TO HAVE OR HAVE NOT

 

2016

 

The I Ching says: 

“Possess as if you possess nothing.”

I have things.

Some of them I don’t need. 

I’ve gotten rid of lots of things.

But I still seem to have a lot.

What is the point of having a chair if no one ever sits in it?

Or gewgaws.

Knickknacks.

Dust catchers.

Chazerai.

Chingadera.

Whatever you want to call it.

Who needs it?

Downsizing is the new rage.

Especially for those getting up in age.

One couple sold their big house and all their belongings to live on a boat.

Back in the Sixties it was the rage to own nothing.

Share everything.

Or give it all away.

I knew an American girl who traded her classic Porsche for a backpack, and went traveling with a man from Ireland who had a wild head of red hair and a matching red beard and not much else. 

Of course, her father had bought her the car.

And there was plenty more money where that came from.

Which she comfortably knew.

So it didn’t affect her wallet.

Easy come, easy go.

We were all wanderers then.

Some of us still are.

Though so many of us now rest underground.

Or have been turned to ash and scattered on mountaintops, beside a lake, or out in the ocean.

The ultimate wandering. 

Life everlasting.

World without end.

Not owning a thing.

It’s a matter of perspective.

For instance, possession is nine-tenths of the law.

Which derives from the Nine Original Laws back in the 17th Century defining 

property ownership. 

In 1616, Thomas Draxe said, “Possession is nine points in the Law.”

Somehow that got turned into possession being nine-tenths of the law.

In other words, interference with possession is against the law.

And that interference takes many forms.

Robbery.

Rape.

Assault.

Murder.

Arson.

Extortion.

Burglary.

Embezzlement.

Abduction.

They all involve possessions of one kind or another.

Or the belief, anyhow, that one owns something.

Or someone.

And one wants it—or her or him—back.

Or someone owns something and somebody else wants it.

The Ten Commandments come to mind.

But can we really possess anything?

Are we possessive about our possessions?

Or are we possessed by possessions themselves?

Who IS the possessor here?

Those who lose everything in a fire or flood certainly know.

Here today.

Gone tomorrow.

Feast or famine.

It’s a matter of perspective.

Read more poetry!

 

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