[ from a. addair who is listening to The Flaming Lips (At War With The Mystics) ]
“…a gift relationship with nature, a formal give-and-take that acknowledges our participation in, and dependence upon, natural increase. And where we have established such a relationship we tend to respond to nature as a part of ourselves, not as a stranger or alien available for exploitation. Gift exchange brings with it, therefore, a built-in check upon the destruction of its objects; with it we will not destroy nature’s renewable wealth except where we consciously destroy ourselves. Where we wish to preserve natural increase, therefore, gift exchange is the commerce of choice, for it is a commerce that harmonizes with, or participates in, the process of that increase.”
-Lewis Hyde, The Gift
I’m learning that everything is a gift. My breath, creativity, relationships, and food : everything. And when all things are gifts, the appropriate posture is one of openness. A thing obtained at no price should be given freely.
I’m deciding to let go. A few times a day I unclench my fists in order to remind my body of this decision.
Somewhere along the way, I appropriated the belief that humans stand outside the cycles of the natural world. I forgot that giving and taking and movement are the constant motions of balance. And to step outside or jam a cycle will result in dysfunction.
I’m talking mostly about work. For so long I’ve believed that there isn’t enough to go around and am driven by the fear of scarcity. I take on too many projects, am overly ambitious, hoard, drain myself, and spit on the gift of creativity. I’ve been guilty of capitalizing on gifts which were meant to be consumed or shared; I have not been permeable with all good things.
The burden of viewing life as a material commodity is lifting and I’m looking forward to re-entering the rhythms of gift exchange.