Boxes

Was it Steve Jobs who first made us aware that we were living inside of boxes? I’m not sure. But it’s so hard to be sure of anything in this changing world, isn’t it? I guess none of us likes being defined by the boxes to which life consigns us. But hey, that’s life.

Two of the boxes that most define me nowadays are Artist & Senior.

I chose neither of these. The first box is one I was born into and shaped to fit because of the family and society that raised me. The second is the box everyone of us is forced into should they live long enough.

I was advised long ago to shed that artist box and get a real job. I really tried but over and over potential employers discovered that I was only pretending not to be an artist. As I grew older and society began to measure me for my senior box things began to get really uncomfortable.

Being an artist had been difficult enough but until I became a senior I had no idea how it felt to be a true outcast. But I’ve been a lone survivor for a very long time.

Over the past few weeks I’ve made an attempt to contact other survivors like myself, those floating about in their own boxes, trying to find a friendly shore on which to land and build something suitable and worthwhile.

I thought there was a solid shore but I guess that was merely an illusion. So these days I just float, imagining that somewhere out there are other artists, some like myself who have at most 20 or 30 more years of life, perhaps 10 more years of making art. I’m trying not to be sad over this failure. At least I tried.

Black Friday

Is it really true George?
 … What they say about Black Friday … For instance … Everything I do from now until … Until when George? … That is the part I don’t get …
Anyway it seems that the results of my labours … My endeavours … My hard work … It is mine! All mine! I needn’t pay any taxes from now until whenever. Is that it?

Well George, I really don’t understand the whole concept.

Thick? No George. I simply don’t see how it can possibly make any difference to me. Here I am an elder artist and writer … One whose art and writings have no monetary value … Well if they did then I’d be making a living … Wouldn’t I George?  … As I was saying …

Can we get back to this George? I am busy at the moment … Trying to determine how I am going to spend my salary this month … Well I think you call it salary … Although to tell the truth George I am not sure … Is under $150 a week enough to consider a salary. Well George what I am talking about is my Elder Security check George.  

Well … Not exactly … No George I don’t know what it is called officially these days … Used to be called the Old Age Pension … Or am I getting that wrong … Well yes George I am happy to receive the check every month.  It is an affirmation that I did my time and now am able to lay back and enjoy the fruits of my labours.

Labour? Do you think George that being a housewife is not labour? 

Well yes … Labour of love … That too … 

I’m thinking about a vacuum this month George.  Well no not that one … It would take months of pension checks to pay for George. Yes George … I agree with you that I should be supporting by local business community by buying the more expensive vacuum cleaner from the local small business owner.  But look at it from the perspective of my not having any money to spend on anything else for the next several months.  

And don’t forget George! Christmas is less than a month away.  Well it is after all the short period of time that holds small local business together.  If they can make enough money  at Christmas then they are able to pay the banks the interest due on the money they have to borrow in order to stay in business for the rest of the years. 

The whole thing is a mystery to me too George.  I guess it is something best left to Economists and Accountants … Oh yes Bankers too … And yes George … Insurance Agents.

So you see George although I don’t really get this Black Friday thing and cannot really tender intelligent comments on the pros and cons of the financial world … There is one thing you must know for sure George.
I  am happy to report that I receive money  from the Canadian Government.  Yes George … Every month.

That little check might seem insignificant to you but it is mine and a lot more than I received during the years of being a stay-at-home mom when the family allowance didn’t cover the cost of … Well George let’s not talk about that right now.

Let’s just say I am appreciative. Yes … The check … That lovely little 500 $ plus a few dollars and a few cents  … Every month George … 

Yes … That lovely little greyish-brownish envelope … Is that what is meant  by a plain brown envelope George … With the  return address Matane Quebec, G4W 4N5

I love my little check from the Government of Canada.