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Monday, November 15, 2010

Gentle ripping and kind repair


"I got plenty of nuthin',
And nuthin's plenty for me.
I got the sun, got the stars,
Got the deep blue sea. . . "
-Gershwin

Someone  ran off with all my stuff.

A stranger broke into my home and stole my history.  Every thing of material value is gone. My computer. All my fine jewelry; most of it original to my Swedish grandmother.  A beautiful opal ring I purchased after the death of my mother.  All my pearls; a life-time collection.

Losing valuables is like losing a piece of one's heart.

At first I thought the loss was my fault.  I misplaced them, I thought.  Hid them under the bed, behind the couch. 

Why would anyone target me?  The goods, I thought, had to be stashed right under my nose, and it was I alone who did the shashing. Anything else was unthinkable.
The police confirmed the robbery.  My friends fussed over my vulnerability.  I clucked at their concern, and assured them I changed the locks, secured the windows.

But when the shadows fell and the evening came, I dug again through my underwear drawer, looking for my lost jewelry.

If course, the stuff was not stashed.  It was gone.  Someone meticulously took it.  Ripped me off.  Hurt my feelings, took away all my trust. 

At first, I missed everything I lost.  I missed my rings. I missed communicating with ease on my comfortable, familiar computer. I missed waking in the morning to the glass box of beautiful pearls on my dresser; the hand-knotted, perfect treasures I polished and adored.
Then it happened.

Like a wash of white light, I stopped caring. 

I did not forget my pink cameo ring.  No.  I can describe the sparkling garnet, surrounded by diamonds; a unique piece that will never be replaced.

I cannot forget.  But I no longer care.

I didn't ask for this cold, vague sophistication.  My indifference came with a price.  I've lost my innocence, my trust.  I've lost my investment in prettiness.  Now I know the ugly, peaceful truth of the aesthetics.  Beauty cannot be purchased or possessed.  In the end, we own nothing.  The things we hold in our hands and drape across our bodies do not become part of what and who we are. 

Security cannot be secured.  Valuables have no value.  Safety is a myth.

The insurance folks assure me that, although I will not recover the value of my "valuables," they will pay me enough to replace the lost computer. 

The rest  - the beautiful pieces of my personal history - belong to history.

And of course, to the thug who took away all my stuff.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Not sweating the little things and other lies

I know. It's been a tough month.

The Tea Party mopped up.  Sara P. seems in charge.  Obama and the boys want to play nicey-nicey and the other team is insane.

And everywhere we turn the message is the same.  The recession is over, good times are coming, and the unemployment rate is the highest since the Great Depression.

Crazy, huh?  So, what's a mother to do?

I'm trying to keep my eyes on the prize.

In times like this, my sanity is my first priority.

When I was a younger woman, easily swayed by the tides of political prejudiced, I was often discouraged.

No more.  I remember the words of my mentor, The Reverend Calvin Didier.  Cal once said, "Kristine, I'd worry about this calamity if I hadn't lived through the same thing three decades past."

With age comes this kind of tender wisdom.

So, if you're younger than fifty, take heed.  In the next decade you will begin to observe the following;
  1. Repetition of phrases you heard in your youth, like "supply side economics."
  2. Repeated reference to codgers who, once upon a time, made a good decision for the betterment of our common life.
  3. Fear tactics - constant insinuations that the end is near, and that those in power are determined to ruin our lives.
  4. An easy to solution to the difficult circumstances we navigate.
Ignore all these things and you will reach your sixties a happy camper.

That's all it takes.  That, and regular exposure to common sense ideas, decent acoustic guitar music and great conversation.

By the way - I'm available for any of the above, if you're interested.