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Carless- Day Twenty -Cardigan Desire

Whoever dies with the most toys, misses the point.

I figure that if I set my mind to it, I could do without most of my stuff. I suppose that I could go bookless or meatless or guitarless, perhaps even heartless for a while. Affluence stunts the imagination. Ready access to great variety sates nothing but want, and unsatisfied want might be the one necessary element for living a complete life.

I fondly remember the time I’d spend as a kid drooling over the new Sears Roebuck catalogue, which was filled with stuff I really, really wanted and knew I didn’t really need. I could imagine myself, svelte in that Pat Boone cardigan, switching lives as easily as I turned pages. Actually acquiring that stuff never metastasized into my purpose. I comfortably integrated that fantasy life in along side my real one.

Birthdays and Christmases, I wish for the same thing every year: that nobody will buy me anything. I’ll warmly accept heart-felt best wishes, but I find little warmth in symbolic gift-giving. Cozy up instead.

I could rail on about the decadences inherent in any consumption-based society, but won’t. The purpose of desire isn’t to simply satisfy it, but to hold it near that secret place beside our hearts. We cannot consume it away; it’s inherently insatiable, anyway.

My experience of carlessness reminds me most of my earlier Pat Boone Cardigan-less-ness. Sometimes, I really, really, really wish I had a car ready to hand. This want is a wonderful, powerful feeling which I can appreciate for the feeling it is, knowing that I have alternatives capable of transporting me there and back again.

I’m more careful now not to conflate want with need. I can want anything, but it seems I don’t really need nearly that much at all.

©2012 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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