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Lions Roar : January 2014
Macaroni Art By Karen Maezen Miller I begged my father to take me to the store. It was the day before Christmas, and I had nothing to give to my mother except an art project I had brought home from school. It was a picture made with painted macaroni. How embarrassing. Even in kindergarten I knew that it wasn’t a real gift. It wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t the kind of thing anyone wants. Remembering it, I can still feel the full extent of a five-year-old’s self-criticism and shame. Dad took me to a convenience JOYFUL GIVING ’Tis always the season for giving. Six Buddhist teachers on why generosity is the starting place of all the virtues. store and I emptied my piggy bank for a set of plastic drink coasters. One day my mom cleaned under my bed and pulled out the macaroni picture from its hiding place. She showed it to me with questioning eyes. Now I know what she felt inside, her heart breaking with a sudden rush of tenderness for an injured child. The most profound gifts are the ones that don’t measure up to any standard. They are not excellent or grand, but unex- citing and ordinary. They may not look like gifts at all, but like failures. No mat- ter how they look, they carry the precious essence of life’s true nature, which is love. ILLUSTRATIONS BY TOMI UM 45 SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2014