October 7, 2008
Recently we've done some home remodeling ourselves. I'm sure the story of that process will be the topic of future posts since the remodeling is still ubderway and a huge part of my daily activities. Today it will suffice to say that we replaced the floor. We took up a ratty old carpet and replaced it with wood laminate. So I needed some area rugs.
In my typical fashion, I obsessed online over what to buy. I looked at a lot of rugs. You see, for one thing, this remodeling process has been the culmination of my awakening to color. For the first time ever I have color on my walls. My floor is a beautiful pale maple color. And now that I have the color on my walls, I can really feel what other colors each room is calling for. And the cool hardness of the floor needs some softness and warmth.
I'm still afraid of making color mistakes though. So I spend a lot of time online looking at color, and then walking into the room and seeing. And then imagining. And then trying to let the colors, both of the color of the prospective rugs and the color of the walls, just hit my eyes and go past all my words till I just feel the right color to chose. Sometimes that works.
And all the while I'm very worried about spending too much money. I was raised by a grandmother whose sole income came from Social Security, so I have money issues that I'm sure you'll end up reading about that at some point too. I don't have a lot of money now, for that matter. So I'm looking and looking, wondering about color and constantly looking for a better deal. And aking "Where's that web site?" You know the one, the one operated by people who have really figured out how to grab business online with great prices and selection. There's always one like that, no matter what you're buying online.
So finally I end up at eSalerugs. ESale rugs has beautiful wool rugs that I can afford, along with beautiful antique rugs and such that I can't afford. These are high quality hand knotted rugs. So I succumb and order 3 rugs. One is small, thick soft and pale blue. It looks perfect in my daughter's room. The long runner for the hallway is faded pink with peach flowers and green leaves to reflect the green I chose for the walls. And, most beautiful of all, a deep blue for the living room with a unique but unobtrusive pattern in it, so soft I went in on Friday and found all of the daycare kids snuggled together on it. What a cozy domestic scene, huh? And I'm responsible for creating it, lucky me.
However, where did these rugs come from? Tibet and Chna is where. So how much misery did I buy with those rugs? How much misery did I bring into my home? If I could afford them, it's likely someone was badly exploited to make them. And I can't forget that. It stays with me. I know the world economy has to keep functioning, and that generally it's good for a country to have functioning industry and to sell products. Still I can't kid myself. I can't leave the misery behind. With everything I buy, I carry that misery, I know.
So what to do? Humans, to some degree, must consume. And I think it's important for me to consume only what I need. Then the question arises, how much beauty do I need? And how do I acquire that beauty. Yes, I do create some of it myself. But as far as what I buy? Should only the wealthy have beautiful hand-crafted items? Don't the children I care for deserve the same asthetics that the children of Sewickley Heights deserve? As you can see, I often wind up in this circular mind trap with conflicting values and desires, feeling foolish for overthinking the most mundane of items I'm trying to purches.
I've talked to others that have these some problems with the consumer choices we're given, though. It's not just me.
I guess all we can do is keep trying to further human evolution and human consciousness, while making each individual choice as well as we can. It's just I get tired of everything being so difficult. Can't things just be easy sometimes?
Here's hoping that someday we can all share in the beauty of handmade rugs in a healthy world.
Posted by Tina B Shannon at 3:16 PM