Somewhere along the line I stopped loving the trappings of life, and started loving life – just life. There is a profound difference. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy nice things. In fact, I’d rather have a few nice things, than a large volume of mediocre things. But what I consider nice and of value may not be what others consider nice and of value.
I like things that are made with thoughtful hands or hold the invisible essence of history. To know generations have sat at a table, somehow gives the table an energy it wouldn’t have otherwise. Having been touched by many souls, the wood takes on an intrinsic beauty.
As I’ve logged year after year, I’ve grown less impressed with material objects. That may be in part to having had two failed marriages wherein both men viewed me as either solely one of life’s trappings or as a vehicle by which to obtain said trappings. Please know, I’ve never once been dripping in wealth, but it doesn’t take much to strike the interest of a parasite looking for a new host.
Shortly after having married my first husband, I discovered in his bedside drawer a platte mat of the area. A platte mat is a booklet published by the state showing the different counties, the land parcels and who owns what parcel. I thumbed through the book, not thinking much of it, until I saw that my family’s land had all been colored in with a yellow highlight marker. At that time, my family owned a reasonably large amount of valuable land. Like a vulture circling the skies, this man, he thought, had circled his next meal. In the end he didn’t get any of my family’s land. His motives were never forgotten, however.
My second marriage, surprisingly, was to someone with even worse motives. Apparently I had learned nothing from the first. I know why I married this person. My motives were fine, not idyllic as far as true love was concerned. But sometimes we give up on such a notion. And we look for other things that we hope will fill the gaps. I don’t believe those gaps can ever be filled except by what is missing. I cared about this person, and provided him the best life I could. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. I was devoted and faithful. But a loveless marriage will either die on its own accord or kill the soul of the one trying to live the lie. I opted for life and asked for a divorce. His reaction to having his lifestyle altered, gave me a front row seat in human dysfunction and soulless behavior. I never felt heartbreak over the end of the marriage; his affairs helped in that respect. But I was heartbroken over having been used.
Some people are in awe of beautiful objects; diamonds, cars or homes. I’m in awe when I see a beautiful hearted person helping another. I’m in awe of the sunset when I watch it set each night or the gentle voice of my beloved when he says he loves me. Those are the things of life that manage to trap me. It may sound like a simple way to live. But simple has always provided the best lighting by which beauty is illuminated.