what I need


sunset river, St. Martins

I am looking at this wide openness, my eyes drinking in the clear light, the bright ribbon of liquid gold winding to the far horizon. And for a moment, a brief instant, this is all I need.

* * *

My cousin recently returned from a two-week medical mission to Mali. Her photos show a loving community that by North American standards has less than nothing. When she returned, her mother asked her what she wants for Christmas. She said she’s realized she doesn’t really need anything.

* * *

At a Christmas party I attended last night, I was not the only who who ate more than I needed, then joked about eating too much. I heard someone telling a story about the frustration of parking at the shopping “maul”. The question “Are you ready for Christmas?” prompted conversations about family expectations, travel plans, food and gifts.

* * *

I already have so much more than I need. I am barnacled with stuff, it has stuck to me over the years like an extra layer of fat. I am holding onto unfulfilled dreams, books half-read, sweaters half-knit, materials gathered and gathering dust. I don’t need more, I need less. I need space and open air. I need to free myself for what lies ahead, to be open to the promise of a new year.

Photograph taken on November 28, 2010

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7 thoughts on “what I need

  1. Pingback: It’s a changeable world out there… » Kattsby

  2. I like your thoughts here. Gerry and I were talking the other day about what we’d do if we were to win $49 million [or whatever they have in those lotteries]. Strangely enough, we couldn’t come up with anything! I don’t need anything.

    Often, I feel that «STUFF» is tying me down. Used to feel that way even more so before. I left all my stuff in my native Sweden. Now I miss it?! Not all of it, but sometimes I think of some little item … and realize that I actually miss it!

    • That is a fun game to play, isn’t it — if I won a million dollars… I’ve always wanted to be a patron of the arts, so it would be great to support artists and musicians and people who are trying to scrape together a living by doing what they love. But more stuff, well… there are a few things I’d like, but nothing I really need.

      Now the personal stuff, that’s different. I understand how you might miss what you left behind in Sweden, Rebekah. I carry around a box or two of priceless (and worthless) objects, letters etc that hold meaning and memory. Every time we move, I trim a bit more, but it’s hard to say no to storing the letters from my grandmother or the tiny plastic airplane from my first trip to England. (etc etc)

  3. Love the deep blue water, the pink horizon, beautiful. Thoughtful sentiments, too. I also have too much ‘stuff’, don’t need another ‘thing’. However, I did finally throw out my half-knitted sweater. Ahh. What a relief!

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