ADDICTED TO SALES

ADDICTED TO SALES

“Save more money at Menards”

Capitalism’s adrenalin rush

has easily become

America’s greatest epidemic.

When I was a little boy

in the after-years of the

Great Depression

my grandma gave me

a piggy bank

and started me off

with a few pennies.

“When you get enough saved

you can maintain

your very own

bank account

and earn interest

on your savings account,”

she said.

I proudly and regularly

visited

that pint jar

in the top dresser drawer

next to my socks and underwear,

depositing my pennies

and nickels.

I made my own bank deposits.

As my pennies grew

I experienced a certain

satisfaction

and a subtle sense of security.

Eventually

as a youth

 I capitulated, I

looked for good sales

and spent my savings

on Stuff.

Exciting Stuff—

Stuff for my girlfriend,

Athletic stuff,

Fun Stuff,

Stuff that made me

look good,

smell good,

eat good.

In my late 20’s

Lorraine taught me

to

save 10%,

give away 10%

and

live on 80%.

A challenge well-taken

with four children to educate,

we paid our bills,

we gave to others—

and neglected to save

on a regular basis.

I can only imagine,

in my retirement years,

how different it would be now,

had I invested more

and spent less

on all that

“Good Stuff.”

“Saving…”

means spending more

today.

“Save more money at……”

To hell with delayed gratification.

Like buried mummies

of a forgotten past,

saving money

 has become

 an ancient fossil

in our value system.

There is little incentive

to save today.

While meeting

(or not meeting)

basic needs,

the everlasting “big sale”

captivates

and enshrines

our illusion

that instant “good buys”

are more important

than saving

for some unknown

and unpredictable

future.

We are “Stuffed” people;

our garages, closets and basements

are buldging showcases

of all the Stuff

we bought

during wonderful

sales.

We did have fun

with all that Stuff;

and we also flouted

delayed gratification.

Oh well.

I need and desire

less and less

as I celebrate

my wonder-filled

old age.

Its simplifying time now;

Goodwill Stores

do prosper

from folk like me.

-Hal Edwards

January 21, 2016

Wauconda

THE GREAT SANTA CLAUS MYTH AND/OR “OMG, HERE COMES CHRISTMAS!”

THE GREAT SANTA CLAUS MYTH

AND/OR

“OMG, HERE COMES CHRISTMAS!”

Hello, Kris Kringle,

Miracle on 34th St,

Jingle jingle jingle

New mangers on sale at Macy’s;

jingle jingle jingle

It’s A Wonderful Life

at Disneyland…..

jingle jingle jingle

The best deals await you,

online and

in every

storefront.

Bla…bla…bla…Jingle Bells, here we come,

already????!!!…..again????!!!

=======

Myth and capitalism,

miracle and mirage,

with dreamlike hints of despair;

surprising packages,

promises of joy and depression,

one cannot compare.

=====

Stories and stockings,

lights and delights,

family gatherings

galore;

turkey and gravy,

with tears and hugs,

healing old hurts

….and more.

=====

Two worlds collide

in this

massive eclipse,

wealth and poverty

side by side,

one seems steadfast,

almost secure,

the other will ride the tide.

=====

How to retain

our childhood magic

and not fall prey

to delusion;

ah,

there’s our hope

and prayer and calling—

an alternative

to greed and exclusion.

=====

Meanwhile,

refugees wait,

Chicago kills,

Russia and America

waft and wane;

Politicians hold forth,

Popes live and die,

Love beyond hate,

pleasure or pain.

=====

What about this coming Christmas?

You know, the choice is ours.

We can plant that same old garden,

or we

can add new flowers.

=====

Take Love for real

and embrace one another,

look around, find each other

….and share

with our sister and brother.

=====

Let’s donate to Habitat;

give less stuff to each other,

purchase a Heifer,

and feed that hungry mother.

=====

And we shall sing in a circle

as big as our earth

uniting

each immigrant

with souls bathed in mirth.

=====

You and I are choosing now how to celebrate our Merry Christmas!

=====

-Hal Edwards

Wauconda, Illinois

September 29, 2015