Antique and Antiquity

In recent days I have been having periods of inexplicable melancholy, a sort of reminiscent nostalgia that is both familiar and unsettling. Life has its ups and downs always; but I am happy to say I have moved beyond carrying old baggage around and have spent years trying to light the dark, dusty, cobweb-filled corners of sorrows past. Still….

Things happen.  Like a favorite hymn of my mother’s that fills my head. Like a treasured piece of simple jewelry she gave me as a child, too worn to wear and which usually lies in a keepsake jewelry box, one that my Dad sent home to my sister when she was younger and that I somehow inherited along the way. A religious piece with white beads and tarnished plated gold bangles on which are barely legible etchings of ancient words, words I memorized as soon as I was old enough to recite verse in church Sunday School.

This morning as I opened a drawer in my regular jewelry box to choose a pair of earrings for the day, the white beads caught my eye. The bracelet lay among my other favorite bangles as though it had always been there.

 

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I can’t shake the feeling that it was not there accidentally and I know that even if I absentmindedly moved it from one spot to another at some random moment of rearranging, this moment on this day means something more. I am still working out what it means that she reaches out to me at this time, but I know that she does.

I have been reflecting on things throughout the day. My little bracelet, now an antique, bears the etchings of one of life’s most treasured antiquities, The Ten Commandments. So many of us know them by heart. Some are way overused and even abused for the purposes of manipulation, while some are often overlooked. In my reflection on the state of our country, our world and the destiny of humankind, I thought it might be helpful to take a look at these dictates once again, but with new eyes, open hearts and a deeper understanding.

The Ten Commandments

I am the Lord thy God, thou shall not have any gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything.
You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, wife, or property.

 

I have some very personal reasons for not being conventionally religious at this point in my life, but I try to honor and understand the sacred teachings within  religions that work to draw all of life together rather than to separate humans into groups. I also believe that a holy man in an uncertain world leading an entire nation across the wilderness to freedom faced the daunting task of trying to keep peace and sanity among those masses of humans who were hungry, tired, afraid, bored and doubtful of their future. Order was necessary. Orders from God were necessary. I wonder how much these commandments helped Moses on his journey as much as I wonder that so many people know these words so well and swear by the ideal that they are direct words from God. And yet….they do not respect nor honor the most basic of them.

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 

This one has become America’s favorite passtime.

You shall not commit murder

It didn’t say, “unless……”

How does one reconcile the absolute-ness to which certain of these commandments is assigned while others seem to be merely ‘guidelines’?

You shall not covet….

Theft and murder for something as simple as a pair of shoes has become commonplace in our society, all because humans want what someone else has. Covetous hearts cause humans to break half the other commandments. Perhaps it should have been number one on the list.

I will leave you to ponder the others and experience your own understanding anew of one of the world’s great antiquities while I am simply going to try to rework my little antique bracelet for the sake of my Mom who loves me so much she never leaves me alone. I want to wear it again. She believed, she hoped, she loved; but this world was too sad for her.

Happy mid-week my friends.

Most of you know who BJ Thomas is and have heard his famous pop music; but he also went through a very huge spiriual transformation many years ago and has produced some beautiful musical recordings of both traditional and original songs. This song always comes to mind when someone dear to me makes the journey home and awakens from this dream. It brings me peace and comfort.

 

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12 thoughts on “Antique and Antiquity

  1. Reading this post left me with a few emotions as well as an ability to relate. I have a picture my mom colored in framed and on my wall and every time I see it, I think upon her. I have every confidence that the meaning of the bracelet being where it is where come to you. The condition of this world is so far from the reality I know. There really are still some of us, however, who do their best to follow the 10 commandments. Thank God! This post touched me on many levels … (((HUGS))) 🌺

    Like

  2. So many people in the news and in our lives through social media seem to respect 3 or 4 of these – unless you consider money to be a false God, then all bets are off.

    I do pay attention when things from the past bubble to the surface. It rarely seems random to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cheryl, that bracelet may be worn and tarnished, but it is just beautiful. What a lovely keepsake from your dear mother. Maybe it “appeared” in your regular jewelry box this morning because mom knew it was just the ‘lift’ you needed today. Once a mom, always a mom. Death physically separates us, but it can never alter the love we have for someone who has passed.

    I hope your day is going well, and I hope your memories bring you comfort and joy.
    🔹Ginger🔹

    Liked by 1 person

Speak to me. I’m interested. 😊

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