Gift-Giving, And Much More.

Ok, first a couple of things to get out of the way. One–got an announcement from the EvolveFish people that their stuff is on sale. I get no money from them at all, but I must say I am biased toward a couple of things on their site. Two–I wouldn’t say this at all, cuttlefish that I am, except that I noticed a commenter discovering just today that there is, in fact a volume of Cuttlefish verse available in both dead-tree and e-versions of some sort. And there are also cool things to wear and drink from. Not the same things, but… Anyway, those are found in the Cuttlestuff link.

But that’s not the purpose of this post.

There are many things I would give if I could… but can’t. There are actually very few things I want or need. Cuttlefamily is healthy (well, have chronic diseases that are well controlled by modern medicine), not in debt (not quite, anyway), happy (that one has no disclaimer), and far more fortunate than we have any right to be (chronic disease and all). Mind you, extended Cuttlefamily is not doing so well, which is a mixed thing–you see, many of them have lived long enough to be dying of cancer, which means a pretty good run at life so far (each life has some tragedies, but this is not the time for that).

I would give health. But I cannot. I would give travel, but I cannot afford that, and travel is a luxury. I would give things that no one can give… And for that, I consider myself extraordinarily fortunate. For my people, I don’t need to give food (but I will, some, but not because these items are needed, but because they are wanted–this makes all the difference in the world). I don’t need to give rent money, or an only pair of shoes without holes, or warmth. I can’t give a pancreas, or I would.

What do I want? Damn, isn’t that a fine question? I don’t have to ask “what do I need?. I want time. No one can give me that–especially in my size or style. I want hugs, and I’ll get them. That’s pretty much it. I begin to understand Dumbledore’s fondness for wool socks.

Mind you, if Nikon or Montblanc wanted me to write reviews of cameras, lenses, and fountain pens, in iambic pentameter, I could write you a list that would make your head spin. But just saying that… noting that such incredible luxury is what I think of, instead of fixing this car (the “new” one is 12+ years old, but it’s in good shape), or that furnace (new burner in 2 years ago, so we’re good) or that window (replaced 4 years ago)… Damn. I am the luckiest Cuttlefish on the planet.

So… comment thread…. what do you want to give, that you cannot? What do you want, that cannot be given? Do you consider yourself fortunate? (and no, I will not ask anyone if they have been naughty or nice. None of any of our damn business.)


  1. says

    I’d like to give my kids a better version of their father, one that actually makes the effort to see them and learn about them, as a father should. They are amazing and he may never know that. There is good in him too, but they will probably never know that either.

    I, like you, would love to be given the gift of time: time to read, time to create, time to spend with loved ones, time (and money) to travel, time to just enjoy life at a slower pace.

    I’m lucky to not have much sickness or financial difficulties in the family, at least for now. I’m also lucky to have great friends. I just wish more of the world were as lucky as I am.

    All the best to you and your Cuttlefamily.

  2. Johnny Vector says

    Fame. I want to give fame.
    No, not fame. Recognition. Awareness. I have so many brilliantly talented friends, unknown and underknown to the general world. Musicians who can transport me to a Blue Ridge Laughing; actors who can envision a tragedy of love and death as commedia, and still make me cry; writers who can find the universal truths in a cheesy zombie movie. They can make a living giving us the beauty of their art, but they should be so much better known.

    So, to Carbon Leaf, Happenstance Theatre, A Faction of Fools, Stephen Gregory Smith and Matt Conner (for starters), I wish I could give you a way to find the audience that wishes they knew your work.

    (And yes, I am fortunate. I bring the beauty of the universe to people, which pays way better than bringing art, despite really being driven by the same basic human desires.)

  3. Thinker says

    Living in a country at peace with its neighbors and the world, and having:

    – an interesting job,
    – a nice home the bank only owns half of,
    – food in the fridge,
    – wine or whisky, should I or a visiting friend feel like it,
    – and good health (except for manageable pollen allergy),

    there is no way I can call myself anything but fortunate.

    What I would like to give is — focus, presence and concentration. When I talk with someone, they should feel that they have my undivided attention, instead of seeing how I am trying to process 20 other things at the same time, with the only result being dissatisfaction — theirs and mine. The wonderful people I get to interact with deserve that from me, at the very least…

    What I want? Well, I get warm and earnest hugs when I need them, with a great listener attached for good measure, so I don’t need to write to Santa about that. In terms of material things, it would certainly be nice to replace the money-absorbing black hole of a car I currently have with something newer and a little less environmentally burdening, and I could list various gadgets for the home, but what I really want (as in desire, crave, long for) is more travel.

    I would love to have the opportunity and time to visit the whole world (this is a wish list, OK?), see its natural splendor, experience its cultures, taste its food and meet its people, to better understand how we are all “same, same but different”. I have been able to do a bit of travel, but I will readily admit it is a powerful drug that has me hooked. To close the loop: it has also helped me know how very, very fortunate I am.

  4. embertine says

    I’d give my grandmother peace and contentment at the end of her lfie. I’d give my friends who are struggling with their confidence the power to see how much they are valued and loved. I’d give my mum a body unravaged by excess, and the motivation to keep it that way.

    As for what I want, the sad thing is that the only cockroach in my crème brulée is money. I’ve been struggling since I got my new job and I’ve just found damp in my new house. Anyone wants to throw some lottery winnings my way, that would be much appreciated.

    Oh yeah, and whirled peas and all that crap.

  5. Mimmoth says

    I have some friends I’d give good physical health.

    I have some friends I’d give paying work that matches their passions and ideals and uses their talents.

    I have some friends I’d give good mental health.

    None of these things lie within my power so I settle for things like books and music.

  6. badgersdaughter says

    I would want to give every child the unshakeable conviction that they are deserving of respect and confident in their integrity. I would like to stuff each one’s stocking, in addition, with a gift certificate to a decent, respectable start in life when it comes time to leave home and go out on their own.

    What do I want that I can’t have? My husband’s green card to be wrapped up and delivered before his visa runs out and he has to go back overseas.

  7. says

    Ahh, Cuttlefish, a beautiful post again.

    My grandmother has late-stage Alzheimer’s, and it’s been really hard on everyone in my family. If I could give anything, I’d make her last few years peaceful and quiet. I’d give my grandfather as much peace as possible, given the situation. And, since Alzheimer’s runs in the family, I’d give my mother the assurance that this isn’t going to happen to her (or me). Other than that, I’d give my boyfriend a cure for chronic heartburn, my friend the realization that he is in the wrong major, and my other friend the ability to get out of debt and go somewhere that makes him happy.

    I’m a very lucky person, so I really don’t need much. If I could ask for anything, I’d ask for enough money so that my parents wouldn’t have to pay my rent anymore. I’ve gone most of my college career without needing their help, but even though I got a job recently this year has been pretty tough. I’m incredibly lucky that I have parents who can afford to help me out, but it isn’t easy for them, and I hate to ask. That’s all I really want. If I were to have extra wishes, I’d ask for an apartment that allows pets and enough money to take care of one, because I really miss having animals. And I guess enough money so that I don’t have to feel guilty every time I buy something non-essential, like beer or extra books. But other than that, I’m really all set. I have a loving family whom I’ll be seeing over Winter Break, and a loving boyfriend who respects me and makes me incredibly happy. I’m studying a subject that I’m passionate about, I have good grades, and I’m generally healthy.

    I’ve been feeling pretty down about my life recently, but after typing all that out I feel incredibly grateful. Thanks, Cuttlefish, for the reminder.

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