Lying to myself

Until this morning I was
on boxing things
collected over decades.

Office boxes

Fragile, heavy, old, purchased, given,
all stuff from other moments.

Living room boxes

Thinking myself generous,
I am now

More living room boxes

None of this was necessary.

Porche boxes

Stuff to look at,
not to use.


6 comments On Lying to myself

  • Keeping objects brings definition, reflection, hope
    Your stories matter
    Memories matter
    Projects, as yet unfinished, matter
    “We are moving miracles, walking creators engaging in a cosmic dance”–(Mohammed Sheriff)
    Creators need basic materials
    That which surrounds us sometimes brings peace of the familiar, calm with abundance
    No blame

    • Thank you so much for this, Heidi. Your words remind me to practice what the Buddhists call maitri, compassion toward oneself as one discovers bit by bit the ego stuff that gets in the way of offering the world an open, spacious heart.

      The longer I’ve been at this packing, the more difficult it has become. On the mundane level, difficult as we get to increasingly more fragile items of stuff. On a deeper level, difficult as we get into the memorabilia—and my late mother’s memorabilia. “Is the memory enough, or do I need this think, too?” I reached the point a week or so ago when I just stopped trying to decide and shifted to packing everything that’s left, leaving it to be sorted and pared down as we unpack.

      Yesterday I was able to turn around, look back at all I had done (which doesn’t include kitchen and clothing), and see. The single-focusedness of conserving and protecting all this “useless” stuff fell away, and I saw what all of it is. Then the false teaching that stirs shame and guilt over betraying one’s own values hit home.

      Today, maitri simply says, without judgment: “There, see? This is how you usually feather your nest to make it look nice. You don’t need to stay in that nest.”

      Blessings, Mike

  • Sue Williams

    Mike, This clarifies why you were showing me pictures of your packing efforts, literal and symbolic, yesterday at Bold Bean. Good conclusion…your response to Heidi. Both yours and Heidi’s comments were full of meaning. Peace, Sue

    • Thanks, Sue. Quakers and Buddhists both reject the notion of “original sin” or “fallenness.” People are created as basically good, but our ego defensiveness and our habits of clinging to pleasure and pushing away pain cloud our awareness and our attention. Moments like mine yesterday shine the light on those distractions from truly being awake.

  • Susan Taylor

    Starting where you are, with compassion.

    So good to feel the love of community with friends, Mike. Glad you’re surrounded with Maitri- especially as you head to a new place, and always.

    Loving blessings as you travel and continuing,

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