Dirty Clothes

For most of my career I have been in business management, an executive you might say, a CFO, a president, though I never really felt comfortable with the term “executive”. A few years ago I had a falling out with the majority shareholder and parted ways from a company in which I had invested more than 13 years. Being a minority shareholder can really suck. After that experience, I decided to start a remodeling and home repair business and my attire has adjusted accordingly. Today I sit here looking like a painter. My hands I washed clean, but my pants and sweatshirt have been sprinkled….

“His clothes are dirty but his hands are clean.” – Dylan

I stopped into a different Starbuck’s earlier, pulled in, noticed people in business suits, several of them talking on cell phones. Not for me, at least not today, so I pulled right past and drove toward the next escape point, thru a Porsche dealership, a hundred or more Porsche’s lining my way. How materialistic our society has become. The world leader in Porsche consumption? Maybe when it's all said and done, we’ll be able to hang our hats on that one.

The Starbuck’s where I ended up has a totally different attitude, though still quite affluent. A much greater variety of attire, very spacious.   In the corner there is a man in his early 30’s, he’s giggling in front of his laptop. He has a Bluetooth ear piece, the whole works, and he is talking to someone, having a conversation with his laptop.

Too bad I can’t say I am without fault. The struggle to accept responsibility, to have control, a great and most profound paradox. To surrender control is to gain control, there is no other way. So “surrender”, what does it mean? Not getting caught up in the things over which you have no control? Maybe there is another side to surrender that gets overlooked. The courage to change the things you can. Maybe harder than surrendering. 

I notice a striking woman across the room. Her hair is very dark, though not quite black, and is cut with sharp edges bordering her face and neck, almost like Uma Thurmond in "Pulp Fiction." She is conversing with a fair amount of emotion and an emphatic demeanor. My ears for some reason tune to her voice as she says, “I want to have three sets of shoes (I believe for her toddler) one for playing outside, one for around the house, and another for special occasions.” My initial reaction was one of slight disdain. So much emotion wrapped into something so trivial. Then I thought about it, she is really not asking for that much now, is she? 

Who is denying her these things?

Many people meditate. One of the effects of meditation is a mind cleared of thoughts. Thoughts can flow and race and they can be chased, and chased and chased and literally we become consumed with the past and future, not absorbing or seeing with clarity anything that is happening in the here and now. By quieting our mind, we are aware that we still exist even if we do not have a single thought in our head. We still exist without any thinking activity. So meditation is a state of “no thought”, only awareness.

IamIam IamIam
46-50, M
15 Responses Dec 4, 2007

Enjoyed your piece lots your a good writer.<br />
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Wondering what that lady's kid has been wearing on her feet if she's only just now buying a pair of shoesfor inside outside and special occasions.<br />
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On the material subject the capital system is going to collapse and the best status symbol will be a potatoe. I've got some lovely potatoes.<br />
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Having them waxed and polished later.

That' why I like making music and art, and enjoy it so much. When you win, when things are clicking, everyone is winning...

Good point. But "all things in moderation"....much wisdom in those words.

Show me the life with "no chasing, no stressing"... I've always heard about it, yet to meet those people. Guess they're not talking to any of "us"?

You know, when I think how easy it actually would be to just do some brain work/consulting work from a nice cabin or modest home, no chasing, no stressing...I feel like I am an idiot for not doing it.


I think doing what you love will provide the greatest amount of satisfaction. Perhaps some lifestyle adjustments may be required, that's the catch.

Our materialistic society has always unnerved me somewhat as I have never really understood the perpetual chase for the next big thing. Currently though, I have been forced (yes forced!!) to view my art from a more business like perspective. This is proving quite a challenge, as I am much better at throwing money away than making it! Currently I am trying to muster some respect for the dollar bill rather than treating it as the enemy. It's a strange juxtaposition between the freedom of creativity and the cage of consumerism. I'm still working on that!<br />
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Good for you for making such huge changes in your career and lifestyle. There is a certain dignity in returning to the simpler things in life.

True...but it is also easy to judge others...my point was "who is denying her these things?"<br />
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Why can't she just take them for herself?

I didn't mean it like that ;)<br />
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Yeah, for me to delve into myself, sometimes I have to delve into another, even if only from afar.

Actually I throw the people watch in more as a venue to make observations about myself.

Now you really know weird;)

I do the same. I thought I was weird. Now I don't so much.

A perpetual people-watcher.

Some great thoughts here, Iam, thanks for sharing. :)