And my growing, expanding Universe theory
I was thinking today about how much of daily life is commodified. So much of what we do has a price tag attached to it. Going out for dinner, drinks, a movie, transportation, home improvement projects, even a walk through Muir Woods north of San Francisco costs a couple of bucks. You can hardly walk anywhere without passing dozens of shops, all hoping to sell you something. Don’t even get me started about telemarketing. What’s not commodified is either regulated, fenced in, or used as advertising space.
It’s largely the opposite here. The only two places on St. Agnes where you can spend any money are the post office/shop and the pub. The post office/shop is one building, two entities. It houses the island’s tiny grocery store and, as you no doubt guessed, the post office. Both are seamlessly integrated. Need an apple? Need a stamp? Everything happens at the same desk. The pub, down by the quay, is known as the Turk’s Head and is open one night a week in winter, two if you’re lucky. Neither takes credit cards. In fact, I asked the woman at the shop if I could pay off my weekly account with a credit card and for a brief moment she looked at me as if I had asked her to accept, as payment, a stick I’d just found outside. So it’s difficult to spend money here.
Things aren’t fenced in either. The land feels self-regulated—I stick to the trails. It’s fairly open really, but if you fall off an outcropping, get washed out to sea or slip on some seaweed and break your neck, that’s on you... On the upside, you have more freedom; you have to have your wits about you; you’re responsible for your own actions. There’s also a downside. The Scillys are inundated with tourists for about five months out of the year. All of those feet put an undue strain on paths and land. How can the land be kept usable, not preserved like a museum piece, yet protected from too much wear and tear? It’s an issue being debated here. I’m not yet sure there’s been an answer.
Hello! It’s me, Nik, speaking to you from this journal’s future, a.k.a., the present!
Honestly, I thought it’d take longer before my first present-day interjection into your regularly scheduled, 1999-era, St. Agnes Journal programming, but here I am.
Firstly, given my original rant about money, the irony of much of this writing now sitting behind a paywall is not lost on me.
Secondly, why the rant in the first place? My guess is that I was young and somehow seeking “pure” experiences not tainted, in my perception, by money. And I think it took me a long time to let that perception go. Now I tend to look at life as a series of energetic exchanges and as money as a form of energy. Everything in the Universe, it seems, requires energy to sustain itself. And we’re no different. Now I my goal is balance in the exchange, whether that exchange is made in love, effort, money, or otherwise. And, my aim is to give a little more than I get, so that little bit extra can be a gift to the being I’m exchanging with, and can, perhaps, go some way toward growing and expanding the Universe instead of letting it collapse back in on itself.
I hope that you’re getting more from this journal in joy, delight, and wonder, than you’re giving for it for it in money energy, and that that gift goes some way toward expanding your universe.
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