Perceiving The Gift

During the last few weeks I’ve been tackling problem areas in my home. Over years of living in this same space, things have accumulated, at times weighing heavily upon my daily existance.  These cluttered areas seemed to reflect a part of myself  that was hardly admirable, but possibly deserving of a little compassion. And HELP… This entailed an uncomfortable swallowing of pride. When I finally managed to gulp that down, I called in E.

E is small in stature and mighty in purposeful energy.  She also enjoys organizing other people’s stuff. Yes… She has helped me before and we’ve come to an understanding of sorts. Humor is good. And hugs. And high protein smoothies are very helpful for getting started. Yesterday we were faced with the third and most challenging area – for me the most problematical of areas: my study. My study is a smallish elongated space a short hallway and bathroom away from my bedroom. Most of the space is occupied by a large computer desk with numerous cubbies and drawers.  A cubby is a very handy place for tucking things temporarily. They come in various shapes and sizes, and mine were all full. One of the things unearthed was the set-up instructions for my first computer – hit by lightning in the year 2001. The drawers were a touch less embarrassing. Perhaps… These were evidence of a writing career – of sorts. Poems written, printed, and stashed, unfinished manuscripts, rejection letters for manuscripts (finished?), and a quantity of floppy discs. Remember floppy discs? Some of these were made on the word processor that preceded my doomed computer. The drawer on the top to my right was and is my neatest drawer. Nothing but paper. Pure potential. I am proud of that drawer. Gulp… Next came the filing cabinet with its two deep drawers. At the back a few files were actually upright. Photographs of the youthful dancer… Sorted by year and place! But before we got to those, the piles of assorted this and that must be lifted out – and SORTED – before FILING. In the filing cabinet were also colorful filing sleeves, bought for the purpose several years back. E was delighted.

Yesterday was as painful as it was productive. By the time my angel of a helper had departed, leaving me well on my way to order, I was faint with hunger and far too exhausted to see that something good had been accomplished. For one thing, though quantities of stuff was shredded and thrown out, it still seemed to me that too much Leiflife still filled the drawers of the filing cabinet. Even filed, I felt a lingering embarrassment at all that evidence of profuse creativity. I succumbed to my weariness knowing that there was much culling still to accomplish.

However, this morning I managed to forget about further tackling. I sat at my desk and opened my laptop with only a touch of trepidation. It had been at T-9 computers having stuff from the old desktop transferred by the twinkle-eyed Mr. T. I checked email briefly, then took Music and Star for their long walk of the day.  Upon returning, I found and perceived the gift. Upon the screen of my newly laden laptop, an image unfolded – and another – and then another. All of the images from My Pictures had been set up as screen saver. One after one, the muchness of Leiflife – so bemoaned the night before – streamed past. The drawings, paintings, sculptures and illustrations were interspersed with family photographs. Children, grandchildren, siblings appeared and vanished only to yield up Paris in all her glory. A friend’s dear face made way for a sunlit magnolia; light-filled visage was replaced by another. I stood there, imobilized by what I was seeing, feeling, knowing; this was my life. I watched as the black and white image of a young dancing Leif led into a full color Leif of two or three years ago – dancing before her father’s murals – hand of woman merging with wing of bird. Here, in front of my eyes, was a whole different version of accumulation. Again, there was so much stuff. How could the tiny computer hold it all – and manage it all so well. How could one’s perception be changed so easily. Like a miracle, my exhausted and apologetic stance of yesterday had faded away to reveal an amazing gladness for  my  life. So many years – so much experience – so much living and sharing and expressing… There was bound to be clutter and debris. And yet…  Perhaps there is much more to celebrate  then to denigrate. I am sure there is…


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2 Responses to “Perceiving The Gift”

  1. Kendall Says:

    An amazing gladness for our lives. Amen, Leif.

  2. leiflife Says:


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