Tag Archives: Warwick

“Dirty Money”

“Dirty Money” 

Think of all the things you’ve done to “make money”.  That, in itself, is a ridiculous concept.  We don’t “make money”, the government does.  We, you and I, earn money.

I started earning money as a girl – granted an allowance for accomplishing certain chores.  Chores done, allowance paid.  No chores done, no allowance.  Some chores completed, partial payment.

Simple.

Time passed.

At 19 I landed my first “adult” job as a clerk-typist at a social service in Providence, Rhode Island.  Paid weekly.  Still living at home with my parents in Warwick, RI.  Within a few months I fledged myself.  Time to go out on my own.  One room apartment on the East Side, shared bath, no parking.  Independent. Earning money. Paying my own bills.

Time passed.

Many changes.

Some time later I began to see and understand better about what money, as a thing, did to folks.  The earning of it, who had more of it, who had less of it and how those two conditions stratified and segregated people from and against each other.  Judgements.  “Better than” because one had more money.  “Less than” because of having not so much money.

This is nothing to say about how the getting of that money perverted folks – what one did to get more, as if the flash and bling and apparent “power” that all that money was had made a person, somehow, superior or more influential, ultimately.

I still earn money and appreciate what it allows me to do – support a household, buy food, purchase something beautiful, share it to support a charitable cause or new initiative.  There are times, however, when I think about the earlier tradition of barter – I have something you want, you have something I want, we determine a fair value, make the deal and each of us walks away satisfied and happy.  Simple.  Neverthemore, in most Westernized societies, barter has faded and it’s the dollar that rules.

Next time you think about money, think about what it really is – a coin or a decorated piece of paper – and, what it takes to earn it, how the having or not having it creates false and devastating divisions between us (as people and as nations); and, what’s the true value and human cost of “earning money”.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(c) 6/8/ 2017

written by:  Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer

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Before All Our Lives Began To Change – poem

BEFORE ALL OUR LIVES BEGAN TO CHANGE

Before all our lives began to change

time was stretched between holidays like

carnavale lights and summer lasted forever

every year until Labor Day mysteriously

arrived again to change living to another circle

 

It seemed we played all the time — hair cuts on

darby horses and watermelon seed fights, building

castles of sand and jelly fish oozing against the

jetties, discovering the nest holes of horseshoe

crabs below the high tide line, and snow forts drifted

three stories every January and February, sledding

hellions down Cooperstown Road, the cold and snowflakes

cutting younger cheeks, with the excruciating pleasure

to do it, again     Playing “I have a little umbrella,”

dragging the chair covers across the sand like dragon tails

or lizards or princesses     Shrieking to begin hide-and-seek,

crouched under the crocheted orange and blue and brown

comforter — dying to be found and hoping that we would

never be discovered, because that discovery always

ended in a serious session of being tickled until we

could not breathe

 

But, then, living changed us into other circles,

other places, other people.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dedicated ~ In Love and Memory to: Barbara Dunn Blossom, Genevieve Dunn, Helen Smith Dunn, Mahlon H. Dunn, Jr., Tacy Dunn SanAntonio

(c) 1997 Jessan Dunn (DeCredico) Otis ~ RHODE ISLAND WOMEN SPEAK: An Anthology of Authors and Artists, The Rhode Island Committee, The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), Ed. Rosemary W. Prisco, p.19.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

White Butterflies

White Butterflies