Real

So this year’s Christmas Day is dwindling  to a close. All my rantings of a week ago that many were kind enough to “like” and others to ignore have taught me (again) a very important thing. Anxiety, worry, doubt do nothing for whatever it is that causes the worry. What it does is steal that precious moment in time, and the next, and the next, until you are shaken out of the the potential joys of that moment. And those moments are lost. And whatever foggy stupor you have allowed to cloud  that future thing that has you so worried prevents you from living the realness of those lost moments.

My son and I sat in the quiet for a very short time together this evening, his last evening of his visit here. He is propelling himself into the future portion of his holiday trip, the remaining visits they will make before returning home.  I sensed his mild unease at my stillness as I soaked in his presence which is so rare for me now.

Did he remember a book he had when he was little, I asked, “The Velveteen Rabbit”?

Yes, he replied.

Was it the horse or the bunny who asked what it was like to be real, I wondered.

The bunny, he said.

So I looked it up.

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

“I suppose you are Real?” said the Rabbit, and then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

“The boy’s uncle made me Real,” he said. “That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

So lovely, brilliant, healthy, attractive, charming child of mine, always know that you are Real. Forever. Nothing and no one can ever take it away. You are greatly loved, by One who will never leave you.

And I will try hard to remember it, too.

 

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The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams Bianco. George H. Doran Co., Publishers. 1922.

Staged Reality

I’ve not gotten caught up in these so-called reality shows. Not the housewives ones, nor Duck Dynasty, nor Millionaire Matchmaker– none. I nearly got sucked in though on a channel that I occasionally watch. I say occasionally because in winter I seem to gravitate way too much to television and am trying to break that habit.

I like Food Network. I like “Chopped” and sometimes “Cupcake Wars”, sometimes but not very often “Sweet Genius” or “Restaurant Impossible”. But those programs where they claim they have hidden cameras all over restaurants, in their kitchens, bars, and dining areas– I don’t know about those. They have a guy who hosts this program, having the restaurant owner with him in the control room where they have all these monitors. The owner has supposedly suspected one or some of his employees of stealing, abusing other coworkers or diners or something that would be a firable offense. Sometimes these are actually believable, but then the offender/s are brought in to the control room and wonder what all those monitors are. I can’t help but question whether these are actors portraying actual incidents. Or even made-up ones. They don’t appear truly surprised, or humbled, or inflamed, or indignant, or appalled, unless people are so callused that even their truth seems fake. No, they appear to have been rehearsed through this. I mean, can this actually happen to someone who does steal or abuse a customer or coworker? Without the impending lawsuit people seem to be able to get away with these days for pain and suffering regardless of the blatant fact that they caused the pain and suffering by their own actions?? Nobody seems to want to be responsible for something s/he did or said to intentionally hurt or deceive someone else. It’s always someone else’s fault. They got caught! Plain and simple. But on so many levels even networks are exploiting people’s devious stupidity. They cash in on stuff they tell us happened, but did it really? I know it could, but really, who wins in this one? I’ve never seen a disclaimer stating the participants are actors, but maybe there is one. The credits roll so fast who can read them? 

Maybe this blog isn’t so much about false reality as it is about our pathetic so-called justice system. There is no justice in the law. Winners are those who can argue a legal point better than somebody else, sometimes regardless of whether it has any moral or ethical bearing at all.

Most of the time it doesn’t even give the appearance of justice. Reality as I understand it is raw, vulnerable, risk-taking, bald-faced authenticity. Something a person can not hide behind because it is all s/he is.

And we, in our inerrant (?) hope in humanity, want to believe.