Saturday, October 28, 2006


Today was sort of a strange day. I really didn't have anything pressing to do, which is good. You need those sorts of days. So in reality I suppose I did what everyone else in our culture seems to do on a Saturday-go to the mall to shop. I didn't need to go. Well, actually, I did need one thing-transparency sheets for worship music. That you really can't get at a local store. But that wasn't the reason I went. My daughter needed one or two items for a costume she was putting together, and they had to be found today, and they had to be found at the mall.

Every time I go to the mall I'm reminded how little I seem to enter into the standard idea of what to do when you live a certain way, make a certain amount of money and want to keep up with the latest things. I felt uncomfortable, tired and claustraphobic for most of our journey, and actually, my daughter did, too. I found absolutely no pleasure in looking, only finding for her. Things only seem to have real significance for me if I'm buying or looking for someone I care about. Or I have a very pressing need, in which case I go on a mission, buy my thing and go home. Or, I feel very moved to do something for someone else. This has nothing to do with my own personal virtue. It is normal life to me, the most fulfilling and interesting way I can think to live.

I'm not sure how to address my culture and generation. I know we all have things we care about beyond the material. I'm not sure if understanding all the cultural trappings is a way to understand people. Maybe it is. Alot of that stuff is trends set by the powers that be for the motivation of profit. You can't help but want some of the cool, pretty and new things that are displayed to maximum advantage, but it is someone else's idea of what is cool and pretty. Our old Honda sets us apart in a parking lot immediately. By the looks of things, owning new is normal, and with the cost of new cars, that puzzles me. Is normal life being in debt up to your eyebrows (as my daughter puts it) to look nice, new, shiny and successful...and cool to everyone else? Once again, I'm not sure. I guess advertising really does work.

I'm afraid the type of life I would try to sell is not terribly attractive displayed on a shelf. In fact, you probably wouldn't see it displayed in a way that draws attention to itself. It works in secret. It doesn't need outward trappings to speak for it or identify it's possessor. That is a tough sell. I don't think it would be at the mall.


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