Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Funding the Bohemian Life: Figuring out Financing..

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."
                                                                                                             ~Oscar Wilde

There's a reason so many artists die penniless.

A few reasons:

We don't live within our means..not really..and we're not really going to change that, ever, I think.. too much imagination, too many dreams.  

We don't have 'the Protestant work-ethic'..whatever it is exactly, it isn't ours.

..which isn't a bad thing, really!

We have a work ethic all our own, and it's definitely not consistent..in fact, too often it boils down to never putting off "til tomorrow, what I can possibly do - the day after!" (Oscar Wilde again, isn't he lovely!)

Sari-fabrics make great Easter dresses!
Right now, I'm living in a strange, hybrid world..the bohemian in me throws her finances to the wind and stocks her cabinets with wine and chocolate, forgetting entirely the carefully planned out grocery list that the homesteader in my put together that morning.

We talk to friends about their healthy lifestyles and plant-based diets, wonder if we ought to order our lives more self-reliantly, and then break the budget on sari-fabrics from India and flowers for the house and altar.

I won't change, not much anyway..I like myself. I have no desire to sacrifice the beauties of life for sustainable living or a large savings account..but whenever sustainability and bohemia cross paths, I'm completely on board! Home-made body care products and shampoos, definitely! Locally roasted fair trade coffee, obviously! Calm evenings playing cards at home, or home-made clothes (with little amber beads stitched on, please!), or bookish afternoons, or home gardens..yes!

But limitations...

eh...not so much.

I hate limitations. My besetting sin is, I think, gluttony..I go through life like a giant mouth, tasting everything..and no, gluttony is not a goodness, but it's flip side, abundance, is!  Abundance is something essential to living well, I think. Something that can be found among the careful, self-reliant homesteaders - the old-time puritans who earn as much as they can, and save as much as they can, so that they can, later, give as much as they can - but it's also something that is happiest pouring out carelessly, counting on God to keep it above water and trusting love to survive..

All that doesn't really help me figure out my finances..but it brings me joy to think about. I'm neglecting our May budget to write about why I'll write it knowing it will sit, unheeded, on the desk all month..but I will write it, because really, the only thing more fun than making laws is breaking them.


  1. What do you see as the difference between abundance and gluttony? Being a giant mouth that tastes everything sounds like a pretty good day to me.

  2. That is a glorious dress! Funny thing about laws is that it's never any good to break them if you don't first know/have them!

  3. P.S. I do not have the Protestant work ethic!