Thoughts about ‘ 礼品之路’ or ‘The Way of the Gift’ have been & are brewing in my being, as we (my family & I) settle, for a while unknown, into life in Jiamusi, in the North of China.
The move. The new environment. The experience. And perhaps my reading as I study ‘happiness’, all contribute to these thoughts.
They are incomplete. They will be for a while. I share them nevertheless. Perhaps you’d like to share in the discovery. Perhaps, as I write, the thoughts take shape & slowly become comprehensible.
The 1st post was simply titled: 礼品之路
The Gift of Enough
To be enough.
A deep desire.
A deeper desire than to ‘have’ enough.
Perhaps our deep desire to ‘have’, sinks its malicious roots, from moment to moment, in our desire to ‘be’.
Or is it just I?
Who walk from sunrise to sunset with this burden?
To be enough?
And we work.
And we attempt to achieve.
And even more.
And we accumulate.
Beyond what we need.
Rooms and rooms filled to the brim.
In all the work.
All the achievement.
All the stuff.
‘Enough’ will find us.
And we’ll be happy.
But it does not.
Our work never ends.
Our achievement always falls short.
And there is always more stuff needed.
Your partner’s desires unquinched.
Your children’s hopes unfulfilled.
Your parents’ expectations unmet.
Just a little less than ‘enough’.
Perhaps we cannot attain ‘enough’?
Cannot work towards it?
Cannot ‘achieve’ it?
Our culture purveys another belief.
Our religion too.
Regardless of whether we are Jew, Christian, Muslim, Bhuddist or Hindu.
Keep on sacrificing.
Bring your tithe.
Attend the services.
Sunday or Saturday or Wednesday or Friday.
Say the prayers.
Confess the words.
Do the deeds.
Partake in the rituals.
Cover the cost.
Take up your cross.
You’re never enough.
Not even accepted by that being of your choice whom you call God.
Or your partner.
Or your parents.
Or your children.
Or your self.
The Way of the Gift.
The Gift of Enough.
I recall a story in which it is said, with his last breath, someone sighed: ‘it is finished’.
So it is told.
Perhaps a better translation of these poignant words would be: ‘it is enough’.
I am ‘enough’.
You are ‘enough’.
For I am.
And you were called into being, according to my image.
It is not the first time this story is told.
In the Jewish Old Testament, in the Islamic Quran the story is also told.
In stories of this world coming into being (which is also a Gift, the Gift of Being, about which I’ll write another time), mostly it is said: the Origin, the God, when (s)He completes calling this world into being, (s)He reflects & sighs the sigh of someone who was holding their breath in anticipation, saying ‘it is good’.
And when humans, man & woman, are called into being, (s)He sighs: it is very good.
It is ‘enough’.
They are more than ‘enough’.
The Way of the Gift.
The Gift of Enough.
Beyond pathetic attempts for approval.
Beyond desperate accumulation of stuff.
And the lies of religion.
And the unanswerable expectations of my own being.
A Gift received.
Even if I do not know.
Even if I desperately scramble & fumble through life.
I am enough.
You are enough.
As we were called into being, before time.
As we are called into being with every fraction of a moment which rushes by.
We are enough.
Because my Origin is more than enough.
Because (s)He gave that sigh of anticipation, at the begining of us.
‘It is more than enough’.
‘They are more than enough’.
May you receive this gift.
Not the Gift of Enough, for that is yours from since before the beginning of time.
The Gift of seeing it.
The Gift of being able to see beyond religion & culture & up-bringing.
To see your Origin.
To see as (s)He sees.
As (s)He called us into being.
Calls us into being.
Not ‘enough’ if, or when or perhaps or one day.
Despite everything which may have been, or will be.
And everything I was told.
Or may have believed.
Despite what I believe I am not or should be.
Despite what I have done, or should not have done.
Or think I should not have done.
Despite what I believe is or have been told is failure.
Or less than.
Or hoped & missed.
This is 礼品之路.
This is part of what I am learning.
A footnote for conservative religious readers: I refer to our Origin as (s)He, not because I think of God as female, but because I believe our Origin cannot be ‘contained’ by the limited expressions we have, being beyond male or female, as we choose or are restricted to divide and categorize people with our language.