Wednesday, November 14, 2012

At the intersection of frugal simple and rich abundance

I find myself standing at the intersection of four roads: frugal, simple, rich, and abundant.

Have I been limiting my thinking, my writing, my creativity because of frugal living and simplicity?

While gaining control over compulsive spending and debt, I've noticed that my home and clothing have begun to look plain.  My choices for decoration do not truly reflect what I really want to be immersed in.  The same conflict has occurred in other areas of my life, such as in our home school.  I want it to be a rich and vibrant place, full of interesting things to immerse oneself in.  I want it to be rich in poetry, art, science, music, great long stories or simple fables.  I want there to be colorful paintings on the wall, like the kind inspired by Marc Chagall and Franz Marc.  I want poems to be read and written every day.  I want there to be so many books laying around that it becomes a buffet, a feast for the imagination.

I want it to be a place for making things, like handmade Christmas gifts inspired by Hans Christian Anderson.

I want to keep writing deeper, more complex thoughts and not stop just because what I was initially thinking would fit into a status bar.

For example, I recently realized the potential for re writing an entire academic paper about Genesis.   All these years later, I finally have an interesting thesis statement.  Dear Becky Gibson,  I'm sitting here with my hand raised to offer my thoughts that the garden of Eden is a metaphor for childhood.

Too late, she is retired, and I no longer feel the need to be graded.

  At the time of the assignment, I felt like my head was a dense brick where no sensible, clear thoughts could move.  Back then I was standing at the crossroad of single motherhood and food stamps.  I collected cigarette butts in an apartment complex to pay my rent. I had bigger problems than trying to write deep probing thoughts about classic literature or scripture.

  Now things just seem to flow out of me like a river.  I could be writing for real, for serious pursuit.  Some days I feel like that.  I'm in this place of rich inspiration.  I no longer stand in the middle of the stacks at the library and find myself unable to make a choice.

 I used to stand on my porch and smoke and ask that great frustrating question:  Is this it?

I want to tell that person on the porch that there's so much more!  There's so much more in every moment, to do and to be and to think about and to make.  Don't limit yourself because you think you don't have enough money or time or patience or solitude.

Make one little thing and just keep on going.  The thing you made on the sewing machine will turn into a thought you can keep writing about.  The painting that you worked on yesterday will turn a whole room into a new space.

Just keep on going, there's so much more.  I want to tell that young woman on the porch feeling bereft and lost that there will be so much more, like going to see Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend perform your favorite songs while you stand in the arms of the love of your life.  I want to tell that person who decided to let go of her wishing to be a professional that Hans Christian Anderson escaped a dreary life by telling stories to children and making art.

I want to tell her to stop comparing herself to everything and everyone else and be who she really is, totally flawed but kindhearted.  To keep that part of herself even if she abandons all those pursuits that once made her happy.

Keep thinking about new things and old things and imagining what if.

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