Right now

It's hard to blog right now. To find a voice in the daily din of stuff without just adding to the stuff, even if what I add is anti-stuff.

I'm not going to lie and pretend I opt out of the stuff-ness of this time of year. I buy gifts for others and some for myself. I layer my home with twinkling lights and boughs of evergreen. I find joy filling my shopping basket with extravagant groceries I buy only once a year.

But still, I find it difficult to make propaganda about it, to assemble lists of things under the guise of helpful or inspirational advice, when it's really only adding to the maelstrom. And yet, I feel much too much a part of it to write the ascetic opt-out post that denies any involvement.

And maybe it's just me or it's particularly this year, but the world seems too insane for this kind of stuff right now. There's such a flimsiness to all this materialism, even the more ethical version of it. And though it's so often an innocent and necessary balm, right now it feels too at odds with the really important stuff we should be talking about.

But that stuff too is hard to bite off. And that too is its own kind of useless din. And all that thinkpiecey outrage makes me feel ill-at-ease too.

So I am left in my own small world with its small concerns. With the excitement I feel about a small group of people I care about and the gifts I plan to give them. With the joy I feel when I take the long way home just to look in windows and experience small moments of escapism into the lives of others, and to feel good about humans in general.

And I find ways of reconciling all of this in my heart because I believe that what's good about the world and about living starts with people feeling goodwill towards each other and with permitting small moments of joy in every day, even while knowing that it's not the full picture of how things really are in our world right now.
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