Unbeauty And The Beast

How many times can you break a fast before you have admit you are no longer fasting? Twice? Three times? I could type “I broke my Spending Fast again,” but if I did that three times I might as well type “I am no longer on a Spending Fast.”

Except I am back on it, the Spending Fast.  I’ve said it before that this is why we call it a practice and not a performance.  No failure; we just start again. Each time we start over we do so with deeper experience, and expanded inner resources. We get better with each successive try. We improve with repetition, at whatever it is we are practicing, and also at starting over.

I bought the $15.00 mirror. You know this from my previous post. Confession with full explanation already proffered. I could argue that one down to essential spending in that it was essential to the wellness practice I explained in that post. But I’m not going to do that. I said enough on the topic.

So what compelled me to make the other breaks? A witch and beast.

This is the witch. The scene was a block party. Food trucks, street vendors, live music, local brew. I stepped inside a vendor tent to admire a ceramic cat head strung on a leather cord as a necklace. Nearby I spied this green witch hanging on a hook from a loop installed in her back which made her look like she was levitating over the tent. She’s an art doll. Handmade. The artist told me her name was Madeleine, and that she had two sons who were already adopted by the time I came along.  Madeleine’s dragonfly dress is full length, covering soft legs in striped stockings. Her hands, feet, and face are ceramic. She’s a piece of art, ergo she was expensive.


She was and she is so unbeautiful yet so everything else. I was instantly smitten with her. Looking at her made me want to touch her. Once I touched her it was over. I told the artist even before I paid, “She belongs with me.” I have made only this one image of her so far, which doesn’t do her unbeauty justice, so there is a proper photo shoot pending.

Here’s the raw photo. The lighting was too low to get good detail but you see her hands and arms:

Nothing about her spooks me except how powerful her energy and my response to her. And also possibly how quickly she compelled me to break my Spending Fast. I barely hesitated. I shamelessly caved and bought her. I handed her to the artist for bagging before I thought to consider her cost. There was a price tag on the bottom of one her witch boots (not pictured) but I never noticed it. The artist must have noticed I didn’t notice.

Artist:  Oh, I’m so glad. But did you look at the price? She’s one million dollars. I’ll let her go for half of that.

Mercy:  Okay. I still want her.

And I did. And I do still want her. Every time I think of my Spending Fast and feel tempted by witch-buyer’s remorse, I look at Madeleine and change my mind. She was worth it. For her, I will start again.

Same day, a few moments later, high off the purchase of the witch now nestled inside a brown paper bag being carried in my left hand, I moved on to another tent and encountered the beast.

Photo by SheaWhite.net

The artist named this piece The Beast because it was so hard to make and because it was the first time she’d tried some of the techniques used to make it. It took a long time to create this beast of a necklace. It was difficult. It was frustrating. And you’ll notice its size. So it also cost one million dollars. That’s the artist’s lovely decolletage up there in the photo. Once The Beast was attached to her I don’t how she ever managed to take it off.  I’d like to say I died a thousand times trying to resist it but that’s just not true. It was another instance YES Oh YES Oh YES. I even dropped an F-bomb while fondling it.

The artist cried and hugged me when I bought it. I let her put The Beast around my neck. I would have worn it out of her tent after parting with another half a million dollars and gone straight home but she wanted to know me. After telling me so much about her work on The Beast she wanted to know more about his/her new handler. My name and such. My situation and such. My passions and such. I thought it was all just to know where The Beast would go and what kind of life he/she would have with me, but then I discovered the artist is also a writer. She wrote a book called The History of My Vagina and Other Sordid Tales.

Yeah, I’m not making that up. Google it or go directly to her (and her book) at the website in the photo caption. Unless you happen to be on a spending fast, then maybe don’t. Because the rocks she has wrought will make you bleed money. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. For The Beast, for her, and for Madeleine, I had to start again.

So the point of all this, other than to show off some shit I bought? (It’s not shit, though.) The Spending Fast is one of my dominant practices in the area of Occupational/Financial Wellness. I’ve been practicing it long enough to have earned some splurge privileges, except that’s NOT how a Spending Fast works, and I want to acknowledge this. This is the kind of thing I would have confessed in my June Work Release but I did not post a June Work Release. If I manage to throw together a July Work Release, the fact that I resumed my Spending Fast with vigor won’t be relevant without sharing why it was necessary.

And let’s be clear on that last part. I ain’t spending a non-essential dime in July. This is not done as penance but to reinvigorate the practice. To keep it light while I’m buckling down I will incorporate my Unbeauty and The Beast into the effort. I’m declaring Madeleine to be Goddess of the Spending Fast. She will represent the unbeautiful, unglamorous reality of jumping, not falling, off the wagon and then climbing back aboard. As for The Beast; when saying NO to non-essential purchases I will use the phrase This is no Beast to stoke my resistance and keep me aligned with my practice.

So yes, this means it’s going to be a while before I can buy The History of My Vagina and Other Sordid Tales, no matter how much I want to read it.

— Mercy


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