A Dream on Crap and Consumerism

 

A Dream on Crap and Consumerism
by Sha’Tara

 It’s been years since I’ve done any dream reporting.  Most people don’t care for other peoples’ dreams and I don’t blame them.  They are really a personal kind of communication.  Having said that, let me tell you a dream I had last night. 

 Did I get a smile at least?  No?  Ok, doesn’t matter.  I don’t think this dream is terribly personal as it contains a “lesson” very much applicable to today’s consumerist society.  It’s about stuff.  Or crap if you prefer.  It’s about climate change, and war, and dead sperm whales, and obesity and general discomfort.  It’s about most of us this side of the world that are buried under stuff made by most of us living on the other side of the world.  It’s about a kind of “us” versus “us” in a Seussian society.  And it’s really about Horton hearing a Who and about a Grinch who stole Christmas and thankfully did not return it.

 It goes this way:  I and a couple of “my” children (the dream is in story form so the characters, including the one I call myself, are fictional) drive back from the fields on a tractor pulling a kind of rake.  We arrive at the farm house and my partner is in the yard all worried and upset.  The reason: while no one was home thieves came in and took absolutely everything of value in the house.  So I asked if the police had been there and the answer was “Yes, and they’re opening the case.”

 I could then go into the house.  It was quite empty, but surprisingly the thieves left everything they did not want in very neat stacks on the floor.  Nothing was torn, ripped or broken.  The theft had been very orderly done.  All good stuff was gone: computers, microwave, serger, sewing machines, coffee maker, pictures, tools, cameras, TV, books, music equipment, what money and jewellery was accessible, on it went, room after room.  Everything of value: gone.

 The children watched, waiting for the parents’ reaction.  We looked at one another and suddenly it was as if a light came on.  We said, look, we can see the walls, the floors, the whole house now.  It’s neat!  We have all this space!  Let’s not rush into replacing the stuff.  Let’s see what we can live with as is.  I saw the children’s faces light up and they went racing through the house as if it was a game to see what they could find to put together and engage a new lifestyle.  They were laughing.

 Then we went outside and the same thing happened: we saw that some of the small stuff had been taken, but what we were looking at was all the stuff we had accumulated, and how easily we could do with just a fraction of it all.  We hugged each other and re-discovered a feeling of love we hadn’t known in many years.  We felt freed from shackles we had unknowingly been dragging and adding to year by year.  We both felt younger by decades.

 It was a great dream of liberation from consumerism; from “stuff.”  It was a reminder that we serve that which enslaves us.

It also reminded me of this most honest of all yard sale signs:

 Garage sale sign1

 I don’t know about you, but I say, let’s stop pushing each other’s crap on each other and let’s just stop buying stuff just because we can.  It’s insane.  And for those who insist buying crap creates jobs, that’s an even more insane argument.  That’s like saying, building prisons creates jobs, so let’s put more people in jail.

 

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27 thoughts on “A Dream on Crap and Consumerism

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks, Lisa. I enjoyed the happy ending (in the dream). I’ve struggled with the issue of too much stuff, mine, and particularly that of hoarders whose homes I often have to help clean out as a sickness of our times of enslavement to consumerism. Both, bodies and the planet, are paying a heavy toll for us having indulged in it.

      Reply
  1. We come from dreams ~

    I’m laughing! Why? Because at least twice in my life, I’ve lost everything. Have no doubt, these were catastrophic when they happened. Now? That was in the past and that past doesn’t exist any more. I have what I need (including that big-ass Ford I just got) as opposed to what I want. And ya know what? If I lose everything again, well hey, been there, done that, no big deal.

    Reply
  2. OlafN

    Thank you for the post. Yes once you move regularly and even sometimes across the ocean you only move with a suitcase. This is the best time ever: first you get rid of all the things, you always think ‘oh no, so many memories’ but soon you realize the important memories are in your head. You don’t need all that stuff. Starting clean with nothing than a suitcase in an unknown country is quite an experience, a good one. Thank you for the post it is a lovely dream and probably a shock waking up and seeing that your stuff is still there? 😉

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      You’re so right: it was a shock! But I also realized that it seemed that much less necessary. Thanks for your comment, Olaf.

      Reply
    2. calmkate

      Totally agree, I’ve set off overseas with nothing but a suitcase and unable to store anything it was all given away or burnt … being nomadic for most of my life helps. And I keep culling that suitcase.
      Great dream Tara!

      Reply
      1. Sha'Tara Post author

        Thanks. Also, a lesson on attachments, and how they drag us down, make us narrow-minded and even bigoted in our self-protective fears.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        That must leave you with a much greater sense of freedom than your surrounding friends and acquaintances. Unlike yourself, I’m a totally sedentary creature, and happy with it. But I was forced many times to let go of stuff because of changing personal circumstances. Now, except for older paper back books, the rule is, if it doesn’t get used in a year, it is redundant and given away. And the value of my home collection of “crap” except for my two laptops (one is the backup) is such it wouldn’t interest a common thief. No trade or re-sale value. I know because it all comes from thrift stores!

    3. Rosaliene Bacchus

      I’ve had a similar experience, OlafN, when my family and I moved from Guyana to Brazil to the USA. Just suitcases with our essentials for beginning life anew. Over time, you learn not to cling to stuff or crap.

      Reply
  3. Sha'Tara Post author

    Thanks for the comment. I also know a few instances of literally losing everything, including friends and lovers, in moves and economic change; also one great big losing everything in mid-life. Turns out it was the best thing that could have happened: it allowed me to take control of my own life and go in directions that I chose to go, not society’s, or family or church or political affiliation. All that was left behind so I could find myself. I never sought those emotional connections after that – too busy living my life on my own terms now.

    Reply
  4. Rosaliene Bacchus

    A liberating dream, Sha’Tara!
    Consumerism American-style fuels economic growth and ecosystems degradation. Those who profit from this global capitalist economic system hoodwinked us into believing we could have it all.

    Reply
  5. Phil Huston

    If yo move often enough you get down to the basics, or less. Which I have done. When you stay put you accumulate things for every corner. Whtever space you haev your crap expands to fill it. I would be nice if someone were to come and leave what was productive and run their crap vacuum from door to door becuse what would be left would need to be tuned, what was gone would need to be plugged in or dusted and how cool would that be? Nice dream…

    Reply
  6. Sha'Tara Post author

    Unfortunately for me, I’m a “stay put” kind of person, so the crap does want to accumulate. I have to shake the rafters periodically and toss, or send to thrift stores. Thanks for you input, too right!

    Reply
  7. harulawordsthatserve

    I loved this. You write in a very engaging way, and what you share is so wise and true, as well as light and playful – I LOVE that in the dream the thieves left everything neat!. It’s a wonderful reminder of the trap of ‘crap’. I also love the sign you quote at the end. Thanks for visiting my blog, I’m happy to ‘meet’ you 🙂 Blessings, Harula x

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you for that warm comment. I’ve begun looking at your interesting writings also. More comments along the way.

      Reply

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