FOSTERING THE SOUL

A couple of weeks ago it was brought to my attention that Epiphanie was (is?) having a really big sale on all of their bags. I went over to the shop and scrolled through the pictures of all the lovely bags. In fact I just went over there while writing this up so I could get the link and I got distracted. Any way. Sale. At Epiphanie. Online shopping. While I looked through the pictures I said to myself "Cindy....you know you've had your bag for almost three years now. That one strap you really liked to use finally broke. You will never be able to afford one of these bags unless you buy it NOW!". It's not like I was lying to myself. All of those things are true. My beautiful yellow sunshine bag has serious signs of wear. I have used the you know what out of that bag. The large strap with the shoulder pad broke right before I was leaving for Ireland. I've been using the decorative braided strap ever since. I kept meaning to take the strap some place and have it fixed. It just hasn't happened. So I clicked buy on the Turquoise Charlotte.

There's a link between compulsive shopping and depression. When Chris died, I bought a new washer and dryer and a new car. I also bought some new clothes. I will say that, though my purchases where compulsive, they were also practical. I needed pants that didn't require suspenders to stay on my butt and don't get me started on the old car. I will admit that the washer and dryer were a luxury. There's nothing wrong with a laundry mat. It just wasn't as much fun to go without Chris. I guess you could say that my new bag is my compulsive shopping item for Dad. It's true that I've been in a funk for some time now. I am kind of broken. I see it. I just haven't really figured out a way to fix myself this time around. Not that I "fixed" myself when Chris died. That was more like learning to live with a disability. This whole thing going on with me now is not the same. I literally feel broken. Like you can hear the broken bits of me clinking when I walk. 

My new bag is not necessarily the super glue that's going to put this humpty dumpty girl back together, but I thought it would make a good bandage. You see, I've been thinking that I should dust off my old Nikon and that maybe the camera I cart around every day in my new bag should be the Nikon. I haven't used that camera in years. In fact that last time I used it was to take our 2011 Christmas card picture. I know this because the same SD card is still in it with all of the outtakes still on it (oof). I kind of missed the manual capabilities of that camera. There's a manual mode on the Olympus, but it's not easy to navigate. Also the screen on the back is small which makes it hard to gauge details. There's no viewfinder. It's made for you to sit back and let the camera do all the work. The funny thing is that I moved to the Olympus because I felt too isolated behind the viewfinder of my Nikon. I felt as though it was keeping me from being present and just enjoying the actual moment. Instead of just watching the parade, I was behind the lens messing with the manual setting. There is something about being active behind the lens that keeps you separate from things, observant without being a part of it all. I used to think this was a bad thing, but I'm starting see the need to stay separate under certain situations. I not only see the need, but I feel the need to step back and observe the details.

This also helps to foster some creativity. Being creatively stagnant is one of the symptoms of all this. Creativity needs to be tended like a garden. I've let my real garden go to pot. I have collard greens and kale bursting from the plot, weeds intertwined with the mint and oregano. It's a mess. It should be no surprise that my creative side has been left to be treated the same way. Creativity is a component of that much needed super glue that's required to put some of these pieces back together again. Creativity leads to enlightenment which in turn leads to healing. Golly, don't I sound like Yoda?  No...it's true. I think of all the most unbearable days and hear Chad yelling at me to grab my camera and get out. It always made things better. 

So yeah, I bought a new bag to make things better. And that's how I'm going to justify that purchase.