Monthly Archives: January 2014

Usufruct

Sometimes, upon waking some image or word will sit brightly illuminated on the stage of my mind.

The other day, the word, “usufruct” was mysteriously there.  I knew not what it meant… it just seemed familiar and very relevant to the shifts underway in my life these days.

I looked it up on Google:

u·su·fruct
noun
ROMAN LAW
  1. the right to enjoy the use and advantages of another’s property short of the destruction or waste of its substance.

So, here I am facing a birthday whose last digit is a zero, happy in my job, but feeling pretty stultified by the obligations of mortgage, marriage and family.  I am more than half way through my days here on earth and now I can see the beginning of fresh eyes developing on my rental of this material substance and space.

Usufructus

 

I am also seeing my days not so much as building blocks to be maximized or wasted on the path toward some accomplishment in life; education, work, marriage, family, et cetera;  I am beginning to see my body less as a needy carrier for my mind and more as a temporary opportunity to move through and sense the material world. In these thoughts, I am reminded of an old favorite, Theillard de Chardin‘s, Hymn to Matter.

For the first time ever, I am looking at this body, these moments as sources of usufructus (enjoyment).

Am I becoming more like Zorba the Greek?

 

Who knows what the future holds… I do find myself spending a lot of my imaginal life moving over the Mediterranean toward islands scented with salt, herbs, citrus, and olives.