Enough. When I think of getting another tattoo, the word ‘enough’ often comes to mind. When I think about what I struggle with most, it’s the concept of enough. Enough already. I have enough. Enough is enough. I am enough. I do enough. I often coach others, “you are enough.”
More, more, more — there seems, at least in the Western culture I have been steeped in, this concept of wanting and seeking more. Evermore. Something other and elusive, just outside of one’s grasp. A strange nagging, niggling, a weedling thought or sometimes feeling that well, quite frankly it’s not enough.
But whenever I accomplish something, whether it is creative or academic, writing a poem or play, a storytelling workshop, or a client engagement, even the mosaic tiling of my bathroom floor, which I am not gonna lie, that mosaic felt like a pretty big feat teaching myself from start to finish. However, afterward, I look, and while I still like it and feel it’s aesthetic value, I want something more, perhaps a better paint to offset the indigo in the titles.
I am off to the next big thing. A grant to write, a project, designing a new course, and an article to write. It’s not like I am busy all the time. I actually am not. I (gratefully) have the ability to get an idea and bring it to fruition relatively quickly. And afterwards, there’s the gap.
Mind the gap.
In the gap, there is a void where some form of metaphorical sharks circle about, and these sharks they sniff out ‘enough’ like its blood, swimming faster and ever faster in search of new chum to feed up, a frenzy, then bliss and it's off to the races again.
When will it be enough?
And, how can I keep myself in the gap — the gap where awareness reminds me of all that I have. The privilege I am steeped in, and that in fact I have more than enough. My cup is overflowing — and I prefer not to make a mess with what’s spilling onto others. I strive to be respectful and gracious.
What real reminder would ink pressed into my flesh serve? Would that reminder be enough? Would it catch my eye as I step into a store with shiny things, beautiful art, furniture, or clothing? Would it balance my perspective and help me be charitable — knowing others are dealing with this same dilemma, and dilemmas that are, in fact, far more potent and pressing? Would seeing it imprinted upon my pale hand in black or indigo ink truly remind me I need nothing more than what I already possess?
How telling this is, that it would take a needle and enduring actual pain to remind me of the very real pain of others, and the bounty of all I have.
May it be enough to have written these words.