Fresh Living

backpackblack.jpgThis week someone stole my bag–the backpack that acts (acted) as my purse (see its twin, left). Shivering at an outdoor cafe after running into some friends, I had piled it on top of my yoga mat bag and little nylon grocery bag. It was just within my periphery at my feet.

I recall looking at it and thinking, “Is it safe there?” native New Yorker that I am. I deemed it so and delved into a nice chat. When it was time to pay, though, poof, gone. The restaurant manager kindly checked their video cameras, of which I was apparently out of range, offered to call the cops, had his employees look in the nearest trash cans, etc. But, alas, nada. 

I’ve been stolen from before, but don’t recall feeling this out of sorts about it. I’m downright scattered, like little parts of myself were invested in those little things I carry every day. So to try and reclaim them I did what I do best–I made a list. Here’s part of it:

2 apples

Bottle of Poland Spring water

Notebook with Italian lesson notes

Wallet–credit card, debit card, driver’s license, punchcards, etc.

Small bag with teas, migraine meds

Makeup bag–cover-up, lipgloss, lipstick, Ammachi oil, lavender and peppermint oil, crystal earrings I made, an angel pin from Kripalu, Tunisian amber oil

“Take the Leap” by Pema Chodron

“Best Buddhist Writing 2008”

Stack of business cards

Box of fresh arugula

It helped to write down everything. A re-gathering. Intellectually I know things are not what matter and that this is so not a big deal. I’m lucky I wasn’t harmed, and that I didn’t have my laptop. And yet, it brings up that kind of groundless feeling, a reminder of impermanence. That these material things we start to identify as “ours,” are not–including, say the yogis and others, our very bodies and selves. The one thing we can rely is that this all dissolves. Not to be a total bummer!

There’s actually something almost freeing about it. Almost. I don’t actually need most of those things I think I needed–even those Buddhist books. And I have a little fantasy that the crook, instead of tossing it all in a trashcan after stealing my $60, is reading up on compassion, openness, and letting go, and Pema quotes like: “There’s a reason you can learn from everything: You have basic wisdom, basic intelligence, and basic goodness.” 

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