Dream of: 25 July 2003 "Porcelain Elephant"
After my wife Carolina and I walked into a Goodwill store, I was immediately surprised to see a group of intriguing statues standing clustered on the floor. Two statues in particular were alluring: statues of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. These two were about 30 centimeters taller than I. They were hand-carved from dark brown wood, and had been created in exquisite detail – especially John the Baptist (the Christ statue was not quite as well-carved as the Baptist). The faces on both statues were a bit distorted, mouths gapping open, as if in shock. I stood admiringly in front of John the Baptist and looked for a price tag. Several different tags hung from the statue, but finally I found the one with the price: $98.00. It was a little expensive, but since I wanted it, I picked up the statue to claim it before someone else saw it.
No other statue in the room was as tall nor as appealing as these two, but the other statutes were likewise enticing. Carolina was already carrying around something she wanted to buy and I wondered whether I might also find something else. Many other statues were about a meter tall and portrayed very thin – emaciated – people. The other statues looked a bit African in origin, but the features of the faces didn't seem African. Had one person donated all these statues to Goodwill? I rarely visited Goodwill anymore; but I thought maybe I would begin to do so more often if these kind of items were available.
Another man walked up and perused the statues. He set down a bulky item which he was carrying, a blue and white porcelain statue of an elephant, the kind with a flat back for setting a flower pot on. It was quite attractive, standing about 60 centimeters tall.
I looked on some shelves at other items. Some cloth bags about 10 centimeters tall were sitting on one shelf. They were filled with sand and had artistic designs sewn on the side. I stuck my finger in the sand of one bag. The bags were pretty, but I wasn't interested. If a person had many things like these, it would be necessary to store some things part of the time; maybe big plastic boxes could be used; but that would be a lot of trouble. And was I not trying to reduce the number of my possessions, to lighten up? Maybe I shouldn't even buy the statue of the Baptist.
I picked up a picture frame with a print which looked as if it might be by Marc Chagall. The frame was well-designed, the kind which allow easy changing of pictures. I was somewhat interested; but again – should I be acquiring more possessions?
When Carolina walked back up to me, still carrying her item, I became more convinced I didn't need to buy anything. At this juncture in my life I didn't need to acquire, I needed to get rid of things. The Baptist statue was so exquisite – not buying it would be difficult. Abruptly, however, I realized I didn't need to buy anything right now. Carolina and I agreed: we wouldn't buy anything today.
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