“You just gotta learn to be content with what you already have.”

Once upon a time I was a kitchen worker in a pizza shop. I worked until about 2:30 a.m. on weekends while sneaking through high school on 3.5 days per week attendance and reading where I found beauty instead of what the educationists in Columbus and Washington had determined for my public high school’s curriculum. And waited to hear from the one college to which I applied, the long shot to go far away from the home which meant little more than pain.

One night I was smoking behind the store with a delivery driver, an older guy—old enough to have been at Woodstock—with grizzled cheeks and kindly lines at the corners of his eyes and mouth, either from smiling or, what amounts to the same thing, being high.

My memory starts in the middle of the conversation, with me saying, “I don’t want to be rich. I just want to be happy. I want peace.”

“That’s easy,” he said, “you just gotta learn to be content with what you already have.”

I love that man and I love that home and that house of pain and those old sins and failures and I love my old friends. And I love my family. I wish I told them more.

The best thing I read today was Salvian of Marseilles (from De Gubernatione Dei; On the Governance of God).

1.10: We praise more the things that are gone than those of the present; not that, if we had the opportunity to choose, we would prefer to possess them forever, but because it is a well known imperfection of the human mind to want what it has not. As the proverb says: ‘Another’s goods please us, and ours please others more.’

Thanks, dear reader, for living with me in this ridiculous world and being out there so we can run into each other some day.


About philokalos

Philologist, historian, and lover of great books, I started this blog to keep myself alert to the beauty of what I see amid the demands of my work.
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