Nov 25, 2007

Post feast musings

I am sluggish from my third Thanksgiving feast. I had one with our Preschool Co-op, one with the family and one tonight with friends.

I love to eat. I find it tremendously comforting. I often eat out of boredom in addition to grabbing things to eat when I'm frustrated or depressed. I love the ritual of actually consuming something. And I would do it all the time if I could.

Do you see a problem here?


I also love to buy. I find it tremendously comforting. I often buy out of boredom in addition to buying things when I'm frustrated or depressed. I love the ritual of actually purchasing something. And I would do it all the time if I could.

I still have a *bit* of a consumerism issue. Food and stuff.

Buy Nothing Day sucked.

Ok, it was actually a really nice day, but I was very tempted at 5 am to get up and drive to any store any where to buy SOMETHING. I didn't even know what, I just wanted that feeling of getting something.

Later in the day I found things I could go get, like sweats for the kids, or sheets. But Matt wouldn't let me go. He said we could go, but we couldn't buy. What freaking good would that be?

I was a little bitter.

We started this whole quest for anti-consumerism in January and here I am almost December and I have hardly grown. At least I'm not at the super simplified zen place I thought I'd be. Will I get there by the end of 2007?

The picture I posted is Scarlet asleep in a wrap-hammock while we did yardwork on Friday. i couldn't find anything that symbolized the lameness of my state of mind right now or the frustration with where I'm NOT.

So, I just posted something sweet. The only really simple thing I do is mother these kids.

Nov 16, 2007

I see black

Black Friday approaches. It comes every year, lurking in the press, on TV, on in-store ads. Black Friday is here.
The day after Thanksgiving has become the busiest shopping day of the year. It's name is symbolic of what happens in retail sales across our nation and in the Western world at large. On November 23rd (assuming the trend continues) many retailers will finally, "go into the black," and begin making a profit for the year. Some companies will see the biggest sales day of the year. Some will make more on one single day than they will the rest of the year. But to me, Black Friday is black for wholly different reasons.
Now, I want to assure all of our friends that I am a big supporter of the Free Market. I believe that it is the best economic system available, but to think it is flawless is naive. My problem with Black Friday is not with the retailers as much as it is with the mentality behind all involved, which is why, this year, we will be celebrating "Buy Nothing Day."
The want monster in our world is enormous and I cannot think of a better way to make it smaller than to not participate in the madness of Black Friday. I know people that are going shopping at 4 AM so they can get "the best stuff, first." They plan on staying at the mall, "all day," because they want to make sure they see everything. These people are some of the most wealthy I know. They have obscenely large houses and drive expensive cars, while the more expensive cars sit in the garage, and buy more than they will ever need. Why do they do it? Because they are convinced that MORE will fill the void in their souls. Spending, saving, and simple living are spiritual acts. It is inescapable. How we spend mirrors the condition of our soul.
Do I mean that we cannot spend and be spiritually okay? No. I am saying that the reasons behind our spending are bound to our beliefs about ourselves, our beliefs about our worth, and our beliefs about what life is really about. As I have said before, the entitlement mentality of our nation cannot be overstated and it is wholly and disgustingly visible on Black Friday.
So, let us all consider--every time we take out our wallet--why we are spending. Do I need this? Is this useful? Who will have less because I buy this? Is there some way that I could impact the world more positively than buying this? Let us be sure that our souls are full and that our lives are rich, not matter what we have or do not have. Last of all, please consider joining our family in "Buy Nothing Day" this year. Speak loudly, without words, and stand against the insatiable want monster.

Nov 4, 2007


Carolyn spent the day painting today. It was part of a church service on creativity. I had the opportunity to sit in the back and watch my wife create. It was wonderful to see her painting. I also ran accross one of my oldest journals, it was amazing to see how differently I viewed the world when I was in collge. I wrote a lot differently then. These two events brought some things back into focus for me.
I have lost hold of a lot of things that kept me interested in life. I used to write poetry, I used to photograph everything, I used to play guitar every day. I hardly do any of those things anymore. In fact, my guitar has collected so much dust this year it is almost burried in the corner. Carolyn used to draw and paint a lot more than she does now. We seem to have left those things and moved on to more "adult" pursuits, like laundry and work and shuttling kids from place to place.
Here's the thing, life was a lot better back then. I think it's time to get back into the things that helped us dream...gotta go, my guitar is waiting.