Of 10-dollar notes and 20-dollar notes and giant gerbera

Gifts for 76th birthday: flowers and shredded dollar s

On 24 February I received  one of the most mysterious, comical and metaphorical birthday gifts ever.

OK, you recognise flowers, don’t you? They’re just background in this case, but so apt for my current state of mind. So big, bright and bold they seem artificial — but they’re real. You know how smiling or standing up straight  can generate happiness or confidence respectively, in a bio-feedbacky sort of way? Well, I need to be big and strong right now, and so these are the right flowers for the day.

But hey, what’s in that package?

I found a package of bitsy stuff on the kitchen bench when I returned from a birthday dinner. So, late at night. So, maybe I wasn’t looking very carefully.

Borage tea? I turned on the kettle. Fortunately, I didn’t feel like tea.

Pot pourri? If so, that could wait.

Something to smoke? Improbable: that would breach an unwritten rule of AirBnB etiquette.

Right on the money

Turns out the package is $500 in dollar notes, shredded, from the New Zealand Reserve Bank Museum. Money money money… Just when I’ve started to learn the skills of money management (about 65 years late).

Maybe this gift is a shriek from my conscience. Yep, I virtually shredded my own money for decades by purchasing unnecessary things that took my fancy at the time. By not paying attention to my earning and spending patterns. By trusting in the good old New Zealand motto, “She’ll be right!”

On the other hand, let’s keep a sense of proportion. Money squandered or lost in transit is not the whole picture. See how sweetly the shredded dollars settle in amongst the flowers? You could almost call it origami.

Say I employ 5 collage artists for 5 hours at $50 an hour, do you think they could reassemble the confetti into the original notes? Uh uh, arithmetic, darling.

Note to self: money

Squandering has had its hour.
Let your bad investments die
and wave your foolish buys goodbye.

Hope so far has mostly flowered
in the foreground of your life.
Sit with that and don’t ask why.
The New Zealand Reserve Bank Museum.