Painting By Albert Reuss
We are made anonymous by too many possessions. Rather than being defined by them, we are overwhelmed by them. Lost among them; uncertain of who we are without them and so, dependent on them for identity and security.
We are socially engineered into believing we are nothing without our possessions. That the clothing we wear or the music we listen to or books we read or even the colors we paint the walls in our homes define us. In all of this sweeping mad consumerism, we ignore that we were made for so much more than to own things. This other side, the more important side...our spiritual, philosophical, searching side is underdeveloped, left un-nurtured in the pursuit of "things".
But our hearts are not made light by owning. We are wearied and worn down and joyless. Burdened by all of our things that we buy to enable us to ignore the deeper, pressing questions of who are we really. Why are we here. Enable us to ignore that we all are born with nothing and we all die with nothing eventually.
My grandmother Leona died with nothing. I don't mean she was a poor woman though; neither was she a materially wealthy woman but she was rich in love and generosity. Her spirit was beautiful and rich. Ridiculously rich in all she gave to others. She lived on very little and all her concern was for other people. All her heart went into loving others. She didn't give from her "extra" store, she gave what she often couldn't manage to give. When she died, there wasn't anything to divide up. It had mostly been given away. Nothing to leave but the memory of the richness of her gentle spirit...what a beautiful legacy.
So, what if we let it all go? What if we allowed ourselves to live as free beings unbound by possessions, money, cultural and societal expectations? Would we know who we are if we found ourselves living in an "empty room"? Would we know how to describe and define ourselves?
I know for myself I don't want to be remembered as "Wow, she sure had a lot of clothing!" or "Colleen sure had a huge collection of books, remember?". I don't want people to smile ruefully and sum me up in these tidy little sentences. I want so much more and so much less. I want to be able to stand in an empty room and know who I am. Quietly, confidently, gently, richly know.
I guess I want to live my life as the woman in the empty room. But also as a woman whose heart and mind and spirit are unbearably, unfathomably, disgustingly rich. :)
How about you?
Much love, C.