Financial Crisis Undertow

life drawing,

I have spent the past few days or weeks in a torpor. Is anything worth it? Finding it harder to write, harder to do my visual art. Finding it just plain hard. Beneath me, I feel a sucking undertow, a dark energy yanking at me like a persistent dog.

I know this isn’t just me. I know my psychic self well enough to know when it’s a societal matter, when I’m tapping into the collective. What is the collective anyway, but you, and me, and my neighbor and her and her and him? WE’RE the collective. I’m tapping into us.

I received an email from a dear friend just now — we’re always on the same wavelength — and she said she was going through a funk. Is anything worth it? she asked.

I wrote back that I was feeling the same. I said: right here and right now I’m going to do a tarot reading on it. I did. This is what it said.

It’s the financial crisis. We’re all attaching joy to money. When there is no money, there is no joy. As if abundance equals cash. A worldwide addiction to cash. I wrote about this in an earlier blog.

Even if you feel you DO NOT do this, even if you do not attach money to joy, we’re part of a paradigm where everyone around us is doing it, so we get pulled by the undertow. Sucked underneath by societal undertow.

Another friend came to my apartment recently and said she felt “reinvigorated by the luxury”. I burst into hacking laughter. Luxury? I live on the wrong side of the tracks in a drafty building, five floors up a dark and narrow staircase, and the ceiling leaks!

She said I will show you luxury — the candlesticks with dripping wax, the traveling chest I use as a TV table I found on the side of the road, the half finished canvases, pillows made from fabric scraps of rich velvet, a puppet hung in an empty scarred ornate frame, dried roses in a an old teapot thrown out by the antique dealer nextdoor because it had no top, old lotion bottles filled with colored water on the window sill, also thrown out by the antique dealer…she found all of this luxurious. When I total up these luxuries, they cost less than $10.

What other luxuries do we have? Can you think of them? The luxury to do our writing. The luxury to do our art. The luxury of time now that we have fewer work hours? The luxury of being a sensuous alive human being? As artists, isn’t it our job to question the grip money has on us?

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