giving. . .

by mulberryshoots


I think I’m making progress on my summer project, clearing and cleaning things out of our home, providing for more space in between and opening up the way that we live to a more simple place (real and imagined.)

In the process, I have noticed that I have been ruminating about myself and habits that are so ingrained that I am not so aware they are even there. Like wanting to give people things. I’m the grande dame of present-giving–a benefit or a burden for many, depending upon how they view it (my intention and the object.) I like to put things aside in the bottom drawer of a chest of drawers to save for the coming Christmas, for example. But as time has passed, Christmas, a well-worn ritual or tradition in our family has slowly dissipated, like a sand castle on the beach, lapped by the incoming tide as the afternoon of my life wears on.

Something happened recently where a gift that I sent to someone arrived completely broken into pieces. I was shocked because I had wrapped it (I thought) especially carefully in a wooden Japanese box, then nestled into another larger box full of styrofoam peanuts. Alas, the fragile contents never made it intact. Worse yet, it was an unwelcome surprise to the person it was intended for, and added to the pain that I had meant to assuage. Rather, the Universe put down a lesson for me. Which is to stop doing that any longer. People don’t really want “things” when they are in pain. That this broken box brought even more fragments to deal with was something not to be ignored. So, I started thinking about where the gift-giving intention arose from (perhaps feeling I am myself not enough without bearing gifts.) And concluded that it’s time for a change.

I had also thought that my children might want to have some of the things I’ve collected over the years later on. But, they have small houses with not even enough room for their own things, let alone more things of mine. So, it’s off to the auction house next week to skim off the crust of things as a start.

Everything seems to be circular these days. Cleaning out, thinking about intentions– such as they were, finding outlets, moving things out, starting their usefulness over again. Over and over. Just like us, I think. This summer of reflection has been sobering and rejuvenating in its own way. There’s no good in having regrets about follies of the past; or even excessiveness from another place in time. Although I’ve had a bunch, believe me.