The contents of the news the last few days has been pretty bleak to say the least. Every day we're hearing about more murders, assaults, Trump's latest buffoonery and more. But the one
thing that has stolen my attention has been the devastating fires in California, hot on the heels (pardon the pun) of the awful mass shooting in Thousand Oaks.
I have many friends living in SoCal (Southern California for those not familiar with the many California abbreviations) and of course have spent a lot of time there myself, Los Angeles is one of my most cherished places to visit and spend time in. So to see areas I know so well being reduced to ash and rubble is heartbreaking.
At the time of writing there have been 25 deaths, hundreds of thousands evacuated from their homes, the set of 'Westworld' at the historic Paramount Ranch has gone, the famed
gazebo from 'Twin Peaks' has gone and some people are fleeing for their lives with nothing but pets and the clothes on their back and maybe whatever memories from their homes they have time to take.
This really set my mind to thinking about the way we as a society are, and how much importance is put on 'stuff'. Material things; the latest gadget, designer clothes, a pimped out car, or anything else our ever growing consumerism gives us. Not just two months ago I had a conversation with a friend who wanted to buy a table from the shop that was going to charge her £450 - rather than buy it from the British Heart Foundation where the same table was going for £40. The. Same. Table. But she saw buying from the British Heart Foundation as something a poor person would do and it must be of lesser quality. It wasn't. I then chose not to mention my sofa was £120 from The BHF!
Rightly or wrongly, I've never been a person who makes money and 'stuff' a priority. To quote Alan Rickman in 'The January Man', "it annoys me that we need money". But I'm not saying I'm not guilty of wanting my little pleasures too. I have more make-up that I'll probably ever use, love a good potion in the form of Chanel or Jo Malone and I own an iMac, MacBook, iPad and iPhone. Get myself an Watch and I'll officially be an Apple whore.
So what would happen if I had to flee for my life?
If I had to leave my home, with all my memories and the journey of my life to date inside, what would I take? How could I decide? As I asked myself this question the first thing that came into my mind was Chester, the ginger criminal mastermind charading as my cat, a picture of my Mum and Dad and siblings, and a baby Alligator's head my Dad gave me when I was 7 (yes there is a story there but don't worry, he didn't kill it!). I couldn't think of anything else essential, which made me think of all the things in my home that I don't actually need. Obviously there is more in my home that I do need than those three things but there's clearly a priority of family and love.
All this stuff that we surround ourselves with which we think makes us happy; but when it comes down to it, we actually don't need very much. There is a section from the song 'Wandering Roads' which features in the show 'Nashville', which I think asks the question perfectly:
"On the day your journey's done Before a new one has begun What will you be thinking of? What you owned or who you loved? All on your journey home"
So as you enjoy your Sunday, as I am enjoying mine, just spare a thought for those who no longer have homes or have lost their lives, not just in SoCal but worldwide through various devastations. I ask you, take a moment and look around and ask yourself;
What will I be thinking of?
'Wandering Roads' - Rhiannon Giddens & Charles Esten