I was listening to the radio a couple days ago, a call in talk show on the best and worst graduation advice we ever got. One caller had a story of a comedian, I don’t remember who, who told his class that the secret to life was furniture. As long as we do not have furniture we are free, but the minute we give into the need to own our own stuff, well, it’s all over.
It’s meant as a joke of course, but look around at all the things you own, all the things that tie you to place. There is some truth to the impermanence to our lives that we flat choose to ignore.
We gather as much as we can, we accumulate and want and desire, we fight for, sometimes we die for things, possessions, oil, land. We watch as wildfires, tornadoes, floods, strangers and sometimes even family take our things away.
Either one at a time or in one fell swoop, things come and they go in our lives. People come and go, beauty fades, youth escapes, innocence is lost. Life isn’t meant to be forever, no one leaves this world alive.
I am blessed with the love of a few very select beautiful beings, they color my world with a meaning things could never take the place of, I do not appreciate them enough, as I contemplate the word transience I realize how connected to this earth I am, how caught up in the ownership of things I have become, how locked I am into my furniture.
The simplicity movement would have us give away all our things, and perhaps that is a good plan, for me I think I will start with giving thanks for everything I own, releasing things that could serve others, and truly appreciating the rest and begin the work of recognizing that what I have is so much less important than the person I am and the way I conduct my life.
If everything I own should disappear tomorrow but there was a sunrise the next day that filled the sky and opened the heart could that be enough? To ask the question is to know that I still have work to do.