It's a typical Sunday afternoon...
I'm sitting at our gallery and it's a busy "Festival Weekend" in town with thousands of out-of-town visitors, and in between serving partially as shopkeeper and partially as "history of the building lesson giver," I'm working on editing and proofreading a manuscript for a client who'll be stopping by the house to "take delivery" of the edited version at 6:00... pretty much as soon as I get home.
View of the bay; the ferry is leaving
Earlier today, a friend stopped by the gallery for a while, and we were talking about dreams.
Not the kind of dreams you have while you're sleeping, but the kinds of dreams you make for yourself, your family and the future of your existence.
Bill was lamenting that he'd now rounded 50, and had come to the realization that it would take him 80 hours a week of working a full time job and two part time jobs to save enough money to buy the plot of land he has long dreamed of so he could become an organic herb farmer.
No, not the kind of "herb" you smoke, the kind he would sell to restaurants, and at farmers' markets.
Waterways and mountains
We talked about dreams for a while, and about our goals... and then about the sad and slightly sickening feelings that so many people's dreams seem to stay eternally out of reach... not because people aren't willing to work to make their dreams come true, but because the (for lack of a better metaphor) "goalposts" representing our dreams seem to move away faster than our ability to catch up with and reach them.
It reminded me of last year when our home insurance effectively went up by some 15%. I didn't get a 15% pay raise, last year! Actually, since I am self-employed, I didn't see a 15% increase in my income... in fact, I'm struggling to just stay even to down slightly, year over year.
What am I doing "wrong?" Nothing much... other than I happen to be selling something within a greater space also occupied by Amazon; and people are increasingly being trained and "hypnotized" into living by a paradigm in which you allow an app to pick the lowest price on the web, and things like individuality and personal service head down the toilet.
It used to be it was "WalMart" we worried about, killing small scale entrepreneurship in smaller towns and cities... now it's also Amazon.
Cherry blossoms — spring is finally happening!
It's funny... reminds me a bit of being back in college, and all but being cussed out by several business professors for suggesting that the inevitable march of a capitalist system (the way we have it) is that some day we'll end up with THE supermarket, THE airline, THE bank and THE furniture store, with a single "organism" controlling each market niche... and choice being limited to the handful of items that allowed for mass production and distribution at the absolutely lowest cost and highest profit.
You'd think I'd committed treason... and yet, today's marketplace looks a lot more like my (per)version than theirs.
Sometimes, the world feels like it runs almost entirely on a toxic fuel mixture of apathy and greed.
Bill and I also talked a little bit about the old "sticking it to the man!" rallying cry, and I realized that I have never had much desire to stick it to the man. Or anyone else, for that matter. I just want to avoid "the man," or preferably make "the man" irrelevant and obsolete in my life.
Once again, I have memories of a different discussion, with someone else, about the problems of "Big Oil" controlling the world. And what can we do about these monopolies... nobody liked my answer much: WALK to work.
Forsythia in bloom
Of course, it was a metaphor. Deeper point being... the best way is sometimes NOT to have boycotts or blockades, or to wave placards and banners somewhere... but simply to make the offending item/product irrelevant and obsolete in your life.
And yes, I realize "it's not that simple," but I am just making a point... most proactive change doesn't happen as a result of making a lot of noise and blowing shit up, it happens as a result of a groundswell movement to simply change behavioral patterns.
Don't think it can be done? Consider, for a moment, how many people were smokers in 1969, vs in 2019. In the 1960's, it was 40-something percent here in the US, vs about 15% today.
Of course, I don't have any "dreams" of smoking, but my conversation with Bill — as I sat there, trying to do two jobs simultaneously — made me realize that my own dreams (or rather, the dreams of Mrs. Denmarkguy and I) are also slowly disappearing over the horizon, carried by eternally rising costs of living and largely stagnant incomes.
But hey, I'm still gonna wake up tomorrow morning and give it my best shot!
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Created at 190324 17:02 PST