|Flower print by Ben Giles.|
To the better angels of my nature I give credit for tenacity, for the gradual softening of inclinations toward stinginess, fear of lack. Mostly that, fear of there not being enough. Their wise counsel, laid upon my heart, urges me more toward extravagance, not as a vice but a virtue. While extravagance appears as a synonym for profusion, words more suggestive of unhealthy excess are given as matches for extravagance.
We are meant, I am certain, to be extravagant, lavish, with our kindness. Not the giving everyone in the audience a new car version of lavish, but the sort that we call upon to lift one another up, placing that before any imagined safety, any automatic smallness of our spirit. We are here to be the gown with too many ruffles, the dessert buffet that never ends, the speakers and spreaders of love that one can sink into. Deep love.
Deciding that we will not offer meager rations of anything within our power to give frees us from the gnawing suspicion that we may be jerks. I swear those angels sidle up with quiet golf claps when I realize and admit to unworthy behavior, even if I'm the only one who knows the extent of its pettiness. Largesse feels wonderful, no matter what the commodity. For a moment, we do without so another can have more. It can make such a difference. We find ourselves restored, replenished by practicing immoderation, by learning to be preposterous with our love, our compassion, our attending to needs of others rather than our own in ways small or large.
Fear, its power to drag us out of the moment and into a bleak and uncertain future, is profusion's vampire. It would see us shriveled, shrunken, tightly coiled and isolated. We are urged, "Don't be delicate, be vast and brilliant." Embrace extravagance, it suits you.
|The infinite dessert buffet. Extravagant? No, just right.|