Sunday, June 21, 2009

love not for sale

one of the few lessons worth remembering which my parents instilled into me as a child was the value of giving. giving in the true sense of the word: when one gives a gift of any variety it is so much better from the heart. to invest a piece of yourself into a gift rather than randomly buy stuff, so yeah, all my cards & presents as a child were handmade...

every year at christmas time i would present to primary school classmates my painstakingly painted, flower pressed, collaged, photographed handmade cards. they were often delivered with a mixture of pride & embarassment.

my parents were young hippies so in a time when society was in the grip of the ubiquitous aesthetic of mass-produced retail shine it wasn't always that cool. materialism & labels were becoming hip, st vinnies was second hand not vintage, so my creations became a symbol of novel yet impoverished pariahity.

we were outsiders my left-wing long-haired political idealist reluctant baby-boomer parents and i. vivid childhood memories include my little sister's eighth birthday party & one of her friends crying because she was scared of my father's beard. the only dad who didn't wear a suit. he and charles manson share a startling similarity which has a certain irony considering the company i keep. rebel oediphus much?

the point of this story sharing is that recently my beloved friend & invaluable incredible psychic preemptive shadow, clare, who translates intangible things from my head into actions, made me a zine. usually she makes zines with alex for ALGAE RHYTHM but this one was just for me. one copy only. pieces of paper, fabric & card painted, drawn, glued & morphed to become a nano tribute. all housed in a handmade, hand-dyed reversible fabric envelope...

apart from the beautiful rawness, loyalty, love & purity of spirit which this demonstrated, what was so deeply moving is how much i realise my friends, who are my family, actually know me. my secrets & character flaws have somehow become visibly ingrained into an apparently endearing ID package. they have been recorded whether i like it or not. i cannot cease to exist even if i want to. i am not a mirage.

AWOL monk has somehow become an intimate brand. but you still can't buy me. my wealth is in the hum of friends, energy and ideas which buzz around me like filthy fly-like electrons to the eclectic meat-filled honey nucleic pot.

if this is poverty i'd rather continue avoiding the shopping mall & alt benchmarks of capitalist affluence. this is hard because artists must place value on our work in order to live, to love. it's sometimes difficult to reconcile: one's financial worth.

if i charge you for my time by default then it means i don't care. the most precious thing anyone can ever give to anyone else is a piece of their inner self, to freely infuse that into/onto another. it is priceless. therefore it follows that i am exceptionally rich. perhaps you are too.

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