December 24, 2004

"Visions Of Sugarplums"

I'm not sure what a 'sugar plum' is. Perhaps if they were encapsulated within a glass paperweight, they might look something like these:

Those are three paperweights that used to belong to my Mother. Actually, Dad had bought them, and he took most of them with him when he left. But he left behind these three, presumably because she liked them a lot. I like them, too.

I have now so many beautiful lovely things. The table is filled with the new arrivals, mostly brass bells and candlesticks. There was only one thing Julia and I could do. Well, there was the option of packing them away unseen in boxes. I didn't like that option. We needed a bookcase, anyway. We needed one prior to this increase in our material possessions. And now we really need one.

So that is our Christmas present to each other. We found just the thing at a large furniture dealer just outside of Yuma. The owner bought this set which proved to be too large for his house, but they were willing to sell the pieces individually. I could see Julia's eyes light up, too, with the thought of this rather tall and majestic bookcase in our house.

All our other furniture items will pale in splendour compared to it. The dealer first showed us a huge bookcase with glass doors in the fashionable 'stressed' style. 'Stressed style', that's for the rich. Our stuff has earned its stressed look the hard way. I didn't want 'stressed'. Metal bookshelves, planks on bricks and assembled crates, that's our usual style.

It will be nice to have one truly elegant piece.

December 26, 2004

"Treasures of the Heart"

Yesterday's fortune cookie was quite thought provoking:

"Write your name on your heart, and not on marble."

I pondered its meaning out loud to Julia. On marble, it is a cold thing, a grasping thing that seeks fame and recognition as an essential thing to prop up one's flagging self-esteem. But this is a false pride. The true pride finds all of its justification WITHIN: "I have done this. I have done that. I am a happy person. I create beautiful things. I am working on my communication skills. I am learning what I can and can't change via direct action and magical action." These are some things I take pride in. These are not dependent on a large admiring crowd. They may or not be there written in marble for others to see, but they are there on my heart.

Thus, the pride remains in matters of the spirit. I think too, of my material possessions. I enjoy these beautiful items very much. But what if thieves were to break in and steal them? How would I react then? There would be a certain element of mourning. I must consider the possibility, for in truth, all this stuff is temporary. Yet, I rejoice in my ability to enjoy these things. But the important thing is my enjoyment of these things, not the things themselves. The power must always be in me, not outside of me.

Thus it is, even in the material, our strength lies with the spiritual. And what of matters of the heart concerning LOVE? Many religions command their fellowers to love one another. But does love really work under a command? All real love arises from a natural font, without command. And then there's the flip side of this. If love from us can be commanded, then we can attempt to command love from others. But this only leads to misery. The love from me must exist for its own sake, not demanding from others a reply. Then it is free and not 'attached'.

And I feel better for saying so, for this release. Then I can regard everyone with an equanimity of spirit. I feel so much freer.

Without this realization I am helpless and dependent, needing people's approval. I was like this as a teenager. Even while I had fought so hard against my family's restraints, a part of me still hungered for their approval.

There will be those who disapprove of me, and this is okay. They are free to have their own opinion. There will be some who 'approve', who are able to rejoice in what ever I am able to contribute, and this is fine at that. I will not make demands on the number or who they are. It is simply sufficient that there have been those people. I can never be the true 'orphan', for love has found me, as I am and taken me in.

Even though I am now without a mother, I am not a true 'orphan', for I remember that she did love me. She used to say that her two kids were the best things in her life. Her life might not have gone the way she wanted it to. She often struggled with sadness, and yet she rejoiced in being parent to two children and all the promise of our lives. Yes, I carry her love with me, I do.

And I carry Laura's love with me, always, as well. She communicated it to me often: "I can never, if I lived to be a thousand years old, tell you enough about how special I know you to be." I carry her love with me in my heart, and thus it cannot be lost.

And I have Julia along beside me, now. Her present love is precious. We have a good life together.

With these treasures of the heart, I am among the wealthiest indeed.

December 27, 2004

"Treasures of the Hearth"

The new bookcase arrived today, and I filled two shelves with the new treasures and a few pieces I'd had from before. I judged my picks well, finding places through out the house for each of them, except for one which was put into storage. It is curious. At the time, I thought it would likely go there, but the bell labeled CYMRU at the top, and with three 19th century Welsh ladies below it was quirky enough that I wanted it anyway.

A couple of the bells have Christmas deco on them. This will be year round deco!

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