Tuesday, September 22, 2009

wrapping my head around it all

aka darn my brain!
what i boughti have an attachment to things. be they pretty, colorful, quirky, old, or odd. i can't seem to let go of so many objects because they hold something in them, some memory or some idea or some insight to someone i have loved.

attempting to purge this tiny casa will be a wonderful relief but at th same time i am having the hardest time wrapping my head around the possibilities of things tossed. that said, i don't want to be tossing anything. at least tossing as in putting it into the ugly black plastic bins that get picked up by the growly turquoise garbage trucks only to be hauled off to someplace no too far and dumped into a giant hole only to then be covered with more crap. this, appalls me. and i sit on this thought and i think it and it sinks in and i feel a little ill and i look around the tiny casa and wonder what to do. at some point that gnawing little knot fades enough for me to forget and my day continues on in any number of normal ways.

until, it hits me again like a stealth attack from the witch-baby when she scratches out and lunges for no reason that we can think of. she may be pretty but she packs a mean scratch. and okay, here is where i get all tangly wordy and circular and gobbled and such. it's just me trying to wrap my head around it and it is just me acknowledging how conditioned i am to buy more, to become a magpie when pretty things bat their wispy lashes at me. and how much i struggle with it because i like pretty things but to what end?

saturday morning i ran off to the enormous mall to return an impulse buy before the crowds got there. i'm not a mall shopper anymore save for my target and the jc penneys which are a almost neighbors in the brick behemoth. i park the car near the target and run to the penneys to return the two tops that reminded me of thinner days. from there, i walk the short walk through the mall to the target to get some toothpaste. as i walk the short distance i spy the hallmark shop has its holiday stuff up and wander in for a look and as i'm looking at this tiny store that is crammed to the gills with...crap...my heart sinks and that gnawing triffid of a thought starts bouncing around my belly. there are clever looking things, nicely packaged things, things that compel my hand to reach out and touch and things that make me think "i can make that". there are things upon things upon things and it hits me. they are temporary. they are things people will spend their hard earned money on, enjoy for a mere moment and then discard...i may see many multiples crowding the aisles at the thrift or i may see them broken up and left to die in the middle of the street or i may never see them at all because they will be dumped into a land fill that crappy, shoddy houses will built on.

i continue on my walk and i'm thinking how i am in a mall. a single mall full of stores full of temporary things full of people buying these things that will soon be discarded. i feel like a light begins to flash above my head mocking me...for all my want of simplicity and sustainability, i am a consumer in the most regular icky kind of way. and this happens to me all the time. not this realization of temporary products but of this cape of consumerism that i like to stylishly think i can alter. we are all consumers, i get that. that is how our world works but we are consumers without purpose or without intent (at least i am) and i need to change this. i know i do but do you see the shoes they have here or the mugs they sell here or this or that? aack! make it stop!

i have a tendency to think about how commercials don't make me want to run out and buy products (well except for the titan peeler...i jest...sort of) but the packaging (which is why the orla kiely stuff from target was such a success). the other thing is for me, if it is out of sight it is out out of mind. if i don't see it, i don't need it. which only works if you remove yourself from pretty products. what i need to do, what i want to do is to make more of those purposeful choices i rambled on about here. i think i need to work towards my goal of the handmade pledge. i do a lot of handmade items, i shop at a loft of thrifts but i don't do it exclusively therefore i cannot take the pledge. i make every effort i can muster at this point in my life to shop etsy and other crafty folk but still there are Threadless shirts to be worn or rubber chickens to be sent to the nephew in college. little steps, baby steps. that's my mantra and i'm sticking to it.


  1. Awesome, Jek. I'm with you. Especially now, in these times, it is so difficult to live mindfully when (a) everything you see is telling you NOT to, and (b) nobody else seems to be (except you, and me, of course!!) Hang in, and I'll hang in with you. I admire you no end.

  2. Jek, this is such a great post. With you re: the Handmade Pledge - between shoes and electronic gadgetry, I'd have a hard time of it and only succeed in beating myself up.

    I'm trying instead to adhere to the following advice, the source of which I've long forgotten: Buy better, buy less, and buy only what you love.

  3. Every time I am in a department store, or a mall, I think to myself, who buys all this garbage? And where do they put it? No wonder people need bigger and bigger houses. Just to store the stuff.

  4. Anonymous10:18 AM

    You're doing great! And you are catching on how stuff can steal our money, time and space. Less is truly better. I find that the less that I have to move around and to look at and to dust gives me room to think.