Stuff and Nonsense
I recently acquired a bookshelf.
While seemingly insignificant, let it be noted that it is just about the only piece of furniture in my apartment that I own, in all it's Ikea-designed glory. After having to be the token 'giddy-girl' in the scenario and make feeble attempts at helping, I was delegated 'Megan sized jobs' that were apparently more to my capabilities. This mostly involved putting pieces of dowel into holes, and standing around looking pretty while MrIkea wrangled the wood into a more favourable shape. Props to him for his fine assistance.
With a new shelf in place and standing bare in my lounge-room, I feel compelled to fill it's shelves. The camera collection has moved from the window sill, and the uni-work now has a home other than my bedroom floor – but there is still an insurmountable expanse of white space, begging to be filled. I figured with the savings I made on the bookshelf, I was basically entitled to buy some shiny new books for it, like the days when you'd get a new purse with money in – you can't have one without le other. They go together like dogs, cats and vets...
While standing in the bookshop, an armful of books already cramping my biceps, I started thinking about 'stuff'. I have these sorts of thoughts a lot, just about existence, purpose, and living how I should. Thinking about the uselessness of possessions, and how nothing is really important. I asked the man at the counter to hold the books for me, despite his disgruntled demeanour, and left the store to think about whether I really should buy the books. Later in the uni design lab, about to have some printing done, I realised my finger had become all of a sudden naked. I had put a ring on it, Beyonce style, that morning and it now was not there.
With some cursing happening in my head, I tried to think back to when I had last remembered its presence, typical 'oh my, I've lost something' kind of rituals. I probably didn't need the theatrics of rifling through my bag to check for the ring, on the carpeted floor of the hallway, but at least it would have been mildly entertaining for the Computer Kids who were discussing things I did not understand. Nerds of a feather, flocking together...
Then one of them mentioned something about a lady and a diamond ring and I thought I was in a movie. Gosh it was bizarre. I threw him a look of disbelief and then recognised that there was no way they were talking about me and refrained from grabbing his shirt and squealing “Do you have my ring!?”
I headed back the book store to hassle the grumpy man again, leaving my name and number incase it somehow appeared there. I then left to sulk some more and wonder how my fingers could have slimmed down to the point of jewellery falling off without my noticing. That salad-fingers-diet has really worked wonders.
I used to pray a lot for patience and tolerance. I think one of the big things in my God-relationship had always been the understanding that praying for something doesn't mean you'll just get it – there's always routes to get you there in the way He wants you to. I eventually learned to be tolerant after having to endure copious amounts of time with an individual I was not fond of in the slightest. At the time, I didn't really understand, but it makes perfect sense now, that you can only learn through things like this, testing patience and such.
Standing in the bookshop, pondering the ring, I realised I couldn't even be cranky about it, because of the realisation I'd had just minutes before, about 'stuff' and its unimportance in the grand scheme of things. The ring is just stuff, it's not a matter of life or death. I found two friends along the way who were more panicked than I was about the lost ring, and this resulted in a 'Megan, hold my bag' before he got onto his belly on the floor of the bookshop and proceeded to comb the carpet with his self-proclaimed 'eagle eyes'. We found a button, a heart locket, a cockroach, twenty five cents and other items of ephemera, but nothing of greater value.
While all this was taking place, I was having a slight epiphany, about friends and the importance of relationships (pretty sure that crawling on dirty carpet to look for a lost object is a pretty good declaration of friendship) and the unimportance of stuff.
Maybe someone really needed to find a ring, to cheer themselves up yesterday.
Maybe I just needed to have a stark realisation of what's important and what's not.
It's just stuff after all.
It's just a shame that it was antique-family heirloom-diamond stuff.
Keep on dancing.