August 15, 2010

The truth is...about being broke and being happy

I've never actually been broke, but I've been mostly happy. And I know a thing or two about being close to broke.

I mean, there was that time in college when I needed to get to a volunteer work assignment on Chicago's west side. I was pianist for a children's choir, in the 'hood. And to catch the bus for the long ride--across the entire breadth of Chicago through gang-infested territories to the dicey Austin neighborhood, I had to come up with fifty cents' fare.

(Yeah, I just dropped my age. This girl is on the mature side of life. Chicago bus fare today is nigh unto $2.00 to $2.25, depending on your mode of payment.)

Anyway, I remember counting out nickels but mostly pennies because I didn't have two quarters to rub together for the fare. And when I got on the bus, it made a huge shattering sound as I stood at the fare thing pouring in the last of my change--with riders waiting behind me to board.

Fact is, I did have a dorm room and student dining room, the two basics a girl requires (food and shelter), but little more. So I'm thinking I have a word or two on the human status of broke.

Denver Moore (who is being played by actor Samuel L. Jackson in the movie currently under production about the life of Moore, including his 40+ years of homelessness), says something to the effect of, You know you rich when you are thankful for nothing. That is to say, when you have nothing, but yet are thankful-- that is real. That's true thankfulness. And maybe true wealth?

It's easy to be thankful when you have stuff (money, popularity, boyfriend, master's degree, iPad, hot car, you-fill-in-the-blank-here ___________.)

Today I spent no money, but enjoyed the cornflower deep blue skies of Chicago and watched the city's 52nd Air and Water Show. Sat with a couple of friends at a lagoon in a beautiful and bucolic (for the city) public park. This was rich today:

Chicago's 52nd annual FREE Air and Water Show

And right in my backyard. Free entertainment, walked to the lake...

Strolling home, came upon this happy wedding party in park for photo shoot

1 comment:

  1. I just noted this relative comment, from a wedding photographer's blog:

    "If you’re ever having a rough day & need some encouragement try donning wedding attire and walking around Chicago. Spontaneous applause everywhere we went."