Friday, November 23, 2007

This is Black Friday in the US, and I guess a bit of explanation may be in order for readers in other countries. While black is usually the color of mourning in our culture, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving is thought to be a good thing. Its name comes from accounting ledgers in which expenses are marked in red and income in black, and it is thought to be the day in which the pre-holiday buying frenzy pushes the black ledger entries over the top for the year. So we celebrate with huge sales on stuff that will be next season's sacrifice in homage to the gods or goddesses of the land-fills and junk-sales.

Perhaps it should be a day of mourning instead. We have lost the skills and interest in making things ourselves for those we love.

Our lives are driven by ledgers, markings in books, numbers red or black. But our lives can be recorded in other ways. Statistics of the heart and touch, the embrace in pride and joy of things well crafted, useful and beautiful that linger long in our lives. These are objects filled with the energy, emotions and aspirations of their makers.

I have a Black Friday of my own. Today I set up my booth at the Fall Art Fair in Eureka Springs to sell my work on Saturday and Sunday. Friends and neighbors will come. We'll chat. A few may buy small things to give their own families and friends.

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