In you are the first causes of all things not eternal, the unchangeable origins of all things that suffer change, the everlasting reason of all things that are subject to the passage of time and have no reason in themselves. —Confessions, Saint Augustine
I’ve moved around a lot. I’ve mastered the art of traveling light. I’m not materialistic, so there are no costly things that I carry around. All these moves that I’ve made sifted out anything unnecessary from already a light load. I even gave away all my Shakespeare plays. I might regret that at some point.
The other day, I looked at a handful of things that I hold dear to my heart. Things that I always make sure to remember where I keep them. Do you sometimes forget where your valuables are because you’ve hidden them so well? I’ve done that too. Of those valuables, there are four items that I don’t mind disclosing here. Three of them are personal notes from two friends and one glamorous sage — yes, there is such a person — whom I semi-worshipped. The last but not least is this beat up book that I’ve read in an English class from college — Confessions. Have you read it? It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read. I sometimes find it more beautiful than the Bible.
I started reading it again recently, now the faded yellow pages with that old book store smell. It’s underlined and highlighted from the beginning to the end from my first reading of it from way back when. Even this second time around, I had to force myself to put it down, because I had to get to work.
I’ve learned that true friends emerge through test of times. So do personal treasures. What remained after all these years, all these jobs, all these phases in life. I guess for me, it’s the life giving words that are spoken(written) to me by people that I respect, some who know me and one in particular who doesn’t. Or does he?
It’s the words. My first love. Imagine the frustration that I’ve experienced as a verbose Korean kid who had to learn a whole new language at a time when her parents were unavailable to help as many immigrant parents were because they themselves were in the throes of things. Anyway, that’s a whole other thing that should be addressed more respectfully and appropriately.
I like where I am these days. I feel more in my body. My mind works better. I can now objectively take stock of what is important in life, my life. I love my treasures and I love my few dear friends who emerged like refined gold. I feel rich.