Thursday, December 23, 2010
From today's cache of digital images, we offer you this shot of our lovely model with an order of eggs Benedict at Robert Timms in Wheelock Place, Singapore. Served with a modest side of salad, grilled tomato and baked beans... and butter and jam, the most bizarre accompaniment I have ever seen to a savoury breakfast.
But that's not what this post is about.
Breakfast with an old friend this morning turned out to be unexpectedly profound.
Some of the lessons we learnt through today's events are more hers than mine to share, but there were more than enough to go around. Even with two highly reflective introverts present.
Here's one that I got.
Shortly after we'd been seated, I handed her a gift.
Saw her smile as she looked at the colourful die-cut shape of the notebook.
Watched her enthusiastically open it to see the printed pages.
Heard her exclaim at the cuteness of the whole.
Felt my heart sink, not a little, when she said, "But I won't use it, lor."
You, Ms Recipient, yes you, I know you read my blog and maybe that's why I'm posting this anyway. But don't feel you alone are being targeted; I know I'm guilty of the same thing. I think most of us are, and it seems the perfect season to put an end to this practice of incomplete receiving.
The gifts we're given aren't really ours, are they, until we put them to use?
Until their packaging is wrecked, they can still be returned.
Until their pages are marked, they can be handed on to someone else, and none the wiser.
Until the gift is put to its intended use, the giver gets no gratification for his thoughtful, personal choice.
It makes me a little queasy to know that my paltry gift may remain wrapped in cellophane, untouched by the priceless record of my friend's days.
I wonder how much worse it must feel to have given a far more valuable gift, only to see it forgotten and neglected whilst we fumble our way around for lack of it.
It's only too easy in this season to get caught up in the gifts we exchange, forgetting those that have already been laid before us.
Are we breaking someone's heart by neglecting to open and experience all that he has unstintingly given?
Today, tomorrow and always, I would like us to feast on the gift; let's drink to the dregs.
A peaceful Christmas to you.