Martha Randolph Carr Martha Randolph Carr, 5/14/2009 [Archive]

Martha's Big Adventure - You Can't Take Your Couch With You

Martha's Big Adventure -- You Can't Take Your Couch With You

By Martha Randolph Carr

Okay, so if you've been following along with my recent adventures, it's been about a month since I placed everything I own in storage somewhere in the Bronx. Since then I've been doing what the kids are calling, couch surfing, staying with a couple of different friends and there's just a little more of that to follow.

One moment I was in a concrete garden and the next I was in the woods listening to tall pine trees creak and wondering what was moving around in the brush. It's as if I was thrown into the transport machine on the starship, Enterprise. I can only hope I'm not the unnamed extra who always gets killed off right before the last commercial interruption.

There have been a lot of changes from the inside out as well because this breather from having a regular life wasn't something I had placed on my to-do list, and yet here it is. There was a moment when I was sending out some thank you notes to people who helped me to quickly rearrange my life and I wasn't sure what to put on the return address, so I left it blank.

Even more perplexing was how okay I felt at not being able to pin down where I am fastened to the world. That used to be so important to me and I'm not sure when it was that it slipped away.

Maybe it was after listening to my friend, Susie Hamway who is completing her studies to become a minister and was struggling with one of the last academic duties. She was supposed to be writing a eulogy but somehow it just wasn't getting done.

Of course that got all of us thinking about what we'd want in our own eulogy. There were a lot of character traits thrown into the mix like compassionate or creative but no one mentioned anything they owned. That's not going to be surprising to anyone else. We know we're not supposed to appear as if our bedroom set meant that much to us.

However, stop and think about what it would feel like if all of those furnishings suddenly disappeared and a pang of fear usually grips most of us. That's got more to do with a big competition we've set up with ourselves and measuring progress in the race by how much stuff we've accumulated. But by the time a eulogy comes up we're done with the contest and it's much easier to take a step back and size up what really mattered all along.

We can do that for ourselves now instead and then use it as some basic guidelines for how we see others. That would change all the usual questions in our head as well. Instead of scanning the inventory and taking note of the new car or the down-filled couch, we can see if we have a job that we look forward to on Sunday.

Or we can try and recall our spouse's eye color, favorite food and secret ambition and if we don't, go find out. We can write down our own secret ambitions and share them with the people who would encourage us and we can ask for help working toward accomplishing the list.

Don't forget to also include an overview that answers the question about how many times your life intersects with others in both giving and receiving so that a certain balance is always maintained. Then, when that last eulogy is finally given the hall will be standing room only and become a celebration of a life well-lived. More adventures to follow.

If you'd like to get involved in the 2009 America Challenge to raise funds for community-based charities email me at Martha@CagleCartoons.com for more information. Together we're going to build stronger communities and empower ourselves.

Martha Randolph Carr's latest book, A Place to Call Home, a memoir about the reemergence of U.S. orphanages is available wherever books are sold. If you'd like Martha to come and speak to your group visit: www.newvoicespeakers.com. Email Martha at: Martha@caglecartoons.com or visit www.martharandolphcarr.com.

© 2009 Martha Randolph Carr. Martha's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info call Sales at (805) 969-2829 or email Sales@cagle.com.

Download Martha Randolph Carr's black and white mug shot photo.Download Martha Randolph Carr's black and white mug shot photo.

Download Martha Randolph Carr's color photo - Download Martha Randolph Carr's black and white mug shot photo
Why not run a cartoon with the column? We recommend the cartoons below as a good compliment to Martha Randolph Carr's topic.
Click on the thumbnail images to preview and download the cartoons.

Related Cartoons

Snail Economy
By: Adam Zyglis

July 17, 2008

College Debt COLOR
By: Mike Keefe
The Denver Post
May 7, 2009

College Debt
By: Mike Keefe
The Denver Post
May 7, 2009

graduation 09 COLOR
By: David Fitzsimmons

May 13, 2009

graduation 09
By: David Fitzsimmons

May 13, 2009

Empty Nest Egg
By: John Darkow

March 6, 2009

Latin America
By: Angel Boligan

January 14, 2008

COLOR Jobless Degrees
By: Larry Wright
The Detroit News
June 3, 2008

Pension
By: Cameron Cardow
The Ottawa Citizen
May 11, 2009

Builders throw in towel
By: Paul Zanetti

January 13, 2009

We do not accept and will not review unsolicited submissions from cartoonists.
Sales & Information: (805) 969-2829 sales@cagle.com
Billing Information: (805) 969-2829billing@cagle.com
Technical Support: support@cagle.com

FREE cartoons for your website if you're already a paying print subscriber!
Artwork and columns are copyrighted by each creator. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. [Privacy Policy]