By Dave Markwell

Returning home to my dogs after a fine Thanksgiving meal, I was feeling especially gracious – even more so by the exceptionally low standards I have set for my dogs. As I delicately peeled and broke tiny chunks of leftover turkey and placed them in my old, toothless, little dog Grace’s bowl as she looked at me with some surprise and affection, I found feelings of love and kindness and gratitude for this stinky creature I believed to be long gone. Perhaps it was holiday magic, or perhaps unseen sparks of these things still live, waiting for a breeze to blow them to life. This may be representative of other things we think we’ve lost. We probably have many of these things.

Somewhere along the various paths we travel, we get lost and lose stuff. We take our eyes off the road and miss our turn. We get distracted by neon signs pointing to attractive destinations and forget where we want to go, and sometimes, who we are. It’s nice to remember these things…

In the soft glow of twilight, the moon begins its ascent and the world shrinks into its finer bits. The inert and extraneous garnish is removed leaving only true things. Items of value remain clear, unshaded by the distractions of shiny, but often hollow objects of both affection and desire.

Objects of desire may be the most insidious. We will compromise many things to capture an object of desire. We will waste energy and money and time. We will suffer and pay a price that we can’t afford. We will sacrifice peace and health and we won’t care…until we do…until, we realize we’ve lost important things.

“Desire is contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.”

This is a true statement. In the chase for our desire, we miss days. We spend life focused on things we want and overlook what we have. Desire steals valuable days and dreams. It can be a set up for disappointment and heartbreak. It can be a liar and cheat us. The challenge with things like this is knowing the truth. It’s hard to know. Time is the only truth-teller, but often reveals itself too late.

Nonetheless, desire is powerful and, though risks are high, a lived life is full of simply deciding and acting on things we want. Sometimes we will be wrong and sometimes we will be right, and in the moment we won’t be sure which. However, in moments of desire, it may simply be best to wait for the breeze. We, in our desire, can shape and force life upon a wrong thing or a dead thing. A breeze will only ignite a true ember and bring life to a living thing. But, life is short and waiting for a breeze isn’t comfortable either. So, it appears I have no clear answer to this conundrum and no pithy conclusion…HA!! Do what you want. Ultimately, life is just weird…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). He also runs the Waterland Arcade, located at 22306 Marine View Drive South. Dave extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, Dave desperately needs more friends – find him on Facebook here.

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