gatineau morning.

gatineau morning.
photo by douglas mcarthur.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

three bags full.

periodically now, i fill up a bag or three and take it to st. vincent de paul. i don't get out much, but donating stuff makes me feel better about life. the last time was a couple of weeks back. then, hardly a few days later i happened to wander into st. vince's again, saw a hoodie i really liked, purchased the thing, threw it on as i left the store and felt even better about life. i was seriously feeling so much better about life until i realized that hoodie was one of the items i had just recently donated.

there are many ways to feel better about life: giving, receiving, friendship, thin-crust pizza, seniors discounts... by far the best way, of course, is love. everybody knows that. we're reminded on facebook often enough. one of my friends, whom i've never met, posted an inspirational quote recently: "love makes you feel that everything is right with the world. love means you are content within your own heart in the presence of the person you love and who fills your day and makes you stronger and wiser and gives you the confidence to go out into the world."

of course that was lovely, only why does it have to be in the presence of someone i love? like, if i'm not in the actual presence of an actual human i actually love i won't have the confidence to go out? i won't be strong or wise? my day won't be full? what's so inspiring about that? it kinda hit close to home, so to speak. i thought: why can't people stick to posting photos of their lunches? i'm a single thin-crusted older guy. it's always been rather challenging to keep someone around, let alone someone i love. somehow either they left or i left or both, although not together. so i tended to stay home, collect stuff, lots of stuff. the place got so cluttered my dog had to back out. and actually even he eventually stopped coming 'round. that's when i began donating to st. vincent and to paul.

the question begs asking, sitting in the lazy-boy today while wearing my reclaimed hoodie: what comes first, the chicken or scrambled eggs? i mean, do i need someone before love exists, or does love come first? can't i love my friends while not in their company, my long lost dog, my neighbours, my neighbours' dogs, life? can i not be content within my own heart in the presence of the cool autumn air, a bright moon, the fast-flowing river? and do i really need to feel better about life at all or is life alright just exactly as it is?

"if we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile. then everyone in our family, our friends, our entire society can benefit from our peacefulness." thich nath hanh.

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