What People Are Buying/"In A Dark Time"

Well, the responses are flooding in and I have to say, the fun that I’m having with this project is making me think that I wasn’t just BS-ing everyone will the whole radical affirmation thing. There is a lot of energy, a lot of email responses from Peter Schenkman’s HARO, and many comments on the “5 Things You Can’t Live Without” article.

There are a lot of people who say they’re going to keep doing yoga, or exercising. I was a bit perturbed by the number of people who said they were going to keep highlighting their hair, because I have been valiantly trying to market my “recession hair” (What professionals call “a nice base color,” What Madeleine L’Engle calls, “hair colored hair,” What my mom calls, “Honey,” What my 2nd great Hebrew school teacher calls, “Jewish Blond” and What realists call “ash” or “mouse” brown.)

Several people said that wine was a priority (I’ll be joining them to drown out my sorrows about my shabby hair); and one person even wrote to me about some exciting solar technology. Lots of people spend money on their pets (maybe if I invested in Don Juan/Gregor, he’d still be with us!)

I loved this: “Chinese food take-out on Sunday nights—it’s become a ritual, and doing without it would be too depressing.”

I also got one email from a guy on my personal mailing list who I may have kind-of-sort-of-rejected:

“Have a beer with me or take me off your mailing list.”

I wrote back:

“Does that mean taking me out for drinks is something you’re willing to spend money on, even though there’s a recession?”

Apparently yes. I’m going to count that answer in the “Alcohol” category, although I’m hoping this guy is as classy as the girl who said she couldn’t live without Grey Goose.

See!? See how much fun the recession can be? So much fun. To that end, I’m working on a recession poetry feature for Friday. Here’s a little teaser…I think Theodore Roethke has totally nailed radical affirmation (and a bit of the Anusara principle of non-dualism…but that’s a post for another day:

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood–
A lord of nature weeping to a tree,
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What’s madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall,
That place among the rocks–is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is–
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark,dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.


4 thoughts on “What People Are Buying/"In A Dark Time"

  1. I’m buying more music. For the price of a concert ticket, I can grab at least 3 to 5 albums.(And I don’t know if you believe in them, but I passed along a blogger award to you in my post today.)

  2. thought it was interesting that you quoted Madeline L’Engel in the same post as the poem about darkness and light – have you read the books that follow Wrinkle in Time…one of them is about the snuffing out of the light by the evil Echtroi….and I find a lot of parallels to today’s world…..and to be honest, I have not given up anything yet…I have always lived frugally and well below my meager means, so I have to say, I haven’t had to change much…yet…..


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