Sunday, December 28, 2008

But don't ask me why

The sales triggered a counter-consumerist reaction in me yesterday. I came home via the foody shop (where, as I mentioned yesterday, I had a hard time deciding between the creme fraiches with 28% fat, 17% fat, 8% fat, 3% fat, 2% fat, no-lactose, low-lactose, HYLA (don't ask - something to do with lactose), and combinations thereof) and sat at home feeling like a capitalist shite.

Question: Why do I have so much stuff? Inventory. Why do I have so many clothes (I looked at some pyjamas yesterday, they were the only thing I really wanted to buy, but didn't - I have some already)? So many fucking layers of clothing I will never be able to wear out all of them, and besides, so many items I hardly ever wear, or never, even, and it barely helps I've decided to buy second-hand from now on, it's a poxy plaster I apply to my sore, ridiculous, affluent-Westerner conscience. Why do I have so much food in my cupboards? Foodfoodfood, brought here from hither and yon, from all over the fucking place, just so I could delight my palate, not just so I could feed myself and my offspring, and again, not eating meat barely helps, it's a piss in the ocean of global suffering whether I do or not. Why do I have so much stuff? Books. Yesyes, they are for my entertainment and edification, but who and what has given me the right to sit here being entertained and edified? Television, digibox (again, don't ask - it's something to do with being able to watch telly in this country), desktop computer, laptop computer, landline phone, mobile phone, washing machine, lamps and pots and plants and plates and glasses (crystal glasses too, they are beautiful and I like having them, but what do I need them for? Some other woman's entire life is based on the ownership of a single cooking pot, in which she cooks a bean stew, daily, to sell), stuff - stuff - stuff. My life revolves around stuff, does it not? My life, my world, it's inescapable, it's horrendous.

So I went on a foray around the internet, I said hello to a few people, I felt lonely and shaky, I was quite desperate for a bit of communication, even though I also want(ed) to hide alone in a corner, curled up. I went looking for this and that, I uncovered this, I thought it was haunting and beautiful:

but it didn't exactly make me feel any less like a pig. No offence to pigs.

This Christmas thing, I've been wanting to write my thoughts about it for days, and also run away from trying to write my thoughts about it. What sometimes strikes me when I think of the basic core of the story, never mind whether you are religious, never mind whether you believe in Jesus and the saints and all the prophets, never mind whether you believe there's a God at all, let alone whether He could be born a human, what strikes me sometimes is the stabbing beautifulness of the story combined with the fact that for two thousand years, people have - to varying degrees - professed to believing in it, that a child is born, a baby, a beautiful baby boy (I've had two), and we claim to believe he is the saviour of mankind, somehow, and somehow, it is true, look at any baby, anywhere, they are perfection, they could become anything and everything, if only we could give them the world in which they could unfold into what they could be, they truly could save us all, if only we allowed them to, but

just as I'm trying to explain it, explain what I really mean, the thought disintegrates, I can't verbalise it, and I'm left with a melodramatic platitude in my hand. Which is where I am now, but sometimes it's good to write without self-censorship, write like I was writing it anonymously for the eyes of no-one, without thinking how ridiculous I sound. I think.


nmj said...

hey honey, forgive me for not leaving a more worthwhile comment on your post, i am so tired & incoherent, but i just wanted to say that the only thing i need in the goddamn sales is (are?) pyjama bottoms, mine are all rags... x

word ver: pranolo

a kind of spread for toast, made from prunes and chocolate?

Kahless said...

Enjoy your time at Signses cottage my dear.

Anna MR said...

Cyberfriend, never apologise for anything you say here, k? Good.

Apart from that, hei, lovely to see you, and I sympathise with the tiredness, the incoherence, and the raggedy pyjama bottoms (although the chocolate-and-prune spread sounds like it might be rather lovely, you know) (and my pyjamas are mainly t-shirts and tracksuit-bottoms, but I call them pyjamas).

Lovely to have you back in Blogistan, sweetie. Rest up now, k?

Hugs xxx

Anna MR said...

Shwmae Kahless, and thank you, I fully intend to - as well as over at Chez NMJ (as long as I survive the flights. Keep your fingers crossed for me, os gwelwch yn dda).

Nice to see you, Kahless.


nmj said...

me too! my PJs are a ragbag of tshirts and old sweaters and leggings & really whatever coms to hand! x

Anna MR said...

Ha. We can have a pyjama fashion parade, sweet Cyberfriend. x

Amanda said...

Babies are like that, aren't they? It's pretty awe inspiring. Sometimes I stare at little Millie and wish I could hold on to that hope and promise for her. It's tragic really, how far we all fall.

Oh, but that's far more maudlin than I mean to be. Please freely ignore.

Anyway, this seems like a safe and hidden post for me to peep up a bit to wish you a very happy new year. I do like to visit you here; my apologies for being the quiet sort of visitor who merely sits nodding silently and smiling. Hopefully while sipping tea. You are an excellent host.

I hope next year brings you everything you could wish for. Have a lovely trip now won't you?


Anna MR said...

Sweet, lovely Amanda, I can't begin to tell you how delighted I was to find your comment. Happy, Happy, Happy New Year, dear you, to you and F and the sweetest of all Millies. Yes, babies are like that, are they not? (And I say this with the firm knowledge of someone who's burst to tears holding your Millie, so, you know, take it from me. Ahem.) But, you know, them being like that is what makes me cry over Millie, and which makes both the good better and the bad worse (and I have some New Year's maudlin in me, girl, so be warned).

You are more than welcome to sit quietly in a comfy armchair in the corner, dear you, and sip your tea and smile and nod, and don't you be apologising. But it was totally lovely that you opened your keyboard-mouth tonight - totally lovely. And I hope this new year, as fresh as a babe, brings you (and yours - naturally) lovely things and more and more lovely things, and love and learning and more love. How could it do anything else? Kiss the treasured Millie for me, and have a hug yourself.