In the midst of the hustle-bustle of loading up the dishwasher this lunchtime ‘clean up’ a monk approached and stood close. In a low voice and somewhat conspiratorially he said, ‘There is a rare opportunity at the back of the kitchen to acquire a banana box WITH lid‘. (empty of course) ‘Oh thanks‘, I replyed knowing I’d got my full complement already. The other day I’d pasted on some wallpaper to the front of them a long overdue, about two years overdue, project to upgrade these wonderful under-bed storage boxes.
The exchange made me smile. A rare opportunity? – to buy a Picasso at a knock-down price? To take ownership of a vintage car or a Spaniel up for adoption! It highlighted where the value lies and here in the monastery (and elsewhere too I’d imagine) it’s about ‘use’ and seeming rubbish can be pressed into service.
When helping an elderly woman to move, now deceased, I came across empty plastic contains and similar and knew well enough her generations ‘make do’ ethos which made it unthinkable to throw such items away. I didn’t even ask, they moved with her where they would, of course, ‘come in handy!
Why buy storage when we already have to hand, perfectly good storage? Now I look to the left and right of my screen to my desk and see containers once full of mushrooms now containing; scrap paper, headphones, sewing kit, diary/pens/intercom list/reading glasses, a container with office stuff – stapler, elastic bands, paper clips, memory sticks, white-out, extra pens, and blue tack. Treasure!
Today’s exchange provided a rare opportunity to applaud the useless throw-away materials now in service. But perhaps this is really applauding/appreciating community life; looking out for each other, sharing what’s important, knowing/living what’s truly important. Compassion, understanding – taking form.
As here so hopefully where you are. Different form, same life.