Gratitude Sunday: Silver Hearts

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
Rain freezes, becomes
an axe in the crevasse of
a two branch tree trunk.

Sunday Musings
Happy Valentine’s Day! Sound a little hollow to you? A few of the excuses we use for a holiday are vapid and even hurtful. Like Valentine’s Day this Tuesday. If you don’t have a sweetheart, you are left out of this holiday. If you are having trouble with your sweetheart, you are conflicted. If you recently lost a beloved sweetheart, you are bereaved. Not the best excuse for candy, or flowers, or diamonds. Though I could make a case for treating yourself to all three. And if you are single for whatever reason, I would throw in an all day spa with massage included.

Valentine’s Day is all wonderful if you have a great relationship and the money to back it up. Don’t tell me you can have any sort of celebration without at least a small expense. Frugal is great, more power to you. Would you consider skipping the holiday altogether?

This Tuesday marks my silver anniversary. Yup. Been legally married to one man these last 25 years. And lived with him for 17 before that, so really, 42 total. I got As in math.

We got married 10 days after we found out our son would be joining us. We didn’t have money to go into debt for a wedding, especially not with a baby coming, so we made arrangements to marry at the county courthouse. We used our old dot matrix printer and used up some old paper and envelopes collected over the years to make invitations to send to people we couldn’t afford to call. Remember when long distance phone calls were more expensive than a postage stamp? Yes, only 25 years ago. My sister sent me money for flowers and my cousin bought us a suite for the honeymoon night at the local up-scale motel where we got to use the party room for a reception. We made a heart shaped chocolate cake. My mom and others brought finger foods. It was standing room only in the courtroom. A reception room full of people from all over the state and guests from California came to help us celebrate.

We’ve had our spells. We both have to say our what-fors, but we’re lucky we communicate at all. We have different styles, and we think differently, but as I tell him, thank God. We are not the same person. And like a river, I think we are not the same person twice, for a good reason. We read, we learn, we think, and we change as we grow with new knowledge every day. There is a basic undercurrent of inner self, but the growth might be tidally affected, or dammed by a learning block. Changes.

It’s a good thing to change and as a couple it’s called growing old together. It might not be about sex any more, which we make too much of publicly in our society anyway. Sex is marvelous, but it’s private business. It might not be about being the same, or the same as when we married. So much nicer to be about accepting each other every day, as we are every day, doing the work of living.

So much for the la-las. Being married is bleeping hard. It is. You have to share. You might think you are being selfish or the other is being selfish but in the end you must learn how to share. I had to learn to buy my own box of Valentine candy because when I give him one he has never offered to share. I don’t know if it was the way he was raised or if it just doesn’t cross his mind, so I get a box to give to myself. We’ve never had disposable income, and I suspect if he had money it might all be different. Because if the money was there I would certainly take advantage of the excuse of a holiday myself.

So. A silver anniversary. What would I want that’s silver? What would I need? Considering I live a poverty life style, I’m sort of clueless, because as long as I can keep a roof over my head there’s really not much I need. I don’t throw fabulous parties so I don’t need serving dishes or salt and pepper shakers. I have a perfectly good set of stainless steel silverware, and real silver table ware needs polishing. Nah.

I might like a little silver ring. If I were dreaming a design I’d like something simple, no stones, maybe an old-fashioned filigree if I could see the right pattern. Or maybe a commemorative candle holder. Wanting is OK, as long as it’s not obsessive.

No ring this year. Likely no year. Not to worry, I have a very rich fantasy life. I don’t have to own the thing to feel the wealth. Which is good because after 6 months of zero income, I am currently boycotting all consumerism, only buying the bare necessities. I’m trying to figure out how to quit buying food, but my body keeps rebelling. Besides, if you have more stuff you have to take care of it.

Boycotting consumerism is a great idea now anyway. I can use it as a political statement, not just an excuse to avoid a holiday. When I was growing up our holidays centered around a home-made meal shared and finished with a cake. And ice cream for 4th of July. A box cake graced with home-made butter cream frosting doesn’t cost much. I can make cake. There won’t be a little silver ring hiding in it. With my luck one of us would break a tooth. Fixing that would be an un-needed necessity.

This is supposed to be a holiday about love. What if we made it not about romantic love, or passionate love, or erotic love, or even couples love? What if we made it even less about spending money on each other? What if we made it just about, well, you know, love? And we could start from the ground up. Love the planet and all the beings on it. Love yourself. Love others. I am amazed sometimes to be sitting reading or standing in line somewhere or walking around the block, and suddenly I will be awash in a golden melting feeling of love for everything in existence, from the soil and lowliest microbe in it, to the air and plants around me, and all the wondrous people beside me, and the radiant energy that drives it all. Don’t tell me it’s just a hormone rush. For whatever reason and whatever mechanism I am overcome with intense feelings of connecting love.

Love is about what you give, not what you get. It is lovely to have your love returned, but that’s not guaranteed, and it is essential for mental and physical health to give love. On our earth we’ve just been through a time period of lost connections, lost old knowledge, lost respect. We are moving into a time of new connections, of strengthening our connection to and appreciation for our blue planet with its green earth, of honoring and re-learning old knowledge while inching forward into new knowledge. A time of honoring others without regard to profit for ourselves. And that’s the catch. The more we do for others, the more it is returned to us. It might not be an immediate return; we might not see the fruits of our love even within our lifetimes, but it is there nonetheless.

It would be fun to have fluid capital to buy flowers, and candy, and diamonds, and dinners at the beach. For those of you who are able to do so, bless you. I hope you design your holiday your way, frugal or otherwise. But make your holiday about love, about growing old together, about the long run, about earning your silver, and your gold. And if you are single the same applies to you. Love yourself, as you get to be there all the way, growing older with friends who may have partners. In the end we all lose those partners or they lose us. Our single friends may then be a source of comfort to us as we’ll be single too. So if you have the funds, treat yourself to a pretty vase of flowers or a little silver ring to celebrate your love of yourself, your family, your planet, for fun, or just because you have the excuse of a holiday.

Don’t blow your budget for love, but if you have the funds and aren’t boycotting consumerism, and want to treat yourself or a loved one, Valentine’s Day is as good an excuse as any. In fact, it’s a rather lovely excuse. Bring on the chocolate.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – A very naked brown Japanese maple waiting for spring clothes. dscn0415 Stark gray winter-dried lavender spears. dscn0412 Red lava rock with soft green moss like a miniature planet. dscn0394

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.} I was casting around for something to watch on Netflix and briefly viewed several things I quickly lost interest in. Not that they weren’t funny, but they just didn’t tweak me at the time. Black Books (2000-2004, rated TV-PG) a British sit-com set in a bookstore; Vexed (2010, not rated TV series), a British comedy detective series; and The Detectorists (2014, not rated TV series), a comedy series about a couple of amateur metal detectorists and their antics. * The Brothers Grimm (2005, rated PG-13), a mash-up of the fairy tales we grew up with, and a plot twist. This was a re-viewing and it’s been long enough I remembered only two brief seconds of film. Really. Two seconds. Interesting to consider the work of the actors since then: Matt Damon in The Martian, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones, and the unfortunate early demise of Heath Ledger.

johnsonwallcoverings_2265_182908641

Currently ReadingAll Over Creation (2003, fiction) by Ruth Ozeki. Fascinating exploration of several issues: mixed race marriages, mixed race children, infertility, and parenting; teenage sex and abortion; genetic manipulation of food sources and the controversy over labeling; add a diversity of characters and desires and once again I am admiring her storytelling. * But What if We’re Wrong: Thinking About the Present as if it were the Past (2016, contemporary culture) by Chuck Klosterman, a series of essays posing questions about how the past informs the present and how that may affect or reflect the possible future. I’m not sure I always follow his logic, but his thoughts are interesting. And he chooses fun topics like literature and rock music.

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This week I have been grateful for:

  • Watching a hawk circle over a field while I was stuck waiting in traffic.
  • The convenience of bluetooth in my car. A one button push is as hands-free as it gets.
  • Starting my taxes. It’s just math. And reading. And following instructions. Like school.
  • Knowing my heart, even though I am confusing. Hmh.
  • Otters. Cute.
  • A good citrus season. I don’t know what makes the difference but some years they are sweeter than others.
  • Making a casserole I hadn’t cooked in so many years the guys couldn’t remember eating it. When I told them what I was making, they initially said “eww”, then they ate it all. The rule in this house is if someone else makes it, and offers it, you say “thank you”. I had to hide a serving for lunch.
  • The power of fiction to teach current events and address political concerns.
  • The power of fiction to cross cultures.
  • The power of fiction to create a small slice of life, a tiny concise world.
  • The power of fiction to imagine the future.
  • The power of fiction to recreate the past.
  • The power of fiction to create other worlds.
  • The power of fiction that makes you suspend your disbelief.
  • Words. Reading. Communication.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

floral[1]

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Family, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Nature, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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