Misunderstood as a word, ‘ambivalence’  does not mean being uncaring enough to decide between more than one thing. It means being pulled stronging in two (or more) directions or toward more than one thing.

In that sense, I am ambivalent toward a couple of things.

It is not a confession or “okay I admit it”, but I enjoy putterring around domestically and I do not mind at all—if the company is good—wandering around shops (even massive cookie-cutter stores on occasion, but especially smaller shops with crannies and more than one nook).

I do not mind taking a small amount of money and getting a small thing that I see, borrowing it as my own for a time, and feeling good that I had the coins or pieces of paper or a plastic card that represents my own labor, and telling myself that I worked X number of minutes or hours for a certain thing that I had discovered in a shop while Mom and I talked about everything (almost), and then taking it on a plane to Portland.

Like this camel saddle:


It is true that in Paris, Texas on this date 16 July 2019, I, Timothy Waugh, being of sound  mind and body a mind that makes sounds and a body that tries not to, while puttering in the shops of Paris, found an authentic camel saddle of an age greater than said mind and body, and originating in Egypt. After a careful examination, it was deemed to be authentic enough to make an offer far below the asking price, and after further negotiations it was loaded into Mom’s white, Texas car and now what in the heck am I going to do with it? [Actually I have in mind a long time African missionary who just had knee surgery and even survived my cooking. I think he’d like a saddle for a footstool.]

And that brings me to the other part of my ambivalence. Although I enjoy the domestic life, enjoy finding nice things to share, and while sharing them, inviting a larger and larger circle into the sharing, and I am proficient in being hospitable and love to have a partner in that hospitality, I also really enjoy the unknown.

In a heartbeat, I’d take that saddle back to Egypt.

I would—without hesitation—go anywhere and do whatever is do-able and see whatever is see-able. And, I would work X number of hours or sell X dollars worth of stuff for it.

The only thing that matters is that any of it and all of it must be His, with you, for them.

I’ll walk. You can ride the camel . . .