Wednesday, October 6, 2010

WITH THIS RING

At one time I thought I wanted to be carpenter. Then I discovered how much a hate sanding. And I mean hate. Perhaps loathe is a better word. Anyway, I made this box in junior high school. It turned out pretty neat and I’ve kept one thing or another in it all these years and had it proudly displayed on a shelf or table. Then about a year ago a friend of mine came to visit. Wanting to save the finish on a (cheap, tacky, wouldn’t mind if I had to throw it out) table, he set his pop can on top of the box. It left a ring. Now, of course I could SAND the whole thing down and try to re-stain the box, but that would require doing something that I LOATHE.

At this point one has a spiritual matter to consider. Do I want to be bitter every time I look at it? Do I want to DO something about it (such as re-stain the box and never offer my friend a drink when he enters my house again?) Or do I want to be able to look on the stain and think of a nice afternoon we spent together a few years ago that I might have otherwise forgotten. In other words, what will I decide is more important, a thing or a person.
We do have a choice. Unless we have some sort of chemical imbalance or some such thing, we choose to be angry or accepting, we choose things or people, we choose to see something as an absolute tragedy or we go on, we choose, we choose, we choose. And when our first impulse is to get angry we discover something or someone that we are holding onto very tightly and that is the moment to evaluate if we are inordinately attached to whatever it may be or not.

Every time I see that box my first reactions is, “That idiot.” But then an evaluation is made. I could have prevented it so I am partly to blame. (Here’s a coaster you Neanderthal.) But I am remembering a nice afternoon. And he is worth more to me than a box – even a really nice wooden box that I made in junior high school and won an award for and have cared for and protected all THESE YEARS AND NOW KEEP ON A SHELF SO THAT NOBODY SEES HOW LAZY I AM IN NOT FIX . . . – but I digress.

And I choose the friend.

Who will buy breakfast today for reasons he knows not.

8 comments:

Theocoid said...

Ha! ENjoy breakfast. :-)

Karen said...

Too funny. I hope you enjoy your breakfast! I have a dining room table with a similar situation, but I choose to continue to be annoyed with my mother in law for damaging it before it was even completely set up in my house. Really, who purposely picks at an imperfection on someone else's furniture and then doesn't even apologize when they damage it? Even better, she points it out every time she visits and asks what happened to it.

FJH 3rd said...

Gee, I hope your friend doesn't read your blog!

Anonymous said...

Hope you had a wonderful breakfast. My parents got a dining room table from a neighbor of my maternal grandmother. The owner had later stages of dementia and so when the case workers came in, the table was loaded with old & rotten groceries, piles of newspapers, dirty dishes, among other things.

One of the groceries was an old ham, which had seeped its juices onto the table & left a mark. There are memories of bobby pins, cups, etc. which still have their signs of wear.

My mom has tried to sand & revarnish, however, their marks remain. These have now become topics of conversation & cherished memories of days gone past.

You're right ... it's not the 'things' we remember, it's the people and the situations & how the times together made us feel that matter the most.

LM

Traveler7 said...

My first glimpse of the liquid's stain on your very fine box reminded me of the Shroud of Turin's own water damage. I wish that had been the thought the day a niece set her heart-shaped tin of something or other in a puddle of water atop the newly-made oak entertainment center that husband (who believes only in linseed oil, not polyurethaning) had just moved into the room, the largest thing in any of our rooms. That rusty-dark heart stain was visible from the moon. We finally sold the thing.

Karen, you must be reminded of Little Therese's offertory trials whenever your m-i-l comes over.

I don't even want to talk about our unofficial arborist neighbour who decide "don't cut anything down" was meant for the spiders, and not him. Our purposely planted and purposely located evergreens took such a hit, I literally cried for 3 days, and was so furious, I put up a sign between the house and the garage leading to our yard: "NO TRESPASSING." We laugh about it now, because I did choose the man over the trees, but it took months-- I had to get past the pain of his thoughtlessness. The one tree he didn't just butcher but cut down entirely was the one I'd been pinning all my very long winter hopes on: at last, grandson and I could sit under this tree that spring, just a few weeks off...

opey124 said...

Did you offer him a coaster with the drink? Never mind.
That is a good way to look at it because anger can eat you up. But, on the other hand, doing something we detest (like sanding) and offering it up is (or so I am told) very powerful prayer...

Anonymous said...

If all practicing Catholics read the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition”, and it was used as a Student Text as part of the cirriculum at all Seminaries, Convents, Catholic Universities, 11th & 12th grades Catholic School High Schools, RCIA classes, etc – - – there would be UNITY in the Catholic Church regarding Faith and Morals.
The “CCC 2nd Ed” is a “sure norm for teaching the faith”, and an “Authentic Reference Text” – per Pope John Paul II with an Imprimi Potest by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. It was first printed in the US in March 2000.

Nan said...

I have a similar box, but mine isn't as nice; no awards on this end. It's actually a drawer but I keep exotic things in it, such as my grandmother's Knights of Columbus powder compact.