Insightful words from Virginia Postrel today in an interesting essay on gift-giving and glamour:
“Gifts carry a dangerous glamour. They encourage us to dream of being lavished with the things we wish for but can’t have (or are too practical to indulge in) and—the emotionally fraught part—to dream of having those who love us discern our longings without our having to confess them.”
I’m almost always disappointed by the gifts I receive, so either my longings seem to have regularly gone unnoticed or unacknowledged, or what I long for just can’t be satisfied with most (any?) gift. That is the nature of most longing, that once it’s satisfied, it just longs again.
What I long for, right now, is to be free of worries: money worries, dog health worries, house maintenance worries, etc. No gift of diamonds, linens, clothing, housewares, electronics, books, knitted or needlepointed items, calendars, soaps, candles, gardening tools, or art is going to help me there, and some of those things just add to the worries because they are another thing to maintain or to have to make decisions about.
Even my old stand-bys — flowers, food, and donations to charity — can only go so far, but at least they don’t add to the anxiety (except for orchids and bonsai!).
Looks like I will have to gift myself — with meditation time.