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:

  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.



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.

2 thoughts on “Usufruct

  1. Stephen, I love your artwork! It’s fun to see things that strike me as new and unexpected works from you. The combination of your drawing and words affirms that you are a great ship, in a slow, even imperceptible, yet real turn about… ready to sail into uncharted waters!

  2. Loved reading the insight from your perspective. We learn and grow everyday in every aspect of life. Thanks for sharing!

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