Devotional: Peasants


I count the hours in every weekend, wasting them as surely as I waste breath. My generation’s mantra, “live life to the fullest”, a product of the post-WWI attitude of “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die,” and the roaring growth of the Baby Boomers, has left me obsessed with material things, questing after ‘experiences’ that vanish into memory as quickly as I can live them, demanding more, always more. I am unsatisfied with my simple life of working for my bread, tending my grapevines, as I chase endlessly after spiritual fulfillment that is, in truth, nothing but a golden mask.

“Living life to the fullest” has become a phrase more closely related to rich men and women dancing on resort beaches and sipping expensive cocktails than with spiritual fulfillment. It’s turned into a clothing advertisement, a luxury cruise in the Mediterranean, a private island in the Maldives, a fashion runway in New York City. It’s the leisure time to curate your fashion blog, decorate your four-thousand square foot Brooklyn loft, write your memoir. It’s Instagram, Facebook, Gucci, Burberry, Coachella. It’s acquisition: the accumulation of ‘experiences’ and ‘beautiful things’ that come to define you, your tastes, your history.

It’s bullshit.

I’m a peasant, god damn it, and my life will be full and rich and vibrant, too.

“All we do is hide away
All we do is, all we do is hide away
All we do is chase the day
All we do is, all we do is chase the day

All we do is play it safe
All we do is live inside a cage
All we do is play it safe
All we do, all we do”

– Image: “Peasant Shoes” by Vincent Van Gogh