Throwing out a treasured possession

This week I am sorting through some old things and I have decided to get rid of the cassette pictured above. It contains a recording of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor (audio). It is also the first cassette I owned and the last cassette I owned because I’ve held on to it for precisely the reason that it is the first cassette that I owned. My parents bought it for me back in the 1980s.

I upgraded most of my cassettes to CD and MP3 several years ago. I’m not even sure if I have a cassette player to play it – there is probably one in my garage somewhere but if it is still there, it is on the list to go.

Sometimes getting rid of such possessions can be difficult and as a result, one ends up with too much cluttering our houses. Keeping one cassette will not hurt, but I’m trying to be brutal this month about what I keep and what I throw out. We place too much value on the physical possession when in fact the value should be attached to the memories and experience that the possession provided. The reality is that I will never forget the memories of receiving the cassette and playing it even if I no longer have the cassette. The memories are in me, not the cassette. Every time I hear the Toccata and Fugue in D minor I get a warm feeling. I was in St Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest whilst an organist played it and the sounds brought back fond memories.

I have not been able to find a CD that contains the same recordings but it does not matter – I will be able to find the music again if I want it. Time to reduce my possessions by one, treasure the memories and move on. It will go to a charity shop and maybe someone else can enjoy it.

(A cassette tape is a plastic case containing magnetic tape wound on two reels. In the 20th and early 21st century, us oldies used to play them on cassette players. There are people today who have never seen one.)

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