Friday, May 23, 2014

The Art of Giveaways



My mum found my desk at a thrift store, where its price was about a fifth of what is was originally. I'd never really had a desk before, but this one was painted black and looked sort of like it had come out of the world of Tim Burton or Lemony Snicket or Edward Gorey or the Bronte Sisters, so it was adopted into our little apartment household and filled with books and miscellaneous sketches.  But now it's overstuffed again, which means I'll have to let go of my slight tendencies to hoard novels and do a giveaway.  It's really actually a detoxifying process if you've never done it before--basically, you empty everything and give away all of the stuff you don't need anymore to a charity organization (Salvation Army, Goodwill...pretty much anywhere that I shop).  It's doing something good for both the world and for the people in your home with dust allergies!
My grandmother, the psychic, was an avid believer in the art of giveaways, and by the time she passed on at age 56 had given most of her stuff to other people.  She was also a Buddhist, and she had very few material belongings of her own.  One day, though, shortly after my grandmother's cremation, my mum and I went to The Salvation Army and saw, hanging near the front of the store, a bag my grandmother had donated several years earlier.  I know that the exact significance of this moment may be difficult to understand without having known my grandmother or the level of importance she played in my family's life, but she was like another parent to me, and sitting by her side and watching her pass away had an incredible impact on my life.  The heart attack and stroke that she had were like straws breaking a camel's back given the fact that she'd been suffering from lupus since my mum's adolescence, and not a day goes by that I am not amazed by her ability to have pulled through all those years acting as though everything was fine.  Seeing her little fabric bag hanging in the thrift store window was like a sign that she was there.  She was physically gone--no longer trapped in the arthritic pain of her disease--but still entirely present.
It's like what Obi Wan says to Darth Vader in A New Hope: "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."

<3 Frances

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