Writing about money is awkward now. Thinking about it has become an obsession which isn’t surprising given my current situation. If I had it, I wouldn’t have to think about it quite so much except as it relates to this blog and the deeper concepts of value and worth. Regardless, everything I think about is linked on some level. And, as I’ve mentioned before, my worth doesn’t have a price tag on it unless I put one on it. However, living is a costly business. Most of us negatively imprint this planet; we use resources, and we expend energy. All of it takes a toll. There’s no getting around it. Even if I were to find a cave somewhere to squat in, and foraged for my food and water, I would be taking more than giving. In order to bring the balance back, I would need to find a way to re-invest. But, let’s face it, our existence here has not really ever been about balance. It’s been more about taking. And it’s pretty much the same with money; we’re not great at sharing the wealth.
That isn’t to say there are no standards of altruism. There are sterling examples of giving like the Mother Teresa types who diligently work to open hearts and comfort the afflicted. We can all offer small amounts of support to others from time to time which tip the scales back. I dreamed of building a foundation that would do a smidgen of it. “Just for Today” was meant to offer a helping hand for a day. It might be something as small as a rose, or as large as rent, but it would be just what someone needed to keep going for – you’ve got it – one more day. A friend suggested a way to start it without money in the bank, but I didn’t move on it. Like so many of my bright ideas, I couldn’t breathe life into if it meant knocking on doors (more like heads). That’s why the windfall is dreamed of, so I can simply do it quietly and let it grow organically.
It’s the same with writing. A writer (a really, real one) acquaintance frequents a beautiful spot in southern Spain. Oh how I wanted to go when he told me there was a vacancy coming up next month. This place is not for the faint of heart, but for serious, and proven writers, musicians, and artists. Reading over the website and looking at the application dashed my hopes quite violently. I’ve no track record, no scholarly awards, and my only published piece was over twenty years ago. No momentum. I just don’t keep at stuff. But, the real heart breaker for me was this: money. I cannot pay the required fee. And while it’s not exorbitant, I haven’t got it to give. Yes, there are grants awarded to two “worthy” artists but the criteria is artistic quality and professional excellence, neither of which I have.
So, here’s what I keep confronting in my life. Because I never believed I could, I simply didn’t try. That’s true of everything including what I had natural adeptness at. I didn’t give anything my best shot – not ever. All I saw were those better ones, the accomplished, and naturally talented ones. Now I realise that people achieve through tenacity and a belief that they can get better. Oh boy, here comes a flood of uninvited memories! Ugh and drat.
So, now I feel horrid. It’s the dark past coming uninvited. But, I’ve options. I can continue to wallow, seeing no value in myself at all, or I can decide to keep trying. I choose the latter. And maybe, I’ll tell myself a fresher story, one that is kinder to myself and more forgiving of my choices. Wasn’t I just bragging a few nights ago about how the ‘new stories’ seemed to be working? What was true in that moment, must still be true now, yes?
My wish tonight is for greater understanding in the light of cowardly and cruel events that seem to be all too prevalent these days. They remind me that: A) I am as responsible for this world and its order as the next person. B) I can act with kindness and compassion, or with anger and meanness. C) There was once violence on the streets because women asked to vote. D) Once it was illegal for a black to marry a white. E) Women did not have the right to an education. Need I go on? We have raised ourselves up. We have adjusted and altered rigid biases. We have become more just. We have choices. Let’s guard and protect what is affirming and compassionate. That is our job now. We have the power to love it all, and that is enough.