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Wrapping Paper
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I’d like to let go of my expectations. It is as if they are they are the wrapping paper that holds the gift, and I can’t let go of my fascination with the foiled shining paper that is more like a skin, a bit leathery, tensile, even as it crinkles. It must be the sound, too, that has gotten me. That crinkling, so much like the sound of a fire in the grate, as if the warmth all came from appearances.

I’d like to let go of my expectations around wrapping paper. As a child, the expectation was that we would open the gift with a minimum of damage to the foil and the ribbon. Never mind that the scotch tape of the day, I think this precedes the days of magic tape, this clinging tape was designed to foil you.

Just as in church, the sin was already stamped upon you, you know you’d never get that wrapping paper off perfectly. Somehow it felt that the gift was already tainted, no longer rightly mine, because I did not have the skill, nor the patience to disrobe it in a way that would serve its dignity best.
Imperfection, I was told in so many ways, was tolerated, barely sometimes, but not approved. I’d like to let go of my expectations around wrapping paper. That this appearance to establish a pristine presence by the surface of things is the wrong end of the telescope.

Suddenly, I feel shamed for taking wrapping paper to task. It is glorious after all, the vivid colors of red and green and gold. Cheerful visages of penguins with Santa hats, multiple faces of the jolly old fellow himself, holly with crisp leaves and happy berries, gold and red ornaments dancing across the paper. So many more I can’t remember. Still, I am struggling to come to peace with wrapping paper.

The intention is to create mystery, surprise, and communicate the care that went into considering and preparing the gift. That is certainly there. It has a lot of heft, much more than the inevitably discarded paper, which becomes an afterthought of clean up. Curious, isn’t it? The paper gets a lot of value in terms of time and skill and effort to put it around the gift; to give us a pleasant scenery around the tree, and delight in sizes, colors and shapes.

But once it is off the package, it loses all of its value, as if it never had any. I’d like to lose my expectations. I’d like to shed them like wrapping paper. I know they have promised me gifts for so very, very, very long. But their value Is somehow moot in this now life where only the deep can begin to approach giving us courage for all the journeys we approach now with less knowledge than ever before. Especially as we unwrap the shell of this body, as if it were paper, and discard it to go forward into places of the spirit that are gifts unseen from this side of the wrapping paper.

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