Thursday, November 06, 2014

Stuff and Bother

So it seems the Lord wants to make sure I don't get too full of myself by having two delightful days in a row. Or, perhaps I could just say that some days are good and feel good, and some days have good stuff in them which is made evident in contrast of bad feelings.

Right now what is on my mind is possessions and possessiveness. (Ooh! a word with three double-s sets. Can you tell I've gone back to drinking coffee?)

Two observations: many years ago when I was married without kids, there was a priest I knew who was starting his own branch of the Carmelite order. (He's another story, which this is not about. Ditto coffee.) But here's the thing: every time I would walk into my basement, I would have this thought that was connected to him, the gospel, and my need to divest myself of "stuff." To get rid of things, and to not accumulate more. And that was, as I said, before kids.

Except in those days, I responded to my thoughts with a sort of "yeah...." apathy engendered by it being an unlived, unshared ideal. A private thought in my private brain. And so I never really did much about it.

As years have passed, I realize that this was a little nudge from heaven. And I realize I have to nurture nudges from heaven by talking about them with others. And acting on them.

Which leads me to my second observation: I've witnessed in my own life and in the lives of others that when moments of trial clear and we have come through them, there is a natural tendency to declutter our space. Suddenly, stuff looks stifling and we realize someone else might need the things we have.

I love simplicity, but I live with stuff. Stuff is somewhat inevitable with growing kids with changing needs and interests. But it does frustrate me to have to maintain stuff, especially stuff that's not of my choosing. It's hard enough for me to maintain the stuff that is of my choosing.

And of course, the chaos of stuff reminds me of deeper issues of possessiveness, of keeping, of needing, of wanting, that rub me raw in all the ways that remind me that to be human is to be a walking, gaping, aching need. Contingent being and all that.

Which is fine.

It just feels, you know, meh. Muddling through life. Some days we gracefully leap through life like a ballerina. Some days we blob with one sock falling down and our pants feeling too tight. But both are a type of forward motion. So, it's fine.

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