Lately I’ve been wrestling with guilt. Making and finding art, clothes and jewellery and putting them together has provided much fun in my life, but am really just complicit in a late capitalist fever dream that is destroying the environment and doing endless harm to people around the world? Am I just another bougie North American indulging in retail therapy instead of engaging in meaningful ways to fix inequality?

The fun of going out and finding a great thrift score has also been dimmed by feeling overwhelming anxiety by the idea of going out at all. It’s still a pandemic out there and while restrictions are being lifted, staying home is still probably the best practice.

I do force myself outside for exercise, but I’m trying not to use shopping as the carrot to get out of the house. But I heard that Egg Nog had made an early appearance at some supermarkets so I set out to hit up the fancy Loblaws to get some. It turned out they didnt have any in stock. And to top it off, it had started to rain so I hopped on the bus instead of walking home.

Since I was already paying for two hours worth of transit, I thought I’d stop off at the Value Village because I had spotted a deer antler headband there during an earlier visit.

While I’m conflicted, I’m also grateful for the pretty things in the world. Here are some of the objects I brought home.

  1. A Benin Sculpture of Oba Eweka II (1914 – 1933). According to Wikipedia “Eweka II rebuilt the royal palace, which had been destroyed and looted by the British in 1897. He also reestablished the traditional structure of the kingdom. The royal coral regalia of Ovonramwen seized by the British was returned. Eweka II also restored the craft guilds, commissioning objects to replace those looted by the British, and started the Benin Arts and Crafts School.” In other words, FU colonizers.
  2. A print of different Arctic Birds. It looks to be the kind of print that you would buy in a museum or art gallery gift shop. I tried to identify the original using Google Lens but was only able to ascertain that it is Inuit art and the title is ”Birds I Know.” Research is also fun and happily relatively guilt-free. Thanks to the internet, I don’t have to leave the house to indulge in this hobby.
  3. Wooden, hand carved horsehead bookends.
  4. A Chanel style, wool jacket and a faux fur collar. I had been in a nostalgia hole mourning my old Bob Mackie bouclé jacket (I sold it after I lost a lot of weight) and this topper sort of fill that void. I also think detachable collars are a great way to change up coats and cardigans that are already in my closet. You know, so I don’t buy more stuff that I’m only going to feel conflicted about.