I was driving to work this morning thinking about my blog and how random and unfocused it is. I write when I have a minute, not when I am feeling brilliant, and I write about whatever is in my life and view just then. My thought was that I might shut it down.
But then Stephanie talked to me this morning and told me how much she enjoys reading my blog and that it does mean something to her. So you can thank Stephanie for this blog posting.
This little moment makes me ponder the flimsy-ness of all our lives. We are, generally, unaware of our own power, our own beauty. Over and over we offer our gifts, and these gifts feel so small we wonder if they are worth much at all. Or at worst, that we are a walking offense.
On Saturday a friend came for soup and conversation and brought her little girl. Sarah, aged five, didn't want to come empty handed so she quickly drew me a picture of herself and me, with a heart on each side of the page. She folded it up and gave it to me quite bravely.
It occurs to me that as we get older and 'wiser' we forget to give our gifts with the same sort of unselfconscious daring.
A while back I started giving gifts that came from my hoard of possessions. (And it is a hoard.) I sent my friend with cancer a modest diamond bracelet Steve had given me. I told her to consider it a gift from God. Her daughter was wearing it at her funeral, I think. I gave someone else a book I loved that had my notes all through it. Another time I gave a small statue I had enjoyed on my desk. These gifts seemed more meaningful to me than a bought thing. Of course, maybe the receiver didn't think so! :)
I am going to keep this up. Giving away a sweater to a person who would look great in it. Giving away boots because I just don't need three pair. Giving away scarves and books and jewelry.
But will I also be brave enough to keep giving my own self and then not critiquing my gift to death? I had an insight once that to go over and over my actions and what people must think of me was the sin of self consideration. Simply put - it is the SIN of seeing everything through the lens of me. What do you think of me? How did I come across? Who do you think I am?
I have grown in this but I want to grow more and more bold. I want to believe that my true gifts of self - whether they are a small part in a larger drama or a moment of conversation - are really a dazzling burst of spirit that imperfectly brings LIFE.
What is true, what is given with love, what is full of humor - these things are beyond critique. So draw your little picture and fold it up carefully and give it with spirit!
And thanks Stephanie for giving me your gift this morning.