Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sorry For Ourselves

Self Pity, by D.H. Lawrence

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

Three years ago my Spouse and I spent Christmas and celebrated the New Year in Ireland.
On December 31st, as we fast approached midnight, the two of us went with some family members in a car to the nearby small town. There would be fireworks at the end of the celebrations. We were immensely looking forward to it. My Spouse in particular was thrilled to be a witness to this occasion.
As we rode in the car along a gravel road, my Spouse let out an exclamation.
Our digital camera had been left on the kitchen table back at the house.
We were too close to midnight, however, and the road was too narrow to turn back in the darkness.
We had to continue, therefore, without it. My Spouse was deeply saddened. Opportunities like that do not come along very often. Travel is expensive and particularly at such a time of year. One does like to capture special memories to look back fondly on in years to come.
We both bemoaned the loss.
And then from the back seat of the car, out of the gloom and the silence, came a small but reassuring voice from a ten year old cousin who said, slowly and thoughtfully:
"the eyes...are the best the world."

He saved us, in a way, from self pity. He clearly had soaked up the earthly wisdom of his elders, dispensed it like a medicine and reminded us all that being empty handed does not signify the end of the world. Goodness, we should have been grateful that we had a digital camera to forget in the first place!
We could use that valuable wisdom in other aspects of our life too, to adapt a more permanent ability to 'lose' things and let go of material goods.

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