Take away the extras. Take away: the television, the cable, the computer, the cell phone. Take away: potatoes mashed in butter, 16oz steaks, dessert. Take away perfume. Makeup. A new pair of shoes. Breakfast out. pizza delivered. Take away small talk, political opinions, church. Take away the dollar store, the fundraiser, the community fair, the cultivated garden, the gym. Take away modern life.
Take away modern life. I want to be merely human. What do I need, and how do I get it, without consuming modern life’s glut of noise and greed? We consume too much and are not sated. Twinkie after twinkie, empty calories of media and pettiness and food and entertainment. Some things don’t change in two hundred years:
The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon; The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers, For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be A pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.
We have given our hearts away! We are out of tune with the planet on which we live, unmoved by the sea, the howling wind. We are offered “glimpses that would make me less forlorn,” and reject them for a slickly produced two minute weather porno on youtube.
On the hierarchy of needs, water, food, safety and shelter: I have a roof, locks on the door, too much food in the house, a clean water supply. I have a tribe or tribes, I belong to people and they to me. I want a pot of soup to share and pen and paper and access to the outdoors. Take away all of modern life but that.
Oh to be bare, pure. A thread in the fabric. Mere.