Couch

Couch: (n) a piece of furniture for seating

Although I am just as guilty as the next man or woman of what we shall call “greedy” prayers—those wishes and supplications we make to God and the universe to improve our bank accounts—I am also fully aware that some of the best times of my life transpired when I was funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
unencumbered with the desire for finance, and found great joy in simply trying to survive.

There were many aspects of that process. Let me boil them down to three categories:

  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Escape

When you’re poor, every day there is the need to find something to eat and also a safe place to sleep and something that is more comfortable than a cardboard box to rest your bones upon, and then, to have the intuition to escape creditors, family members, critics and anybody else who would try to “guilt” you into a lifestyle that mirrors their own.

Now right there, friends, is a full-time job.

If you do not have money, finding enough to eat, a place to sleep, and a way to escape the scrutiny of your adversaries will keep every child of God busy until morning’s light.

I learned the simplicity of finding change and turning it into a couple of dollars which would buy enough bologna and bread to make a meal—if I slipped out into the woods and picked myself some wild blackberries.

And I certainly knew how to circle a neighborhood and find a discarded couch which was heading for the dumpster and had nothing wrong with it except some dirt and recent rain that fell while it sat awaiting its execution.

That couch was fair game. It was rejected, left alone and on a public sidewalk. If I could jump out of my beat-up van, lift it in, and take it back to my location of rest, I could have a place to sit and sleep. There were times I broke out in tears over discovering a particular sofa that was so comfortable that it literally “couched” my aching muscles for many weeks.

I was amazed at what people will give away, throw away or discard because in their opinion, it got old too fast.

I was also astounded at how many doughnut places took their mistakes and day-old product and dumped them out every morning at 8:16 A. M.

And I was careful to swoop in at just the right moment, taking as little time as possible to procure a couch or a beat-up box of rejected doughnuts.

Poverty is an adventure in exhaustion which receives no applause for ingenuity.


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Brier

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brier: (n) any of a number of prickly scrambling shrubs

Maybe pleasure is the absence of pain. It seems like a dark definition.

Perhaps pleasure and pain should be separated by some great gulf to ensure they will not bang into each other. We could call that valley between the two “normalcy.”

But all of us know that’s a lie.Dictionary B

What we gradually learn is that having a wet diaper and a hungry tummy isn’t worth squalling about. It sure seems like we should do it when we’re babies–but that’s because we’re babies. Everything is about us and our comfort, and anything that disrupts us is considered so despicable that we must scream at the top of our lungs.

Nine years old and I went out picking blackberries. There were briers with thorns. The blackberries were beautiful. Can I also say they were quite tasty?

But I pricked myself three or four times and came back with a bad memory of the excursion because of a little pain.

Since that time, life has come along and beat me up quite a bit–to the point that being pricked in a brier patch seems miniscule, especially in comparison to the pleasure which comes from the fruit of my labor.

Maturity, especially spiritual ascension, is once and for all understanding that the absence of pain is pleasure.

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