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'Tis the Season for Gifting and Gratitude
Create a Gazofilacio: Your Very Own Treasure Chamber
Quick housekeeping note: I’ll be pausing Pocket posts for a week until the new year. Until then, blessings for a sweet ending to 2022.
Author Clive James repurposed a little-known Italian word, gazofilacio, to refer to a collection of beloved poems that he memorized and kept in a special place in his mind. Curating a little treasure chamber of your own — quotes, lyrics, and images of hope and beauty — can deepen joy and meaning, and restore your faith when it’s tested.
These are complex, beautiful, challenging times. And it’s the season of holiday spirit, renewal, and coming together. It’s also the season when our inboxes fill up with shopping deals and best-of gift lists.
Here’s a quick corrective for the inevitable consumerism that overtakes the days right now: create your own personal gazofilacio treasure chamber. Here’s mine:
My Current Gazofilacio
The life and passion of a person leave an imprint on the ether of a place. Love does not remain within the heart, it flows out to build secret tabernacles in a landscape.
To forgive is to assume a larger identity than the person who was first hurt, to mature and bring to fruition an identity that can put its arm, not only around the afflicted one within but also around the memories seared within us by the original blow and through a kind of psychological virtuosity, extend our understanding to one who first delivered it.
If it entertains you now but will bore you someday, it’s a distraction.
The act of prayer is by no means exclusive to religious practice because prayer is not dependent on the existence of a subject. You need not pray to anyone. It is just as valuable to pray into your disbelief, as it is to pray into your belief…. There is as much chance of our prayers being answered by a God that exists as a God that doesn’t.
Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.
Discovering you were wrong is an update, not a failure, and your worldview is a living document meant to be revised.
The more people you inspire, the more people will inspire you.
The main thing is this: when you get up in the morning you must take your heart in your two hands. You must do this every morning.
The door to the soul is unlocked; you do not need to please the doorkeeper, the door in front of you is yours, intended for you, and the doorkeeper obeys when spoken to.
To reclaim the beauty of the multitudes we each contain, we must break free of the prison of our fragments and meet one another as whole persons full of wonder unblunted by identity-template and expectation.