“The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” ― Robert Louis Stevenson
What do you treasure?
What’s most important to you?
Those questions were asked by Krista for The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure
I loved her story about her own treasure, and the accompanying photograph. Very poetic and so naturally beautiful. You can check it out by clicking on the link above.
After enjoying an imaginary wander through the life and treasure of someone else, I did what all humans do, and turned my attention to myself, my life and my treasure… but… What do I treasure? What’s most important to me?
It has been a very long while since I last treasured a thing, an object. Many of my treasures are abstract. They are often weighty, but they don’t weigh a thing. A few have physical form, scars which tell a tale. Then there are the ones which are both physical and abstract, relationships.
I can see the joy of treasuring objects because I have done this and enjoyed doing it, but I have also suffered because of it. The suffering yielded a treasure of sorts, a gift in a curse.
And there are certain objects which are important to me, but I don’t treasure them.
The problem with treasure when it is in the form of an object is that there is always someone, a pirate, out there who wants what you have, not necessarily because it has any intrinsic value but because you make it seem precious and worth having by treasuring it. Your precious becomes their precious too, more so because you have it and they don’t. They become obsessed with their want. They imbue the thing which you treasure with magic, believing that if they had it, they would have whatever it is they perceive that you have and they don’t have – pleasure, happiness, luck, wealth, etc. Your treasure become a genii in a magic lamp which is going to grant them what they desire.
If they manage to take your treasured thing away from you, they often find that it’s just a thing. A thing which has lost all its magic. This makes them sad, mad and… the whole rigmarole starts all over again because they think magical treasures only exist outside of themselves and everyone else has them. They never seem to realise that what was magical about the treasure was not the thing which you possessed, but it was you. You tapped into your inner magic and it flowed out of you and into the thing.
There are certain people who perceive that transference of inner magic into outer thing, and set about trying to obtain the person who has the magic within them. Collecting them like a thing in the hopes that the genii they have captured will grant them more than just three wishes because they’re clever enough to always use the third wish to wish for more wishes. And besides, you belong to them and they’re not setting you free until they get everything they want from you… so you’d better get used to living in the bottle they have generously provided for you.
These are the sort of people who look at a couple in love and decide that they must have that love for themselves. The latch onto the couple and them try and steal one half of the whole. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don’t. But when they do succeed… the magical treasure of love they hoped to steal and have for themselves by stealing one person away from the other is lost in the process and… this makes them sad, mad and… the whole rigmarole starts all over again because they think magical treasures only exist outside of themselves and everyone else has them.
Of course I have things, there are things all around me, on shelves, in drawers, and in boxes in cupboards. From where do these things come? Every time I clear out a bunch of things, the newly created empty space seems to attract new things like a powerful thing-magnet. Blink and what was empty is now full again.
Some of these things look like treasures…
Some seem very important…
Some just look like things…
And as Krista shows in her story, most things which are treasures to us, are that way because they hold a story, a memory, a moment which we treasure within them. When we hold or behold that thing we are transported into a magical place within, and it glows and grows surrounding us with a feeling of being enveloped in a golden and precious time.
The photo which I have chosen is of a treasure on the sole of a pair of boots – 0426 Shanghai / Gaucho by The Art Company – which I do not own but which I had the pleasure of photographing.
Why would you put such a beautiful and intricate design somewhere it is rarely if ever going to be seen and which will gradually be degraded by use?
It seems completely illogical, and yet absolutely perfect. Wabi sabi…
“Wabi sabi is a state of consciousness. It’s beauty hidden in the aesthetic or feeling experienced between you and something in the world.” via wabisabi.org.uk
A fleeting, evanescent, transient treasure… important to notice because they remind me of the extraordinary beauty in the ordinary moments. Here, now.
“Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” ― Epicurus