Sunday, November 29, 2009


Me! Me! Me!

As a former step-grandma once asked, while riding an escalator in a huge shopping mall, "why do we have to want?"

I suppose it keeps us humans moving forward.

Right now I'm moving forward through my zip code's Comcast cable listings to find the Sundance Channel. I'm up to channel 500 and ain't found nuthin' yet! I want to watch MAN SHOPS GLOBE.

... here, it's channel 505. Which is easy to remember because one HBO channel here is 550. I miss having under 100 channels. Things were easier to find.

So back to Grandma Louise's question. Why would I want to be WOMAN SHOPS GLOBE? Isn't there enough available here? Actually right now I am tentatively planning a whirlwind 24-48 hour trip before December 31 to rack up miles to maintain elite flying status, and the trip would include some fabric shopping in a very grand bazaar. A place I've wanted to visit for so long.

Why do I have to want to go there?

While we're wanting, actually, we can overlook what we have. I have already been a WOMAN SHOPS GLOBE several times and am grateful for the amazing experiences that I never expected to have ... the aisles of the treasure-filled Chatuchak Market in Bangkok ... gorgeous vegetables, some I didn't recognize but sure tasted good, at the Saturday market in Greve-in-Chianti in Tuscany ... all the stimulating colors and fabric textures in Nalli sari shop in Chennai, India ...

Yeah, I am lucky and blessed and have lived a bit of being a woman shopping the globe. But still, I always want more. Always want more. It's not about the stuff. I actually don't buy much. It's about the sights, sounds, smells, walking in the midst of foreign languages, the challenge of figuring how to communicate and act where things are so different. I am more alive in these places.

When I buy, I buy to remember. I look about me now and see the fabrics that remind of these adventures ... the snippet of fabric covering a journal with writings about stories a driver in Cambodia told us about the Khmer Rouge, the silk throw from a nice shopkeeper in Kerala who discussed spices with us, the curtains made with fabric from ... um, actually, Arlington Heights, Illinois. But sometimes traveling 10 miles down a road around here is an adventure too!

It's important to open eyes to all adventures around us. And even if I never had the opportunity to get another stamp in my passport again, it's important to realize that sometimes, we really may have been that which we still seek.

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