Monthly Archives: November 2008

Post-Thanksgiving Poem: “Gift” by Czeslaw Milosz

I’m clearing paper off my desk and found this poem which has floated around on one or another desktop for years. It’s time to share this lovely thought, even if it’s not exactly a summer day outside. Like Milosz, I feel so grateful to be alive.

Gift by Czeslaw Milosz

A day so happy.
Fog lifted early, I worked in the garden.
Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers.
There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.
I knew no one worth envying him.
Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.
To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me.
In my body I felt no pain.
When straightening up, I saw the blue sea and sails.

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Filed under Inspiration & encouragement

Possessed shoppers poleax Wal-Mart employee

Possessed: v. urgently desirous to do or have something, influenced or controlled by something (as an evil spirit, a passion, or an idea), crazed

Poleaxed: v. to attack, strike, or fell as if with a battle ax (poleax)

What have we come to as a society, when holiday shoppers are so anxious for a bargain that they will trample a store employee to death? We’re not talking about starving people rampaging for food.

These folks are rampaging for CRAP – cheesy gifts for their loved ones who are already paralyzed by having more toys than they can ever use.

From today’s paper:

At 4:55 a.m., just five minutes before the doors were set to open, a crowd of 2,000 anxious shoppers started pushing, shoving and piling against the locked sliding glass doors of the Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, N.Y., Nassau County police said. The shoppers broke the doors off their hinges and surged in, toppling a 34-year-old temporary employee, Jdimypai Damour, 34, of Jamaica, Queens, who had been waiting with other workers in the store’s entryway.People did not stop to help the employee as he lay on the ground, and they pushed against other Wal-Mart workers who were trying to aid Mr. Damour. The crowd kept running into the store even after the police arrived, jostling and pushing officers who were trying to perform CPR, the police said.

“They were like a stampede,” said Nassau Det. Lt. Michael Fleming. “Hundreds of people walked past him, over him or around him.”

My heart breaks for this young man’s family.

This Christmas my family is giving nothing or just regifting for the adults. The two grandkids will get a couple of things, but mostly we’ll be doing stuff together. None of us needs anything.

What are you doing?

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Filed under Attachment - Vairagya, Spiritual lessons

Poor me: from posh to pauper

Poor: adj. characterized by poverty, lacking an adequate supply, exciting pity

Posh: adj. typical of or intended for the upper classes

Pauper: n. a person with little or no money, a person destitute of means except such as are derived from charity

I shouldn’t feel sorry for myself. And really, I don’t because I have so so much for which to be grateful.

BUT.

In the space of a few months my situation has gone from middle class comfortable to precarious. If I didn’t know that there are millions of others like me out there, I’d be totally freaked out. With each plunge of the markets (stock and housing) I watch my life savings flutter away into the skies like the autumn leaves I just raked on Re-wind.

I always knew that some day I’d need to move into smaller digs. At times, when the yard work or home upkeep seems overwhelming, I actually look forward to living in a tiny place.  But like so many, I envisioned that time to be years in the future.

Now it appears that time is upon me.

The question is: how do I get from where I am today – in this comfy house full of family treasures (including my mother’s baby grand piano and antique dining table, boxes of photos, framed art) – to the small digs I can afford?

It’s one thing to downsize when you can get a decent price for the stuff you must jettison in the process.  It’s something else when you have to unload valuable things at a big loss (like my house – my biggest investment!).  In another five or ten years my kids might live in large or permanent enough spaces to take these precious family heirlooms, but the stuff can’t wait.  That hurts.

All the kids will be here for Christmas, so maybe they’ll have some good ideas about my down-sizing plan. Or maybe I’ll just have Santa bring me a sugar daddy.

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Filed under Downsizing, Selling stuff