Christmas Consumer Thoughts

I am now living in Los Angeles.
Years have passed since this body resided here.
It used to be a breathing part of my known world.
Yet now everywhere seems like home.
Just as much as here.
A visitor, a sleeper, a worker, a snacker.

Sentimental streets now just remind me what used to be familiar.
I get lost in the jungle of highways.
But again, I am home.
Just like home finds me in the rainy bicycle paths of Denmark.
Or the lonely walks in the Himalayas.

Needing less and less, but absorbing more and more.
I remember who I am through the storm of Christmas.
Consumers march through the stores, greedily filling their carts.
I join and forget about money.
I have come so far. But I am still in the same body.
A body who was fed and clothed in this city.
A city of fast cars and dying spenders.
Who treat themselves to the pleasures that only the material first world offers.

I absorb this world so differently now.
I’m thinking of who I am and
my mind rolls back to memories and thoughts,
it’s like I am in all the places I was all at once.
I am alone with my mind again and we say,
We have so much. We need less.
Yet I click yes on the check out and get excited when the packages arrive.
Yet I was born in this world of consumer binges,
And the thrill sinks into my skin.

Should I even fight the desires that tug at my wallet?
What is frugality, if it’s only replaced with fragility.
To be so unable to loosen a grip around the number in my bank account.
I must learn to balance enjoyment with consideration.

I wonder who this body will turn to be,
Dreaming of a world where I belong no where and to no one.
Including the capitalist net.
I continue on filling my cart, like a good Christmas daughter/sister/friend/cousin/etc.
But this year, I enjoy it.
I am happy because I have the choice to be a part of it all.

I decorate the Christmas tree with my grandma.
I wonder if it is a choice for her, or if we ever really make choices in our lives.
She does it every year.
What would happen if she stopped?
Some philosophers would argue, No one has choices.
I was baffled when I first heard this. How could that be?
They argue, nothing we do is out of free will.
But I beg to differ.
I buy the gifts.

But I place letters in the boxes.
I know the value of this moment. It’s my chance to say I love them,
while I’m still close enough to do so.

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