down to earth

I think the best thing about receiving a gift card to a major retail store specializing in electronics is that the gift card cannot be redeemed for cash. In essence, you’re being invited to blow a large sum of money on something only semi-useful. There’s no obligation to save the money for practical purposes like rent, tuition, groceries, or some sort of anti-fungal spray. If only I really needed more stuff…

Years ago (has it really been so long?), I mentioned my conviction to move away from “stuff.” I guess I haven’t really done a good job, but it’s never too late. What reminded me of this mindset was Nick Drake‘s song “Day Is Done.” In it, he says, “When the day is done, down to earth then sinks the sun, along with everything that was lost and won…when the day is done.”

There’s verisimilitude in the prospect that not only material possessions and relationships can distract from our real purpose in life, but so too can worldly pursuits. Winning and losing, though they may seem of utmost importance for a moment, fade so quickly into obscurity. And yet, people riot over lost soccer games and have to mortgage their homes over bets on the Superbowl.

Sometimes you’ve just got to put it all into perspective.

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