Monday, January 5, 2009

Toothpaste Wars

I took some time yesterday to write myself a letter as Buechner suggested (in the book mentioned in yesterday's post). Said letter is preserved in the handwritten journal where most of what I write these days gets recorded. 
Here goes the edited baring of my soul.
  1. I hope that in fifteen years I’m still having toothpaste wars with my husband. Do you envision two nuts with loose bolts squeezing toothpaste on each other, making a mess that I would have to clean up? Wrong. Toothpaste wars is what we call the contest where the person who fails to squeeze out enough paste for one teeth-washing and therefore must throw the empty tube in the trash and open a new one, that person loses. Born of the “waste not, want not” of my upbringing, this contest showed my husband there was much more in the flattened tube than he realized. Now he’s a believer. And I hope we still like each other in fifteen years, that we continue to derive pleasure from the ridiculous.
  2. I hope that no matter how much water goes under whatever bridges crossed that I’m still good friends with everyone who considers me their friend now. I hope not to have lost anyone–oh no, not one–through neglect or misunderstanding or putting a project or a principle before the person. I could say more, but it would get icky like toothpaste.
  3. I hope that in fifteen years I’m not worried about my weight, my age, my skin or my hair color, that I have made peace with the person who occupies this transient vehicle, marvel that it is.
  4. I hope to have shed personal ambition while maintaining the motivation to be involved with others building something instead of merely critiquing what others have built.
  5. I hope I will still want to write and take pictures, to communicate through words and images something worth noticing, admiring or remembering. I hope I still have faith in people despite disappointments with individuals and more importantly, disappointments in myself. Forgiveness and moving beyond hurts to healing should characterize my nature.
I know I want to turn out to be softer and to live more simply, to shed the acquisitive instinct in favor of realizing life “every, every minute,” as Emily said in Thornton Wilder’s play, Our Town.
In the meantime, I will keep squeezing all that I can get out of this toothpaste tube we call life

1 comment:

Sarah Onderdonk said...

Carol... I'm inspired! Thanks for sharing and welcome to blogland!