Thursday, March 8, 2012

Seasonal Exhaustion/Elation

Dear two remaining readers (who are undoubtedly blood relations), here I am again, putting off design work so that I can type out a cryptic little something or other on the ethers here...

Life has lavished me with all sorts of new and exciting things this year, no small thanks to my incredibly wise, generous family who have filled in the gap where traditional financing failed to meet my needs.

I've thought a lot about this- about the failure of the banking system to accommodate people like myself. People who work hard and eek out a reasonably decent living. After maintaining not one, but TWO corporate jobs for over a year, imagine my shock and disbelief at being denied a loan. A loan for less than my annual income, at that. All because I do not work "full time."

I wonder how many others out there, self-employed people, business owners and the like, who are also unable to receive the boost they would like to encourage the expansion of their businesses. Meanwhile, the government throws billions to alternative energy startups, who richly reward their top brass before declaring bankruptcy. Entire police forces of cities underreport crimes in order to manipulate the stats, so that some Chief can get an award, patted on the back by some mayor, while the victims of crimes suffer.

Our political system, like our banking system, does seem woefully misguided. Our policies make little sense to the working class who are, like it or not-- the backbone of this once-great nation.

I listened to a news report last night talking about the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest. It has grown and changed very little this past year- because the world's economy has been largely stagnant. This begs many questions for me, not the least of which pokes holes in the underlying premise of capitalism- that growth is the end goal, growth at any expense, growth for the sake of growth.

As a keen observer of landscapes, I notice the proliferation of plastic garbage in every corner of the city. The other day outside of town I delighted, from a distance, believing I was witnessing a field full of cowbirds. As I approached, I discovered that it was a verdant field punctuated by white plastic bags hung up on straggling plants. I was instantly saddened.

Why the digression? Because I am looking at a world increasingly clotted with plastic crap. Food coming in more elaborate, disposable containers; toys and tools in complex anti-theft packaging; and the toys and tools themselves- increasingly cheap, swaddled in plastic, plastic-bodied, obsolescent by design.

I think there is a peak to this bell curve of consumption. It cannot go on forever. We are being choked out, like lawns overtaken by weeds- by this cavalcade of "cheap shit." And I believe, against belief, that there is an end in sight.

That is why I am starting a farm. My deepest desire is to do good, to lead a simpler life than the one that has been shoved down our throats by society, and to be productive in a way that is tangible, real, and satisfying. We've been phasing out plastic from our lives, and in the same way I am attempting to phase out some of the superfluous static.

Instead of Facebook in the morning, I am reading a chapter of a book. Instead of watching some mindless entertainment online, I am trying to tend to plants, to educate myself on something, or to work on designs for the farm to come.

It is resulting in an increased mindfulness, a slightly sharpened awareness of my surroundings. A quieter mind that is better able to listen to the keening of my heart, to feel the invisible strings attaching me to my world, to anticipate the needs of others.

There is rain in the forecast, again, and the air is heavy with its anticipation. We are being blessed with an incredible, fertile spring. And I am being blessed with as much work as I can handle. So, over and out. Talk is cheap, it's time to work!

1 comment:

Nancy Adams said...

Frances, Imagine my delight when I stumbled onto your blog when I hit the wrong button and there was a BLOG!

I agree with most of what you say - especially about cheap crap! I think that part of the success that Apple has enjoyed is because they have a well-engineered product that dpes not look cheesy and comes in a very tight, classy packaging. Also, many people mistake low price for good value -- we can probably that Mr. Wally for that.

You are too young to become a total cynic like me! There are lots of breaks in the system - in politics, in banks, in corporations, in capitalism, etc. But I still think this country is great and can think of no other place I would rather live!!

Love and kisses!