#16, #17, #18 & #19
#16. I gave jean scraps to a friend who sews and (…seriously) shampoo that I wasn’t using to a friend who loves the stuff. One wo-man’s “trash” is another wo-man’s treasure. Along with the shampoo I gave a t-shirt. A Beyonce t-shirt.
I purchased this t-shirt at a thrift-store in Ellsworth, Maine in the Summer of 2012. I found the shirt in the winter when it was 25 cents and thought better of purchasing yet another thing to have to stuff in my carry-on back to Nebraska. I did what any adult would do…hid the shirt in the bottom of the barrel and hoped it would be there when I returned to the store during the Summer…
Much to my surprise and delight when I returned it was there. This time for 50 cents…I purchased it and fell in love with it. I had been thinking about that t-shirt on and off SINCE I left it in January and it was finally mine.
Why the heck was I in Ellsworth, Maine? I was visiting my late Grandmother, my Nan, who lived in Ellsworth. My breathing pauses and I am tempted to cry at the mention of this. Grieving comes and goes and can pop up even years after the incident occurs. Her and I were shopping in downtown Ellsworth and I came across the Beyonce gem. I purchased it alone when I returned in the Summer to visit her.
I visited her every time I made it back to my home-state. As she aged I started to accept that my opportunities to visit her could come to an end at any moment. Much of my motivation for making frequent, sometimes lengthy trips, back home was to visit her while she was still alive. In August of 2013 I made my last visit to see my Nan. During which she said two things that stick out in my mind:
“I might just DROP DEAD” (she had a stroke within 36 hours of saying this) and quite off-handishly “….Spend you money.”
So this t-shirt I equate with her town, my visits to see her, her. The reality is I wore it once every four months or so and it is too big for me. My friend loves Beyonce much more than I do and I knew she would appreciate this t-shirt for what it is: a lovely shirt. Not what I had equated it with: memories of my beloved grandmother. I told my friend to return the shirt to me if it does not fit, if she does I will know that it is meant for me to keep that shirt. Otherwise, it is back out in the Universe. I am left to feel my feelings of over-attachment and inability to let-go of people and possessions. The difference here from my usual tendencies though is that I did let go, I let go of an article of clothing that I dumped all sortsa STUFF onto and in the process I am able to let go of the person associated with all that STUFF, my Nan.
We all (well, many of us) have such items that we equate with memories, people, events (fill in your blank). Depending on who you are determines your level of attachment and the fear/sadness/anger you would experience if you were to lose it or voluntarily pass it on.
My gifting of this t-shirt was an attempt at separating my love for my Grandmother from the memories/over-attachment I had placed onto an article of clothing. I feel okay with this act and overall I think it was a good move. My Nan attached value to almost no material objects, at least emotional value (she worked hard her entire life, she enjoyed clothes shopping, a nice hat etc.) so I feel that in my 32nd year in this form and 1 yr+ after her passing I am inheriting her ability to let go of. To move on with. and to go out and gladly buy another shirt! 🙂
#17. Not gonna mention act. I will say that this it was a pay it forward I did inspired by a friend of mine unexpectedly treating myself and another friend to dinner at Modern Love, in Omaha, Nebr. (thank you). It was a brave move for Isa Chandra Moskowitz to move to Nebraska (formerly known as the Beef State) and open a VEGAN restaurant. I would like to support such an effort.
#18. I gave a $1 donation for an awesome magnet from Common Roots Collective.
I almost kept this one anonymous because it was “only $1.” Then I remembered going to an Anarchist house concert in Milwaukee in the Summer of 2007.
I had a very difficult time finding the house (I still get lost every time I go to Milwaukee…) I found it though, in a bit of a run down but quaint neighborhood. I still remember the whaf of body odor upon entering (keep in mind that at this time I only used soap to sometimes wash my clothing and to wash my hands…and was there because I was considering Anarchy, so, I’m not judging this body odor…it just makes for a memorable entrance). I wouldn’t say the crowd was welcoming or really all that friendly. I don’t remember any snacks but there was lots of beer. I’m not sure I even liked the place. I was in an extreme exploratory phase and I was there for the experience. The band that played was unlike anything I had ever heard and I bought their CD and put a donation in their coffee can.
Their near empty empty coffee can.
A tad less empty with my small, but what I would consider reasonable donation. I suddenly became very angry at the lack of support offered to our entertainment for the night. There were easily 100 people at the house supporting “the cause” and enjoying the performance. Had each person given $1, the band would have had $100 (plus whatever else they received for their merch etc.)
So I take back my “it’s just $1” thinking. Projects like that Anarchist house and Common Root depend on major support from their core group and a little bit of support from every person that somehow utilizes what they are offering. There are a lot of “us” and if we all give a little it becomes a lot. I understand that this is not a realization worthy of a band playing and lights flashing but it is important to remember. A little goes a long way. Every little bit helps. It all adds up (anymore cliches out there, please do share).
I am really into this thinking while a group I am involved with raise money to adopt-a-flock of turkeys (which is $210) for Thanksgiving from Farm Sanctuary! I will not donate the entire $210 but we have collected $180! We. (See day #21!!!!)
#19. I gave my roommate’s dog a walk! Repeat. It is crazy cold out, both Wally and I are dedicated.
I am Crazy in Modern love with ya’ll right now! Wally and I want to THANK you for giving your time to read this post. I recognize that time is precious and hope you are receiving the messages you need or are inspired to look elsewhere. If you haven’t and would like to, please visit and “Like” my “Listen” Facebook page: Listen207 Thank you!