Sunday, January 9, 2011

give me a minute, please

I said to my soul, be still, and wait.  
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.  
T.S. Eliot

We have marked the passing of another year.  
Gratitude for this gift of journey mingles with the grief of loss.  
I recall days of discovery and still nights, 
the soul dancing in the dark.  

Years ago I copied a Sanskrit poem into my journal:

Although I conquer all the earth,
yet for me there is only one city:
In that city there is for me only one house;
And in that house, one room only;
And in that room, a bed.
And one woman sleeps there,
The shining joy and jewel of all my kingdom.

With time, in silence, 
waiting, waiting
I came to know
I am loved
Just as I am
The shining joy and jewel of all God's kingdom
And so are you
Everyone of us 

I just received an email from Saks Fifth Avenue.  Neiman-Marcus does not stoop to solicit my non-existent business.   Saks, however, took aim, sadly missing the marketing mark, but pointed me to "top-rated items and why people love them."  In the mood for a bit of foreign travel, I journeyed to their website and, since inquiring minds need to know, I browsed the list.

First up (do they have my age on file?) was a jar of cream brandishing five out of five stars in all twenty-three reviews.   More homage than description, the blurb touted the "nutrient rich Miracle Broth, created through a 3 to 4 month biofermentation process…the results, often called miraculous, speak for themselves."  I am promised "softer, firmer, creaseless skin"…and fast.  But here's the caveat.  This $230, 2 oz. jar of youth is in such great demand, that, alas, "a customer may order no more than 6 units of this item every thirty days."  

Let's see.  Six times $230 equals (wait, doing the math)…oh, my… $1,380 per month.  Perhaps the shock of viewing the bill freezes one's face and  renders it smooth as a baby's bottom.  [Note: The eye miracle comes out of another jar. Note, also, that neither promises weight loss.]  So I could pay my mortgage, and then half again more toward the principle, each month, or I could buy the cream.  I could give up food and gas in exchange for the elixir.  Weeks later, looking down at my cold, lonely body, people would say, "But doesn't her skin look soft, firm, and creaseless!!!"  

Our barter is time.  We trade time for money in order to sustain life.  To feed the family. To pay bills. To help someone in need. I remember coming home from work late one night.  I hadn't seen the sun in days. Left home in the dark every morning.  Spent each day in a windowless cubicle.  Returned in the dark.  That evening, I served up cold leftovers and ate standing at the kitchen counter, still clad in my coat.  Fell onto a chaise, numb and spent. Spent.  Like the slow dawn of a cold gray winter day, an awareness settled over me.  I was thankful for my job, for the roof over my head.  But my time-bank book was out of balance.  No time for recharging.  For people.  For life.  I woke up the next morning, still in my coat, with a crick in my neck and a new perspective.  I couldn't make  time but I would be a better steward of how I spent it.  

So, how did I spend my Christmas vacation?  Making memories.  A worthy purchase.  Satisfying.  And now the New Year has arrived.  January is my time to winnow, a celebration of "less is more" after the wonderful clutter of Christmas.  I love this time of shedding.  In the dark of winter, a lightness settles within. Here's the really good part. My creases and I are quite content.   I am forever young inside.  The heart counts each new day a beginning.  Life is good.  LIfe is gift. 


RosieJo said...

I am your true friend and want you to know that my eyesight is so bad I do not notice wrinkles or creases. Better to spend the money on travel. Have a good week!
Diva Joanne

Celeste Brady said...

You have a wonderful week, too! Stay warm, my friend!