Monday, July 31, 2006

In Search of a New... Part II

As for the couch, Todd thinks maybe we should go for the distressed look. Since that’s how I felt when I first saw the manly man couch, I think it’s fitting.

“All we need are some decorative buffalo heads up there on the wall and we’ll be set!” I chirped.

“You’re a vegetarian,” Todd said. “And I don’t hunt.”

“Then how about some nice golf prints…” I offered.

Todd got that faraway look in his eyes and began to nearly glow. I sensed he was rapidly slipping away again.

“Who do you think inspired the designer of this couch?” I asked.

Todd had already checked out.

“Let’s see…” I continued.

“Marlon Brando?”

“Clint Eastwood?”


“Stephen King?”




“KING KONG! GODZILLA!! Todd! Come back!!”

“Did you just say something?” Todd asked. He seemed startled… as if he’d just been wrenched away from the putt-for-birdie in his mind.

“Did you just say you wanted to rent Godzilla?”


I should tell you that before we started shopping for furniture we did some advance work. We culled the furniture ads that came in the mail. We pored over design sites on the internet. We essentially refreshed the home décor page of our minds to re-orient on what was current and hot and trendy. We were now in the know.

That was our first mistake.

Because it made us dislike what we have even more. We were now panting like a lonely sheep dog for something different.

I’ll stop short of saying I’m in “good company” here. But the Bible reveals a long history of people whose path of desire has driven them into a ditch. Think Eve in the garden surrounded by all that certified organic produce. But she wanted something more. Think of the Israelites and the rain of manna. A pleasant-tasting and wholly nutritional chow that God whipped up and delivered for free! But they wanted something more. Think of Solomon and all those nice hometown sweeties. But he wanted something more. Think of Judas Iscariot and the seminal opportunity to follow and serve the Lord. But he wanted something more.

Seems there is something inside of us—as part of the human condition—that is empty and restless and screaming for fulfillment. I could jump on my Bible soapbox and tell you that only Jesus will fill the void. That only when we surrender to the one true God as our source of sustenance and hope will we even approach a state of satisfaction. And I would be right about that. Yet despite our best intentions and minds and hearts that ache to stay spiritually anchored, sometimes the only thing we hear are the sirens and bellows of the world.

You need new clothes.

You need new furniture.

You need a new body.

You need a new wife.

You need new toys.

You need new gadgets.

You need those impulse purchases at Target.

You need.

You need.

You need

Two weeks worth of trolling for furniture sufficiently convinced me that Todd and I needed to pretty much start all over. Beyond new paint and carpet, we "needed" new everything.

Then a friend told me about something called “sustainable living.” A way of shifting our mindset from what we want to what we genuinely need. Fundamentalist sustainable types are edging toward living off the land. I would be hard pressed to go there. The first time I inadvertently scooped up a slimy worm in a bag of dirt, I turned white as dusted potato roll and nearly passed out. Let’s just say I have “issues” with things that creep and crawl. Nevertheless, there’s something intriguing about the “sustainable living” ethos. Could be there’s a biblical parallel there…

Part III: Sustainable Living… More than Recycling and Sprouts?


Amy Fanning said...

I moved for the summer out to Colorado, packing only what would fit in the car. It was hard to leave my "stuff," as I recall, but honestly I don't miss it. I have spent Target money on things like shower curtains and trash cans, but I do believe those are things I genuinely need.

There is a certain freedom in living free of stuff. In the evenings, I am more relaxed, because there doesn't seem to be as much TO DO. Oh, I'm still doing laundry and dishes, but little else. I get to read and email folks and write long-hand letters. What a treat!

Don't get me started on the fact that we don't have cable. :)

Anonymous said...

I love continuing saga’s of enlightenment. Is it a blessing or a curse that we find the world we live in unsatisfactory, and that there is a better way then what the media tells us?
People generally think they can not change the status quo, but one person can change the world in which we live. Look at history. All change good and bad has come from an initial thought. One person with a thought can cause change if action is initiated.
Want to start a revolution and change the world. Educate your self and others on sustainable living, buy only what you need not what you want. It really is quite euphoric, plus good for the pocket book. (Don’t let the television tell you what you need. Turn it off!) Buy only things that are earth friendly. Demand organic produce and meat (if you eat meat, but that’s a whole different subject. Educate yourself.) Tell the store you’re trying to reduce your daily intake of pesticides. (There is no RDA requirement for pesticides.) Buy from companies that promote sweatshop free goods. Workers receive a better wage. The list goes on and on. Last but not least write to your government and demand change. My only question to Sarah is: What government agency certified the Garden of Eden as organic.

Sarah Onderdonk said...

Amy... how's the view??

Sarah Onderdonk said...

anon... some things to think about. thank you!

as for the government agency that certified the Garden of Eden organic... it was the FDA (From 'Da Almighty).