Thursday, October 1, 2009

With gifts from the Gods, I am a millionaire

My purchases for the morning: coconut, watermelon, avocado

This morning as I stood drinking a jelly coconut, the coconut vendor (the one by UWI Doubles) launched into one of his little stories:

"I does wuk for recreation. I does wuk for recreation! I is 87 years old! I have property for $3 million dollars." (Here he scrunched up his mouth and waved his hands dismissively). "I give dat to meh chirren. I ent know A from B. I could speak Hindi, I could speak English, but in school I couldn't spell meh name. A and B?!"

I understand what he means by 'working for recreation'. He doesn't need to work anymore, but he wants to.

Work for some is not about the work itself. It's about routinely performing an action to get money to pay bills and 'live'.

Over the past month or so, I've been gradually cleaning, clearing and giving away things that I no longer want, need or use. The most recent things that I chose to give were some framed original photographs of mine. Those who expressed the desire to own them agreed that they would get the photograph of their choice in exchange for raw fruits, vegetables and/or nuts of their choosing.

Last night was the first exchange. Two individuals each received their framed photos. In return I received portugals, mango and two bags of assorted nuts (walnuts, etc) in their shells.

Today I will deliver another photo and the recipient says she'll take me to the fruit/vegetable stall for produce and/or to The Little Store for dried fruit and/or nuts.

On Saturday I'll be exchanging the final two framed photographs for more raw goods. One recipient said she will meet me after she goes to the market. The other mentioned 'a box' of supplies. In total, this is my food for a week or more.

In order to have and experience some things in this world, we need money. Right now I can't pay my TSTT bill with two avocados and a slab of watermelon, buy a house by the river/sea with bananas and nuts or travel the world in exchange for two large pumpkins.

But it feels special and exciting to receive raw edibles in return for these framed photographs. Symbolically, it is very meaningful to me.

The recipients genuinely wanted the images they chose and, in return, they spent time thinking about me, about what raw produce I would like and then going and getting it. They didn't just push their hands into their pockets and pull out a wad of bills or hurriedly write a cheque.

From this little experience I'm inspired to think of money differently.

Money is a special, natural and nourishing gift from the Gods. It grows with ongoing, plentiful abundance all around me. It's my joy to grow it, nurture it, harvest it, share it and exchange it in the process of making life richer for myself and those around me.

Thinking like this, the next time I write a cheque or give money to someone in exchange for something, it could be an entirely different experience for both of us (giver and receiver):

(When paying phonebill): I exchange rich, healthy organically-grown produce from my abundant harvest with TSTT in return for crystal clear, enjoyable, meaningful, life-affirming communication.

(Paying internet bill): I exchange full, ripe fruits from my flourishing financial garden with Flow in return for an ever-enriching network of meaningful global connections, increased knowledge and pleasure and the ability to spread my wings and soar with effortless grace to wherever I want and need to go.

(When buying new clothes): My fertile, freshly flowering finances are a special delivery to this woman behind the cash register who is handing me a bag full of places-to-go-people-to-meet-feeling-and-looking-great. And the beautiful scent of my flowering finances wafts with gratitude to the old woman in India who sat for hours weaving the cotton that made it possible.


LoLa said...

I love this post, especially "2 avocados and a slab of watermelon."

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, beautiful post. Interestingly, I dreamed about money last night, which I don't do very often. Someone was giving me some, but it was not for me to keep. It was for me to distribute to those who need it way more.

Lynn Cohen said...

Elspeth, I enjoyed reading this very much. My house and office are adorned with paintings I once traded services for years ago. I can no longer by law do this in my current career but then it was okay. I love bartering. It would be fine with me if we did this on a regular basis in life. Your piece here is so well written. A truely enjoyable read. Thanks.

Unknown said...

I’ve been following your blog for about two years now because I really enjoy reading what you have to say. Your outlook on life is inspiring. I was particularly interested when you began your raw diet and imagined myself buying a blender and dehydrator and eating the ‘right’ way.
My diet is fairly healthy at the moment: lots of fruits and veggies; very little flour, pasta and rice, opting for more ground provisions instead; more seafood than poultry, lamb and beef; and only green tea and water. I'm still hoping to develop more healthy diet soon. :)
My sister had a similar diet to mine, but now she has to switch to more alkaline foods for health reasons. She sent me her list of “approved’ foods and I’ve realized that a raw diet might be very good for her. We live in Diego Martin and I was hoping you could advise on the best places to ‘grocery shop’ for items in the west.
Thanks very much.

Elspeth said...

Thanks everyone. Luna, I don't know your contact info so I'll leave the answer here and hope you see it. I am from the East. The only place I know of to direct you to in the West is Suneaters Organics on Roberts Street in Woodbrook. They sell some organic produce and other supplies. If you want to drive up East, there are places along the Eastern Main Road in St. Augustine where I get nuts, seeds, flax and some other items. There's a health food store in Tunapuna that sells seaweed, some supplements and other interesting things as well. However, I don't know the name or the address, I just know how to get there in person. The Seventh Day Adventist place in St Augustine also sells some things you/your sister can use (pure organic coconut oil, other health foods, etc) Then you can always go to any market to get your greens, etc. They aren't all organic, but other than growing your own, you just have to wash it properly. or any reliable internet source will give you good advice. If you have any questions write to me and I will see how I can help.

Unknown said...

Thanks Elspeth! I will certainly check out the places you mentioned and let you know our progress. :)

Wuzdescene said...

WOW Elspeth .... you always have such an interesting perspective .... love this piece .....

and oh .... are you de same Elspeth Duncan who have ah real borse song dat does play on Total Local on 95?

Elspeth said...

Wuzdescene, yes it's me, but wuzdesong?

Wuzdescene said...

oh gosh ... I don't know the name ... its kinda like a ballad ...

I was listening one nite .... and the song came on .... and I was real groovin tuh it .... then the guy on the radio called your name .... and I was like .... is that Elspeth bwoy ..... of Now is Wow Too .... I had no idea you have recorded music on de radio .... that's cool ... good goin!

Elspeth said...

It could have been "In This Garden". But if it was just guitar and voice then it was from my "Infinite" album.

Kimberlie said...

I could eat the photo the fruits look so good. And I will allow the words to impact my relationships. Thank you, E.