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So much Gold

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Harvest in Provence, Vincent Van Gogh

My main occupation for the last year and a half has been spinning straw into gold. There’s no king with room after room of straw and there’s no little imp with an odd name bartering with ill intent. I have just been sorting all of my belongings, culling and tossing the dross and keeping the gold.

This mighty task follows two significant moves as well as the infusion of wordly goods from my in-laws’ estate now that they have both passed. Paring down syllables to sets of just 17 in a previous Segullah post, my task continues. I am making slow but steady progress.

I’m trying to release myself from a sense of entrapment by superfluous possessions. However, some of what I excavate from boxes and closets is not superfluous at all. They are my “some day” dreams. There are heaps of gold already at my fingertips, waiting for me at last to come and play.

I have art supplies enough that I could devote the remaining decades of my life to painting. Or drawing. Or printmaking. Or mixed media. Being a collector of fine and exotic papers, I hear the siren call of creating collage every time I pass that particular storage cabinet. I have already resigned myself to not pursuing fused glass, sculpture or ceramics – other loves of my younger years. Those supplies have found happy new homes.

I have enough fabric, batting, and bows that I could spend the rest of my time on earth making fabric art and quilts, pot holders, and baby blankets enough for the entire population of a 3rd world country (where some of my handwork has already landed).

I have card making supplies to create festive greetings for any and every imaginable holiday– and some unimaginable ones as well. It’s just so much fun! That could be another whole lifetime’s work of deep satisfaction.

And then there are lifetimes each to devote to books and poetry to read – and write; films to watch; recipes to try; photos to take; destinations to visit.

And I might need yet another lifetime or two to get a real handle on marketing the works of my hands and heart. And another to become sufficiently tech savvy so I don’t embarrass my children.

Having just this year acquired a Medicare card, I’m a little worried that I might not have enough time. Mundane daily life – with its appointments, groceries, laundry, repairs and maintenance – intrudes on all these other lives I want to pursue. While I still think of myself as fairly frisky, I know I don’t have the same stamina I had while I was raising my children. I could have bounced my own kids on my lap with rhyming games for long stretches. Now my grandkids are lucky if I can twice do “trot trot to the store to buy a pound of butter. Trot, trot home again and DROP it in the gutter.“

I’m not unaware of how blessed I am in my circumstances where others are beset by the constant need of finding food and shelter, or relief from tragedy or illness. Doing my part to relieve that level of distress for others is another lifetime’s work and stewardship.

What I need to do – besides the culling and sorting yet ahead of me – is to fine tune my inner navigator to the nudges and whispers of the Spirit directing me. I won’t have enough lifetimes to master all these compelling pursuits, but I plan to creatively cartwheel my way along, following that kindly golden Light.

About Linda Hoffman Kimball

Linda Hoffman Kimball is an artist, writer, photographer, and poet who grew up as a faithful Christian near Chicago, & joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1971 while at Wellesley College near Boston. Early on she assumed that all Latter-day Saints were articulate, inquisitive, faithful, and socially engaged since her role models in the University wards in Cambridge, MA., were. Her husband says she is “fluent, but not native” in Mormon-ese. She is a founding member of Mormon Women for Ethical Government.

1 thought on “So much Gold”

  1. I'm right there with you, Linda. I've been actively parenting for over 38 years now and to think about the 30 or so years past 2018, when my last child graduates from high school, is both daunting and thrilling. It is not lost on me that these kinds of choices are a great privilege. When raising a family, your service to humanity is right there at the kitchen table. But now how? I am enjoying exploring the question!


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