I used to look at those gilded people, you know the ones. With their shiny, confident, perfect lives sailing along on a smooth jet stream and imagine what it must be like to be one of them. I used to envy them, not the lives or trappings of success, but the confidence, the certainty that they are right, that everything will come to them and the shininess is theirs for the taking, served on a platter, ad infinitum.
Now I have more wisdom about those gilded lives, and when I compare my slightly shabby, battered-at-the-edges life I find it, not lacking, but richer by comparison. The grubby corners give it contrast, the dark patches create character, a chiaroscuro of living. And what this tapestry of colour, of clashing brights, and black, black lows, and faded worn canvas says about me, is that my living has been so far, a many splendored thing.
My experiences shape a soul, not create a picture perfect package. And out of this melting pot of heart-living, I hope, is emerging a beautiful compassion, a spiritual understanding of the world, and a creative heart and soul that knows no bounds. And when I’m old and grey and have only my memories, my grubby life with its spills and stains, will wrap me up like an old familiar quilt and entertain my still hours. I’ll take that any day over a gilded life experience, or shiny hum-drum cruising in the fast lane.