Our Jeopardy
By Thomas John Carlisle
It is good to use 
best china
treasured dishes
the most genuine goblets 
or the oldest lace tablecloth
there is a risk of course
every time we use anything 
or anyone shares an inmost
mood or moment
or a fragile cup of revelation
but not to touch
not to handle
not to employ the available
artifacts of being
a human being 
that is the quiet crash
the deadly catastrophe
where nothing
is enjoyed or broken
or spoken or spilled
or stained or mended
where nothing is ever
lived 
loved 
pored over
laughed over 
wept over 
lost 
or found.
I am sitting with this poem this afternoon, pondering what it might mean in my own life. 
I make a habit out of (trying) not to accumulate expensive or valuable things. 
I no longer think about our “nice china” or sterling silver placesettings; items that were SO important for our wedding registry (at least, according to my mother…). 
No, I prefer the IKEA stoneware (although I had to replace the IKEA silverware, as the spoons were not “tea” spoons, they were “miniscule” spoons…). Comfy clothes, purchased at consignment shops. Shifting my spending to food, and books, and music. Things that bring me joy, and sustain me. 
And yet, in my life, I persist in not wearing the nicer clothing. In not using the better lotion. Leaving things for “someday”. 
And why? 
Why leave the nice things for “someday”, when that day may never come? 
What if TODAY is someday? 

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