Wednesday, February 13, 2008

everything I need

As I kid I loved kits and as an adult I still love them – make a minature teddy bear kits, needlework kits, those crazy little tea for two kits they sell at Chapters. There’s something incredibly appealing about a whole project in a box with all the bits you need gathered in one place.

I remember as a kid getting huge project and craft books from the library and hardly ever making anything out of them. There was always one unusual item that brought the project to a screeching halt. Whether it was strips of balsa wood for the how to make a kite book or glycerin for making soap, the books were like desert mirages. They seemed so close and shimmery but ultimately the projects were a world away.

No so with kits. Suddenly there is more than just instructions and a few oddments meted out. There is an immediacy of potential – you can get started anytime you want and you know you’ll be able to finish because it’s all right here, even the hard to get parts. You never have to worry about running out of supplies because it’s all been carefully portioned out.

There is bliss is starting out an adventure when you know you’ve got everything you need.

I sometimes wish there was a “How to be a Grown-Up” kit. I wonder what they’d put in it? Perfectly portioned responsibility probably, a nice big piece of experience, a multitude of little threads of memories. I can picture a hefty hank of love and a heavy block of time. There would be great comfort in knowing that you weren’t going to run out.

Life isn’t like that. And at the end of the day I’m glad it’s not so proscribed. After all the thing with kits is, you don’t get to choose. You’ll have a piece of fabric for sure, and it will be enough but it might be blue or it might be brown. All you get is what’s in the box. It takes more work to gather the pieces yourself, but there can be great joy in the search and in the choosing. And as long as I can discern need from want, I’m pretty sure that at the end of the day I’ll find I’ve ended up with everything I need.

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