Gratitude Sunday: Desire And Reality

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

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Sunday Haiku
Gray hastens over
the sky, blue peeks through silver
clouds, briefly, blinking.

Sunday Musings
Last week I talked about philosophy and knowledge. I asked the question my former philosophy professor asked: what do you know? Knowledge is a slippery thing, reality even more ephemeral.

Let’s randomly ramble around a different question this week: what do you want?

There’s a difference between what you want and what you need. My needs are simple: a solid roof and secure home, a little food, clean clothes, a comfy bed and clean linens, some heat in the winter, some air in the summer, new slippers when I wear out the old ones, a working car or access to transportation. I could do without (and I have done so) a few of these items on the list, albeit with less comfort. In my aging I find I am in greater need of comfort, smaller comforts. Most of us need some variation of this list.

Oh, but I have a rich fantasy life full of so many things I think I want. Notice the operative phrase: I think. Since I’ve never had any money, and mostly limited in available choices, I don’t really know I want what I think I want because I’ve never had it and very unlikely to obtain it in the future. Would I know how to take care of it all? Having more means taking care of more. And there we are back to what do I know. See how circular and difficult fantasy is when you think about it too much? And how much of wanting is tied up with reality? Does wanting equal deserving? Just so you know, I think everybody deserves all good things to keep them comfortable and happy. Just because you are. And do not mistake this thought for entitlement.

The Gamble House in Pasadena, California

The Gamble House in Pasadena, California

OK, I’m ready to play. I want a large Craftsman style house full of rich polished wood and stained glass, with a covered swimming pool out back, and acres of land with a farm to produce my own food. I want a staff to take care of it all, including a cook, housekeeper, maid, cabana boy, gardener, and mechanic. I want a classic Jaguar to drive. I want a fabulous job I don’t have to work at because I own the business and can pay other people to do the work. And another house at the beach, with a similar staff, with a driver to get me there any time I want.

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There. Now you know how greedy I am. Where did I get the idea I should have, or want these things? I’m gonna blame the media and my wild imagination. TV shows, movies, magazines, news shows, and those street of dreams shows. And books. Where you can create whatever you want in words and imagination. You don’t even need pictures.

I don’t need those things. I want them. I desire them. The desire burns me. The desire frightens me. To not be satisfied with the small needed abundances I have and continue to desire other things that cannot and will not be obtained is a futile waste of time and brain space. Or is it? Could the fantasy be a useful tool to soothe myself? I have what I need. The creation of a space with fantastical comforts may just be a way to stop thinking about every day concerns. A simple, or elaborate, ethereal escape. Maybe not even desire at all. Perhaps even delusional.

Hwell, now. Wasn’t that fun? All kinds of interesting thoughts about wanting, desire, reality, and delusion. I revealed one of my escape fantasies. Another fantasy is far simpler, the one where I’m walking on a beach, a warm breeze blowing my loose-fitting dress around my legs. Walking, walking, simply walking on the sand, no worries or concerns, absorbing the sun, feeling my legs and arms move, squishing sand between my toes, the sound of the surf in my ears, the moist salt air in my nose and lungs and caressing my skin. Just walking.

Henry Margetson's "Poseidon's Mistress by the Shore"

Henry Margetson’s “Poseidon’s Mistress by the Shore”

See how easy that is? From frivolous to simple. I won’t tell you all my fantasies. I might bore you. It’s your turn to play. Take a few minutes in a comfortable place, and dream. If you could dream your perfect home, your most fabulous ride, your dream vacation, without regard to cost or how or why, what would you desire? Can you come up with more than one? Can you create a simple one? Can you use it as an escape and not become entangled in the real wanting, the suffering of feeling like you don’t have enough?

More than 50 percent of Americans live below the poverty level, most on a fixed income. Many of us have a wealth of abundance we do not even see, because our cash flow may be low. Consumerism is such a part of our lives we often don’t see what we have because we are so busy wanting and buying more.

Wealth is so much more than desire and the stuff in your life. Wealth includes things you can’t touch like the love and support of family and friends (long distance or short distance), the giggles of babies, the movement of your body, fresh air to walk in, clean water to drink. Wealth includes the ability to grieve those we’ve lost, the sharing of time together with loved ones, opening your heart to the universe and your god. Wealth includes wanting and forgiveness and passion and silence.

What do you want? Be fanciful.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – A patch of all-colored zinnias in the public area that welcomes people to our little burg.

Zinnias

Zinnias

A border of cheerful marigolds in autumn colors still blooming. marigold-sparky1 My favorite autumn plant, the orange globes of the Chinese lantern plant. dscn9492

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Your Sister’s Sister (2012, rated R) a little love story with an ambiguous ending. * Season three of The Blacklist (2015, not rated) because James Spader. * Giant (1956, not rated), the classic with Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean. Took me two nights to watch this almost 4 hour epic movie based on an Edna Ferber novel. So many young stars, Carole Baker, Rod Taylor, Dennis Hopper, Sal Mineo, Mercedes McCambridge. If you don’t know these names I recommend a course in classic film. Not only is Texas oil profits in question, but this movie also takes a stand on racism while the civil rights movement is still nascent. I recommend watching classic movies just so one can connect with the cultural references. * Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015, rated PG-13), and finally we are back to a Star wars that makes sense. I did not understand the last three movies, but then I’m not immersed in the culture of the games and the books. So for me, an average viewer, it was nice to enjoy a movie I could understand, and not just be impressed by the special effects.

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Currently ReadingWhy the Right Went Wrong: From Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond (2016, politics) by E. J. Dionne Jr. I tried keeping a score card. I still can’t keep up with who’s who and who did what and why. That still doesn’t justify taking advantage of your constituency just because we can’t keep up with all the shenanigans. Eileen (2015, fiction) by Ottessa Moshfegh. I’m not far into this novel listed as a thriller. The plot has not yet revealed itself, and I suspect an unreliable narrator, but we are in the interesting necessarily self-involved world of a lonely neglected woman.

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This week I have been grateful for:

  • Honoring the opinions of other people even when we differ.
  • Pondering some different pathways for my future and starting to get some plans in place.
  • My imagination.
  • Moving toward retirement and figuring out what I want.
  • The ability in America to keep fighting to rise above poverty level. Whether I make it or not.
  • Finding an old family friend I’d been thinking about for the last year. Not that he’s old, just that I’ve known him many years.
  • My cousin’s wife, the mother of an eight year old son, who, while in the hospital, had a stroke that went unobserved by the doctors and nurses who tended her until it was too late and they had to scramble to remove the bottom half of her leg because of no circulation for 40 hours. Their misfortune is not what I would wish upon anyone but I am grateful she is alive, and home, and their family is adjusting to their new reality.
  • Today marking 17 years in my house. Nearly as long as I spent growing up in my family home.
  • How fresh the air is after rain.
  • This week the switch flipped a few days ahead of the movement of the sun’s autumnal equinox. Gray showery days with glimpses of the sun, rain, cooler air, and beautiful autumn colors are upon us.
  • Shawls, sweaters, quilts, and blankets.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

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Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Art, Careers, Entertainment, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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