Tuesday, September 30, 2008
EcoBliss: You're Trashier than You Think
Listening to: This should wake you up!
Bliss: Signs of Halloween are popping up all over. The mums are blooming. Time to get out the spooky tree candle holder, I think!
My name is Blisschick and I am a piler. Yes, I pile things. I pile paper things in particular. Piles of books. Piles of folders. Piles of pieces of paper -- and I mean pieces. Pieces ripped from here and there and everywhere. Piles of ideas. Piles of thoughts. Piles. Piles. Piles.
Ask my partner about my piling. Poor thing. She is not a natural piler and my piling is a source of distress for her.
Years ago, when we redecorated the living room, my goal was to get rid of piles, including the inevitable piles of knick knacks and candle holders. I wanted clear surfaces. That lasted about a month.
Now I am an altar builder, which you can read as "formal piles."
So, if our external worlds are a reflection of our internal worlds, what the heck does this say about me?
I know what it says. My brain is in a constant state of whirling and twirling and restacking and dumping and building all sorts of piles. Piles of memories. Piles of information. Piles of dreams and goals and to-do's and shoulds and coulds and woulds. It's hard to get anything done in there, as you can imagine.
The desk I am sitting at is covered in small piles -- books and DVDs, catalogs, papers, pictures. My keyboard is on the top of a pile, essentially.
But I look outside or I think of most people's homes or offices or I think about the trash bags put to the curb every week on my one small block in this one small city and I know that this is not my problem alone.
We recycle, of course we do, but that is not enough. We are always skipping the most important part of that phrase: recycle, reuse, reduce.
For just one example, what happened to the computer making a paperless office? From my experience, the computer has increased paper. People are constantly printing out new versions of the same thing. Change one word? Print it all out again.
We want everything to look so tidy and pristine that we've made an utter mess of it.
Here's something to do: Sit and breathe and get really quiet. Get as quiet inside as you can. What happens after a few moments of this? Typically, it gets very loud and messy in there. Now, open your eyes and look around. What is your world reflecting back to you?
I think of all the people in the United States especially who are obese or who are being treated for depression.
Both of these "diseases" can be said to be about trash. We put too much trash into our bodies and get fat, and we put too much trash into our minds and become overwhelmed and apathetic.
So that's really where we have to start with cleaning this planet -- we have to clean out our minds. Get to the source.
Why are we over-consuming and thus so very trashy? Only until we figure that out will we ever be able to have clear surfaces in our living space.
Tomorrow: I'll be posting an interview with a writer from England who has written this wonderful guide to rubbish.