"Another present of the Wise Men was that of letting go. I am such a control freak. I could not accept anything without giving something in return when it came to presents and favors or invitations. Was it insecurity about being beholden to anyone who might then have power over one? But now I finally learned how to accept and just say thank you." - Gilda Cordero Fernando in her column today, "Gifts of the Magi," in Philippine Daily Inquirer
I don't idealize or feel any nostalgia for poverty. But I will say "thank you" to those years of want (when having a little something put away enabled me to buy a coveted book or an art trinket) and to the Holy Spirit's gift of discernment that continues to enable me to distinguish who're the "friendly users" and "user friendlies" in my life and to continue to rub my nose when I smell a phony (this comes from having The Catcher in the Rye high on "favorited" books). The gift has enabled me to know when it's time to pack up and leave the friendlies again and again in the cellar of my fecund mind.
The thing is to stay intact like the close, tight weaves on this pasiking.
On the Feast of Epiphany, with O. Henry's "Gift of the Magi," Cordero Fernando's own essay and J.D. Salinger's novel to guide us, this blogger, who wants to keep on chugging along like Thomas the train, wishes every all an attitude of gratitude, the kind of gift that allows us to keep on giving. Don't give up on us, baby, as David Soul wisely sang.
"The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi." - O. Henry