Minimalism, the daily art of owning only those things that bring joy and purpose to your being. While I secretly crave a Marie Kondo life, the truth is I see potential joy and purpose in almost everything. Over the last decade we have gathered a lot of potential. I have been in mourning over letting go—my books, letters, gifts, memories.

Then my friend Frances had wise words for me. I paraphrase: maybe home isn’t a place, but a mindset. Migrating birds must take it with them.

My perspective shifted like one of those stone puzzles in a cinematic temple of doom. With a resounding click, and some appropriate B movie music score in the background, I made a connection.

We often talk of being othered, of being an out of place diaspora, of being without roots. Most of us feel that way regardless of race, sex, religion, education, etc. I know I grew up feeling that way. One day it occured to me that being between is also a valid place to exist. I can think of it as not belonging in two worlds, or as being a part of both.

I can worry about my responsibility for all the objects we’ve gathered over the last decade, or I can enjoy the process of letting it all go. Is it dead weight or dead wait?

The opposite of dead wait is living forward.

By Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Shimanchu-American and award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years of experience as a professional writer in nonfiction. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), producer of the Exercise Your Writes YouTube podcast, two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020, find her at

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