’trōv n [alter. of trove (discovery, find)] (2010): a collection of artful objects discovered or found
One more Covid-19-driven closure pulled me up short, and sad: Trohv, on the Avenue in Hampden. This closure has sent me down a rabbit-hole of reflection on Stuff. How I’ll miss browsing and selecting just-the-right-gift for any occasion. Gifted Stuff, Treasured Stuff, Accumulated Stuff. And my own life as a consumer Supporting the Economy, which the US Government promoted as a civic responsibility to pull us out of the Great Recession of 2008 and since then to keep the American economic engine humming.
It’s not the first time I have thought about a re-purposed economy
What might come after a consumer economy? In the past I have often, if vaguely, daydreamed about how we could change society for the better. By designing Stuff to last. By liberating our energies from dreaming up and producing and buying Stuff, spawning acres of self-storage units and endless Sundays of garage sales.
By instead becoming skilled at taking care of one another, in sickness and in health, from birth to death. By valuing labor. By building human-scale environments designed with green spaces. By educating skilled artisans, gardeners, tenders of all kinds. By elevating community-building to the art and science it can be. By shifting our national measure of success from GDP to measures like social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perceptions of corruption, and GDP – as set forth in an annual report on happiness issued by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
But in August of 2020, in the 24th week of the pandemic by my personal calendar, this is no longer simply a speculative exercise. And it is quite personal.
It got me thinking about re-purposing my life
As I wander around my house, I can see that as far as Stuff goes, it is pieces of furniture, baskets and bowls that are the repurposed items: containers of all sorts. I have moved stuff around for years from one container to another. Books, family heirlooms, bottles of herbs, craft supplies, research papers-forever-waiting-to-be-read.
My life is a container that has been filled with Sara content of one sort or another, a collection of artful objects discovered and found.
Am I ready to be re-purposed for an unknown world?
The world is different. I will be continuing to investigate for some time the ways that is true, and what that asks of me.
This in-between time can be anxiety-provoking, and vision and imagination-provoking.
Unquestionably honesty and kindness-provoking.
My time? My energies? My financial resources? My mind? My feelings?
What am I doing with what I have at my disposal to shift things in my corner of the world?
The creativity and humor and artful eye and attention to artisan cultivation and customer care that went into creating the Trohv experience…that creativity will take some other life-supporting form.
I have to trust that the same is true for me. And for you.