My friend posted today about production/consumption. But it wasn't about the incessant product consuming culture in which we live today. At Christmastime, we are often more aware that we surround ourselves with things. We have two coats where one would do. We have a shelf full of shoes. We have toys overflowing from the shelves and still we get more gifts. There is always a rancid piece of food left forgotten in the back of the refrigerator or the endless piles of "food scraps" that are dumped into the compost.
I had a wonderful moment last week when I confronted myself about how much stuff fills my house. A parent from the kids' school was raised in the Philippines and is preparing to ship a large container of any donations she can collect. We received a letter home from school encouraging anything we could spare. I keep a tight ship on extra clothing, since we don't have a lot of space in our home. What we have is what we wear, or what one child will grow into in a couple of years. What doesn't fit goes out in bi-monthly purges. I found a shirt here, a sweater there. Then I thought about some of the clothing that fits but aren't favourites, and I tossed them into the bag. Then I opened my summer bins and saw two skirts on top, in different colours. And the thought hit me hard:
Do I have two where one would do?
Yes, yes I did. And so I tossed one in. And then I tossed one of the summer dresses. Then I tossed in some things that I love but never seem to find a place to wear them to. Then I threw in some of James' shirts that he hasn't worn in years. Then I went through the boys' bins and tossed in one out of every two items. Then I tossed in half of the towels we have, and half of the sheets. It was wonderful.
So I had a moment this season when I battled the consumer trap in which I find myself. Then my friend wrote about consuming creations. We read, we listen to music, we watch TV, we play games - we consume items other people have created. But do we take the time to make something ourselves? Do I write what I have to say? Do I play the music within me? Do I tinkle the ivories and strum the guitar? Do I encourage creating in my home? Not as much as I should, not as much as I would like to.
Thank you, dear friend, for pumping me full of excitement. There is a creative dream in me, one that has been neglected far too long. By simple virtue of the fact that I am an individual, unlike no other person who has ever been or will ever be, I have a unique view of life and its experiences. Only I can create something that conveys the unique collection of ideas that have formed within me. It doesn't have to be for public consumption or even for close friends and family. It can be just a way to pour out my own personality into something tangible (for posterity?) It's time to find my voice and make something.