On abundance

Pronoiac Rob Brezsny linked an article on F*c*book today and for some reason I clicked on the link and read it.

The title was, “Scarcity is a Myth“. That must be why I clicked on the link, because the idea of scarcity vs. abundance interests me. It was written by Tara Stiles, of whom I had not heard before, and who seems to have a business involving yoga.

Immediately, I prepared myself to scoff at the article, because it was a listicle by a beautiful young person. I am tired of listicles, and I am tired of young people imparting wisdom to me.

But I read the article. It consisted of Five Rules to Enjoy Abundance.

All I could find to disagree with was her claim that scarcity is a myth. In fact, scarcity is not a myth. Scarcity is a fundamental fact of life. This is not all bad. Life is scarce, thanks to death, but were it not scarce, it would have no value.

That is the function of scarcity, imparting value, maybe.

But it is a fact that there is a lot of artificial scarcity going around, manufactured by various people for a variety of reasons – political, economic, habitual, psychological.

We do have way more scarcity than is really necessary, this I believe.

But the Five Rules to Enjoy Abundance? I read them with my late uncle Phil in mind. I have mentioned him here before. Uncle Phil made the world an abundant place, and taught those of us who loved him how to do it ourselves.

It turns out the Five Rules were also his rules.

These are the rules: humility, thoughtful action, support, landscape, and joy. Tara explains them a little in her article, go read it if this interests you. They are good rules. I learned them from my uncle, and I try to live by them. Beauty and youth do not preclude wisdom after all. I apologize for ever thinking they could.

Careers in Science: Deontology

The deontologist looks at the cat that woke him up. How can such a young cat be so huge, he wonders. The other day the deontologist opened the back window so the cat could climb in and he (the cat) fell off the fence before he reached the window, he is so fat. Not fat, exactly, though, just… huge.

The deontologist feeds all three cats and enjoys the few minutes during which huge cat is distracted by food and not walking figure eights around the deontologist’s feet. The deontologist thinks about everything he wants to do that morning: practice cello for half an hour in the cellar, meditate, do yoga, water things in the garden, feed the tortoise, and a number of other things.

His wife and kid are sick, though, so he postpones his new regimen of morning cello practice until the weekend.

He does the other stuff, though. And push-ups. See, the deontologist saw a website where a young woman describes teaching herself to dance in a year, by means of obsessive practice. The deontologist is all fired up.

Outside it is cool and looks as if it might rain, or might not. He puts two sections of the wooden fence his daughter is painting onto sawhorses in the back yard, as they are too heavy/bulky for her to move around.

The plum tree is heavy with green plums. The pie cherry tree is full of ripe pie cherries and blackbirds. The apple tree is full of green apples. The row of strawberries is over, but there will be raspberries all summer, and the grape vine is heavy with green grapes.

The deontologist checks on the vegetable garden at the rear of his abundant back yard. There is a big green zucchini hidden among the weeds, and a couple yellow zucchini. There are two big cucumbers ready to go. His vegetable garden is, at this time of the summer, most abundant in zucchini, mosquitos and slugs. He considers whether zucchini are the slugs of the vegetable world.

The slug traps are full of dead slugs, dozens of them, all drowned humanely in beer.

He spies a few ripe cherry tomatoes and plum tomatoes. The big beefsteak tomatoes are starting to change color. But tomato and cucumber season won’t really get going for another week or two.

At lunch, the deontologist walks to the noodle shop and buys a takeout thing of chicken and rice. He walks around and finds a bench under a tree where he had shared a sandwich with two crows earlier in the week.

Two minutes later, the crows are back. The same two crows – a large, grey-black one and a slightly smaller black one. The larger one seems more intelligent because it is more cautious. It won’t come any closer than two or three meters. The smaller one comes up within five feet of him. The deontologist throws them a couple pieces of chicken after making sure it is not too hot.

Crows are always so surprised when he is nice to them!

The crows move away when cars drive by, but come right back. They leave for longer when someone walks past with a dog.

The deontologist wonders if there are hygiene rules against sharing your lunch with crows inside the city limits.

He throws a little rice into the gutter for grey crow, but it lands too close. The deontologist moves a couple steps away so the crow can eat the rice.

There are laws against feeding pigeons, he knows. Pigeons are degenerate birds, rats with wings, but certain people get a kick out of them.

The deontologist prefers ravens and crows.

If there were coyotes in Vienna, he’d feed those too.

But there are no coyotes in Vienna.

The Ghost of Christmas Future meets the Smallest Man in the World

So the smallest man in the world is driving along. He just hit a patch of ice so he’s taking it easy. The windows are fogged up a little, in the corners where the vents don’t get them, and encrusted with salt on the outside. As they pass the sugar refinery his daughter asks him what he’s chuckling about.

The look on my… hair stylist’s (he always has to pause to consider what they’re called nowadays) face were I to tell her to “make me look cool” when I go in for my haircut tonight, he says.

Oh, his daughter says.

Lose twenty pounds first, says the smallest man in the world. Then we can talk about trying to look cool. For a small guy, he could lose a lot of weight. And he is small. He’s under eight inches now.

He can barely see over the steering wheel.

He tries to remember if he just told his daughter how awesome she is, or if he only thought it.

He pats her on the leg and tells her, just to be on the safe side.

What is with these people who can recall every day of their life and every thing that ever happened to them? That would totally suck, even if you had a charmed life.

The smallest man in the world is more at the goldfish end of the memory spectrum, at least when he thinks about his life as a whole. But when he tries to recall certain things, he generally can in great detail. Like, he can’t remember, offhand, going to Greece with his family, or keep the individual trips they made there on vacation seperate. But he can remember the rat that jumped as high as his face when he cornered it with a blue push broom in their bungalow in the middle of the night while his wife and daughters danced on their bed, and the way it could navigate their holiday bungalow like an expert in the dark, but couldn’t find its way out the front door when he opened it.

Like that.

The smallest man in the world is meeting his wife for Christmas punch after his haircut.

When he thinks that, he is no longer driving, he’s all, where am I?

I am the Ghost of Christmas Future, says a voice.

The smallest man in the world observes that the Ghost of Christmas Future is totally fucking hot but doesn’t say anything.

I am here to show you the upcoming Christmas.

I’d rather be surprised, says the smallest man in the world. Just surprise me.

I have to show you something, says the Ghost of Christmas Future.

Show me tonight then, says the smallest man in the world.

Doink, something went, “doink” and they were watching the smallest man in the world’s wife standing at a punch stand, talking to one of her many friends who she happened to bump into while waiting for her husband to finish his haircut.

“She cut it pretty short,” she says when her husband arrives.

He shrugs.

She picks him up and he sits on a gold chain around her neck like a swing so he is more at eye level. He looks like gangsta bling.

What’re you having, she asks.

Something strong. Turbo punch if they have it, something along those lines, he says.

She tells him about her day, he tells her about his day.

They drink punch.

The smallest man in the world thinks about abundance and utopia. He is convinced the world is an abundant utopia that we just happen to be ruining because we are so stuck on how to get to heaven that we don’t notice we’re already there.

Except for one thing. In his utopia, the smallest man in the world would be the boss. And he’s not the boss here. But that’s just a personal thing. His personal utopia. In a real, general utopia, he could handle not being the boss, and this is actually pretty close. Especially with this punch, wow.

He stands close to his wife and puts his arm around her. He can do this and hang from a golden chain around her neck at the same time.

Then, doink, he’s back in his car with his daughter. Wow, I almost just missed the turn and took you to work with me today, he says.

People do that a lot, says his daughter.

Look at that asshat, he says. If he comes to a stop in the parking lot entrance to let his kid out and blocks me out here in the fucking street I’m fucking honking.

Don’t you dare, says his daughter.

He lets her out and stays there watching her until she’s safely across the street. Then he goes to work. Then he has lunch, then he goes home.

And so on. There, in his abundant utopia.