Thursday, November 8, 2007

What if who I am is more important than what I have?

Last summer, I wrote an article about Chuck Bernard (The Woodchuck), a wildly eccentric woodcarver in Bouctouche (his shop is just a little south of the Dunes. It’s the one that looks like a Spanish galleon sailed right through it). Chuck likes to use his art to challenge people to think outside accepted norms.

For just a toonie, he will stop his woodcarving to give tourists and visitors a performance of his life story, scenes of which are carved into his coffin. Yes, his coffin. Trust me, it’s truly a performance worth seeing. He’s lived a pretty colorful life.

A toonie doesn’t seem like much, but you’d be amazed how many people balk at letting go of one.

It’s not about the money, really. (He gives the toonies away.) Chuck has never had money, so hoarding it is of little importance to him. He knows that who he is, is more important than what he has. It’s more about teaching people to let go of stuff.

Chuck also knows that all those frivolous self-serving things we choose to bring into our lives slowly eclipse our true nature. But that each time we give something away, it helps us uncover our deepest desires; the things that matter most. Ask anyone who has lost it all, whether possessions are important.

What if the most important thing in life is the one thing we cannot lose; the thing that has been there all along?


Diane said...

Absolutely, the most important things are really where we came from for many of us. I mean that in the most literal sense: our parents, especially from the womb of our mother.

My mother died earlier this year and I've still not found my new reality. Nothing but nothing is as important to me as my family, my friends, and the gifts of nature. A bit simplistic? Maybe, but your question bears a great deal of meaning to me.

Diane at Sand to Glass
"Add a Soldier to your Christmas Card List this year"

Deborah Carr said...

Thank you, Diane. Not simplistic at all. Loss drives us deep.

Mothers pass on a fragment of themselves to their children, who then pass it on to their children, and on and on and on. Like a baton in a relay race.

When you really, deeply dwell on this...this passing on of one real, true piece of yourself through the generations to come…doesn't it become even more important to care about 'who' you are right now?

Doesn't it become crucial to pay attention, to protect and to nurture that honest part of your soul that still exists somewhere deep beneath the turmoil and influence and responsibilities of life?

I think it does.