The golden light is travelling with me…
It is allmost one week that I am back here in Switzerland,
The day of my arrival the golden autumn light over the lake and the alps was just amazing…I thought
I had taken the light in me along from Bhutan…and that I could spread it out around me, just here like there…
I told my grandson Ilya who had his 8th birthday the day after I arrived : I have come all the way from Bhutan
for your birthday ! He answered : Good, and tomorrow you fly back to Bhutan ?
If only it were that easy… !
This week end I went to do some shopping in town…Saturday morning…oh
my god ! So many people , SO MANY THINGS ! Walking around downtown Lausanne I thought : all society want’s you to do is going shopping ! Buying NEW things, always new and more things…soon the developped societies will drown
under a huge pile of things !
On top of all this, Christmas is coming soon ! So all this decoration, all this display of desirable things everywhere…allmost made me feel sick…I also thought the department stores really stink
(too much perfume…too much heating, too many people etc)
Don’t worry, I will get used to all this again, but after Bhutan it is quite a shock !
I remembered sort of a feeling of « freedom »
when you are not constantly solicitated and tempted to buy something…advertisments really are a certain kind of pollution and poison !
Of course me too I like beauty. Beautiful objects are an expression of human creativity
and objects that make our life easier are really wonderful…but this is something else than this massproduction of actually quite useless and not truly « beautiful » stuff, made by kids or poor exploited workers in terrible conditions,
just to keep the « machine of consumerism » running…
Isn't there true beauty when you know who and how things were made. I remember one day in the old GNh office in Thimphu, a man knocked on the door, he obviously was a
farmer from some more remote area in Bhutan. His clothes were quite worn out and quite dirty, his face all wrinkled. He opened a bag and took out, like a magician, 5 or 6 of the most magnificent handwoven cloths for Kiras! Real pieces of art! We the
ladies in the office got all excited, tried them on...felt like princesses! Then I asked the price...oh ! 800$ to 1000$ a piece! No one except me (all the others were bhutanese) were shocked! I said: is this not too expensive? , but my friends said,
no this is 1 years work, the price is right!
Everyone knew how much work this was, how much the raw materials cost to weave such a beautiful cloth, and no one even argued a bit. I said: woaw this is very expensive! But they all said, It is the right
And what about the price of a t-shirt at H&M: 5$...it has been flown back and forth between Asia/Europe...the production costs, the salaries, the work conditions, the retailers etc...do you think this is the right price?
Later I met
this same old man again in town...his bag was empty! By going from door to door he sold for about 5000$ of Kiras that day. Now he was going back to his village, his wife and daughter will again be weaving in the afternoon (remember travellers and magicians?)
after the work at the farm, will bring out there creativity and traditions in the next years Kiras....what a different kind of economy...right?
Actually I do hope I do not get used to all this "unmindful" consumerism too fast !
Today I skyped with Vietnam, TTG. They suffered from terrible floods in the last days ! Hue city was totally under water !
3 typhoons in 1 month, 2 floods…Oh my ! Yes the typhoon was less strong,
Thank God, than in the Philippines, but now the floods continue their work of destruction…or is it the un-mindful over consumtion in the developping world influencing climate change that is part of the problem creating all these catastrophies ?
Oh the golden light is rising from the early morning fog…If I could just take a walk and may be reach Buddha point above Thimphu after some time…