A wise man in a fisherman’s cap once told me to talk to someone older than seventy or younger than seven once a day. Extract their light, he said, find truth in their stories and imagination.
This Thanksgiving was a particularly difficult one. I wandered through my Aunt’s house, chatting up relatives with affection, but without allegiance. I kept picturing my dad, in his blue button down shirt, with one hand resting on the back of a chair, the other dumping the powdered sugar off a kourambie. If only I had a larger appetite for turkey, I’d have taken that tryptophan up on a coma. Instead, I stayed put in reality. I dealt.
I dealt a hand of Uno to a five-year-old who hadn’t yet learned about death, and I enjoyed every second spent in her wiggly, giggly, sharp tongued and doe-eyed company. She was curious, gentle, polite, and smart. She offered me innocence, instant friendship, and three quarters of the Spanakopita her mother painstakingly cut up on her plate. I was grateful.
The other half of my evening was spent arm in arm, eye locked to eye with my grandfather. 83 and dressed in taupe from head to toe, his wrinkles were deeper and stories stronger than I remembered. As we sat sipping our post dessert coffee, he strung his broken english words together to tell me how when he came to America, he worked hard. He made five dollars, saved four, and spent one. The Americans, he said, they make five, spend seven.
You no build wealth like that, manari.
He’s right. You build wealth by saving – saving sensations, memories, tastes, melodies, the light you find in others. This is how I build wealth, friends. Through music, and through gratitude. Enjoy this glimpse into my soul in playlist form, and make it a point to spend more time with the old and with the young.
Photo by my gorgeous cousin @brymariie
This music is for sampling purposes only. If you like what you hear, please support the band and buy a song, concert ticket, or constellation in its honor.