The Priceless Gifts of the Woman-who-posts-Poems

The Woman-who-posts-Poems-only-to-be-asked-to-increase-the-Frequency-of-the-Posting lives in Philadelphia in the eastern US.

 

She posts poems on her front door or on a window.

 

 

 

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From time to time in the growing season, she leaves on her front step a seasonal arrangement.  These are made from the plants in her garden. 

 

She says that she makes them for one particular girl in her neighborhood who knows that they are for her.

 

 

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And then there is the drama of the monarch butterfly in gestation and the little boy who knocks on her door to check on progress.

 

 

 

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In the high serious manner of little boys, he informs her that his next visit will be at 3.15 when he gets out of school.  

 

 

 

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A monarch in the Woman’s garden

 

 

With children whom she knows, she shares clothing.  When they grow out of them, they give them back to her.

 

 

 

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One of her own cardigans, shrunk in a wash.  Three people embroidered the inside upper back: the Woman herself for a child whom she saw grow up, and two other children

 

 

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These gifts should be seen in the context of two characteristics of North American life.

 

 

 

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The first is the fabled generosity of the North Americans who every year give away vast amounts of money, of things, and of their own volunteered time. Without which their civil society would probably collapse.

 

The second is this society’s fierce, earth-exhausting materialism.

 

 

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A gift given which cannot be owned

 

a gift which has no market value and is not part of a fad; 

 

 

 

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A little vintage Uzbek top, lined with printed cotton.  A snake on the back and little velvet triangular epaulets

 

 

 

a gift which does not point to anything other than its own intrinsic charm, its usefulness;

 

 

 

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The pièce de résistance: red shoes

 

 

 

and that connects giver and recipient in an appreciation of the unspoken beauty of our lives

 

 

 

 

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The pièce de résistance: red shoes

 

 

 

And in an appreciation of that aspect of our lives which is not material and cannot be grasped, held, or owned

 

 

 

 

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The pièce de résistance: red shoes

 

 

 

This is a most valuable gift in a society in which, from a very young age, every child knows what they want and where to buy it;

and then, in due course, tosses it;

 

 

where the value of a person’s life, the degree of a person’s attractiveness is measured in the show and display of a person’s material possessions

 

And where almost everything and everyone is thought to have a price but no value. 

 

 

These gifts which have value and no price are the Woman’s rare gifts.

 

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4 thoughts on “The Priceless Gifts of the Woman-who-posts-Poems

  1. Dear Vin de Vie,
    Your description of the Woman-who-posts-poems left me temporarily breathless. You brought into clear focus the beauty, richness, and abundance of her life. With your words and visual descriptions, you captured the element of surprise, wonder, and love that is her gift.
    Thank you!

    1. Thank you very much for this comment of your appreciation!

      My words are a reflection of a wonderful reality: of thoughtful, loving human interaction with the world and of kindness and of generosity of intent and action. I am glad to be a witness to this and to be able to describe it.

  2. Did I tell you how much I enjoy reading and re-reading this entry on your blog? Thank you, thank you. I so love those red shoes; however, it is the woman herself that elicits not only admiration but a distant love and thanksgiving.

    1. Susannah, Thank you for this. I could not agree with you more about the empathy and generosity and thoughtfulness of the woman in question! Sarah

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