Monday, July 14, 2008

Finding Enough



Time for another guest post from Douglass St. Christian.

It gets a bit circuitous  this time.  He quotes me and now I'm quoting him.  But I know you can keep up, even on a Monday!

Something my friend Barb McMahon wrote on her blog recently got me thinking, and thinking for the last few weeks.  It's a simple question with no simple answer - What is enough?

I remember my mother telling us "that's enough" when we became too rowdy playing in the living room.  I even do it to my dogs - especially the always chatty Grendel - which says something about the philosophical richness I believe my dogs capable of.

But what does it mean to say "I have enough?"

Maybe it is about things.  Do I have enough old mismatched silver plate flatware, or should I bid a few more dollars on that tray at Stock Auction - just one more time?  No, that doesn't seem to be the enough I mean at all.  Enough based on things is about denial, when enough should really be about celebrations.

It must certainly be about time, of which there is never enough.  Unpacking books - I am still unpacking books, months after we moved into our new home - and wondering if there will ever be enough time to read the books I haven't but want to - or read again those I have already read, the quiet equivalent of reconnecting with old friends.  But no, it isn't time because time is always enough, always finite.  It is the infinite ways we can choose to fill it that can be their own kind of enough.

Maybe that is what I have been circling around for the last few weeks - trying to grasp the idea that enough is about what we have, in our happiness and in our pain, whichever we have at the moment.  And grasping the idea that enough is about experiencing moments in their fullness and flavour, whatever they are, whatever their taste and texture.  Where once we celebrated the sufficiency of harvests and friends and family and love, today we seem drawn to celebrate only abundance, excess.  What we may have lost is a capacity to appreciate enough, the ampleness of enough.  Mindfully experiencing enough could be the small victory at the heart of the everyday.

Variety is the spice, right.  And that seems like enough for me, for now at least.  But then I am lying on the floor with that ever-chatty Grendel again, rubbing his chest and staring at the ceiling and a different kind of enough seems to fill the room.

And you know, that is enough for me at any time of the  day.

Thanks for reminding me, Barb.  See you at the beach.

Until next time...


And thank you, Douglass, for expanding so well on my original thought.

Let the conversation continue!  Please let us know what is "enough" for you!


Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

I think this picture is worth an award. Check out my site!!!

Barb McMahon said...

Thanks so much Nina! That's lovely!