-bled albums, the kooky photo frames I used to collect, the wallets of photographs that had never been sorted.  Sitting on the floor of the spare room for the best part of two days, back aching, surrounded by piles and piles of photographs, and the past, thirty years of memories, people, the emotion of looking at all the baby pictures, that past life…  The task itself was hard too and I felt stagnant in the middle and almost defeated when I realised I had missed a couple of piles and had to go back.

Seeing the past fly by, the bits I could just put in the bin, my farewell lunch of my first job, me with a bouquet.  A night out with friends I don’t see any more.  Me at seventeen, bottle feeding a kitten, at fifteen, looking radiantly happy surrounded by cats on a visit to a cat sanctuary.  I’ve always been the same…  Or at least, I still love cats, even if everything else has changed beyond recognition.

At the end, all the empty albums and photo frames in a huge pile, the unsalvageable ones went in the bin, the okay ones to the charity shop.  Even the albums themselves had attachments for me.  The fruits of my labours:  two brand new albums of family photographs.  I got in the car and drove to the charity shop just in time to drop off the old albums and photo frames and then to my son’s house to give him the new albums to have/take care of.

Driving home that evening, yes partly the feeling of a big task completed, but the leaving the photo albums, which had sat under my bed in dusty boxes, a huge and un faceable task for so long, and now, all done, three wastepaper bins of photographs thrown out without a backward glance…  It made me so light, gave me such a burst of energy, like nuclear fusion or the big bang, that I went home and went for an hour long walk across the fields, then moved two wheelbarrow loads of bricks and washed the kitchen floor (a rare occurrence), and stayed up hyper and not hungry, til 1am, couldn’t wind down.  A burst of almost manic energy that was so startling to me, and that gave me all the proof I needed, as if I needed any, that this theory really is true, that de cluttering/letting go really does do something.

I’ve also, in several waves, as I found this really hard as well, got rid of sheets, pillowcases, duvet covers.  I would never have believed** attachments to these could be so strong, maybe it’s the memories of all those nights, babies, sick children, those things have been everywhere with you, seen everything.

**so close to beloved that when I made a mistake the spell check originally corrected it as such.

Other stuff: my great grandmother’s mother of pearl octagon shaped little coffee table; a little inlaid box my father brought me back from Egypt when I was a child; paua shells picked up from the beach in New Zealand; all jewellery (including grandmother’s and mother’s) bar the rings, bangles and stud earrings that I wear every day and one pair of gold sparkly earrings for the weekends.  All my old vintage clothes and evening bags; my wedding dress; my wedding party dress; my grandmother’s crockery, baking tins and kitchen scales.  Every single one of my books, and believe me, I once loved those books.  Our lovely red sitting room, the scene of so much fun, so much enjoyed.  All my old childhood books and most of my son’s, just a few set aside for him.

Old phone numbers.  My career: I’ve just gone down to four days a week, beginning the process of letting go of twenty years of conditioning.  All news media.  The Archers.  Radio 4:  There was once a radio comedy sketch of what The Archers sounds like to people who don’t listen to it regularly, with a pastiche of Tom going on about his sausages, Ruth worrying about the cows, Alistair getting called out to a lame horse…  Well this is what Radio 4 sounded like to me the last time I listened to it, like a pastiche of Radio 4:  the comedy sketch show making an I’m-sure-I’ve-heard-this-before joke about what good is NASA, they haven’t even found the Clangers.   The Today programme presenters- the gruff interrogator, so good at what he does but always, always the same, doesn’t he ever get bored of playing devil’s advocate, of being that hard?  My husband read out a thing from an ‘escape the matrix’ website about giving up news media, it said, I can tell you what the news will be for the next ten years, wars, natural disaster, terrorism, murders, sex offences…


My husband said he would do the stationery drawer.  I was pleased; there’s probably a couple of things I am attached to, a small calculator I’ve had for as long as I can remember, a scented eraser in a box, but I haven’t been in there for ages and could let go of it all, although I’d find it easier if someone else did it.  He said, there’s all this stuff in there that we keep because we live in a house and we’ve got cupboards and drawers, things like hole punches and staplers, but I can’t remember the last time I used a hole punch or a stapler at home.  He’s right, me neither.