Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Most Beautiful Thing

I see a picture like that and my heart goes, "Bing bang boom, gimme gimme something like that, exactly that, that and in that same quantity!" It tells of plenty, like the horn of plenty. I can see the end from the beginning, of course -- it's one of my talents -- but I have enough short-term optimism to set all finitiude aside and say, "Yes, that will do me for a good long while."

Maybe it goes back to when we used to play grocery store, that we always wanted enough, a supply that did not quit. Or just the fact that everything that we have in hand, like the bird in hand, is that much we don't have to scratch for later. In fact there's no scratching, because the vital things of life are taken care of, freeing us to pursue the deeper matters of the spirit. And that's often been what's kept me from the spirit, the sense of lack, needing to get out on a zero degree day to procure toilet paper.

How tough it can be, too, to walk the bazaars, haggling over this much toilet paper. "Who do you think you are, needing that much, while everyone else goes without?" "I know, I know, on the face of it it looks like security issues, kind sir. But sell me this quantity and you shall not see my sort in your exalted shop for a good long time. I will husband each roll, I will keep it above the encroaching floods, I will say 'I shall use this much and no more!', everything knowing its limits, being divinely decreed."

That makes it right. Something that right can't be wrong. To have this much, arms full in hand, and to have it stored on the shelves, properly displayed, in the secret closet, to look at like Midas' millions, that's good. When I first see it, O how I linger, setting aside what I'm usually thinking of, the gnawing reality of finitude. But without really trying, I do mentally posit the limits of this stash. Six months if I'm lucky. I'm turning aside my fellow man for a six month supply.

But to each his own, right? One man hoards fine whiskey, or wine? Artwork, gold, valuable collectibles. Survivalists have their canned goods and ammunition. Learned old men hunch over tomes by their personal fire, guarding their treasure. Trolls are guarding bridges against goat encroachment. "There's gold in them thar hills!" someone cries, and everyone goes running. Except me, I'm not running for that gold, when I've got what I need right here in hand. Call me a Renaissance Man, appreciating the necessities.

I believe someday I will be endlessly happy, in the great forever. This stash of toilet paper goes a ways toward the fulfillment of that day, pointing to it. Were I to have not just these but another dozen rolls, that would be something of a topper, but I'm not sure I'd be happier. Tell not the looters! Maybe they'll never figure it out, even if I fail to make an appearance in the public square like everyone else, clamoring for rolls and using the communal cob chained to the bucket. I will be sly, making periodic appearances, trusting that the supply back home is safe for those moments.

Such worry only attests its worth. Because mankind, his back pressed up against the wall, is always smart. He know this is what he wants. And must have. And that's the rub. I spoke of looters. I hate it, but when desperation runs high, it's obviously easier to be found out. They could cry, "There he is! Get him! We divide the spoil, a little for you, a little for me!" Sorry to end on a down note.

But rejoice today, friends, for the stores are still full of it!

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