To most of the world, my life and home are luxurious. We have food in the refrigerator, space, a big yard with trees, a house full of books and treasures. The kind of house, as I’ve written before, you might find on a child’s drawing: a peaked roof, a door flanked by windows, one tree out front and “Honey, I’m home” written across the bottom.
If our house burned down or was destroyed in some way, there would be many losses I would mourn. The paintings and photos on the walls, the books, papers with ideas and to-dos I’ve not yet got to, clothes and clocks and dishes and beds and furniture, especially our bed, and especially the many photo albums and photos that are in boxes.
But my writing is all saved to an online backup; same with photos from the last several years. The many paintings are luxurious, but they all have stories and memories of the person who made it. I’d still have those memories. The stories those memories hold are luxuries. I’ve had a pretty interesting life. I guess the luxury of memories is something I wouldn’t like to live without, but could I?
I’ve been absent from blogging for a while because I began a new book of memories, and have been immersed in reading old journals, outlining them, writing the old stories, mulling memories, and trying to make sense of my life. It’s rarely what we thought it was–oh, the events are the same and the experiences the same, but what I learned has grown and changed with time, so looking at those experiences from a different perspective is a new learning task.
The real luxury in my life that I don’t know if I could live without is my husband, Cliff. We’ve been married almost ten years so contentment is a luxury of my later years. He watches out for me, takes my hand when we’re walking, always, and I feel a slight pressure when we come to a curb. He makes sure I don’t stumble. He keeps me safe. When he tells me to stop, I stop.
Stopping has never been one of my strong suits, given as I am to dashing and doing too much, and I still stumble from time to time when he’s not around to slow me down; however, I’m been better at seeing danger and avoiding it. I drive more carefully and defensively because of the years of his example. I laugh more. And while “To Battle!!” has often been a rallying cry for each of us as we face injustice and incompetence, now we talk each other down and laugh.
To have a real partner in life is a luxury in itself; and perhaps the real luxury I couldn’t live without, both figuratively and literally, is Cliff’s fair and gentle influence. He keeps me upright. He makes me laugh. And the other luxuries–the house, paintings, books, toys? Mostly that’s just stuff.