Devices and desires

3/5 of the familial feet

In the interests of beautiful feet (the material version thereof), I was shopping for a new piece of sandpaper.

Banish ‘callous’ heels said the tiny print on the box, and believe me, by the end of summer, mine are ruthless and I want them gone. I was in the 1, 2, 3-dollar shop, shushing my qualms, for the sake of unsnagged sheets and stockings. The device was a ‘nutmeg’ grater inside an egg with one flattened face to which could be attached a disc of emery paper for the finishing buff. The box further read, ‘U.S. and Worldwide Patents Pending’ and ‘Made in China’, which sounds slippery any way you hear it.

Egged on by a yip of anticipation at — no, from — my heels, I didn’t stop long to think about who wasn’t making enough money from the manufacture of this nifty gadget. I paid my $2, took the egg, and left. My feet are a work in progress.

This morning’s front page is crowned with the laughing face of the chief instigator of Dunedin’s Coming-Like-It-Or-Not Stadium(2010)/ Aquarium(2030)/ Sunken Treasure(2050). The disapproval of a majority of citizens has been formally quashed. (But really, could a plume of smoke and pair of little horns make his appearance any more Machiavellian?)

Like me with my heel-egg, he wants what he wants and nothing short of a bolt from Zeus was ever going to stop him. The Stop the Stadium movement built up its own impressive head of steam, but since the boys in power have refused to even glance its way, alternative means of disapproval are called for.

I can’t help wondering, though: where does power come from and where reside? How does it accumulate, and to what does it ultimately adhere? Even the name, Stop the Stadium, directs a certain potency towards the unwanted project. People think about it, imagine it; sparks fly about it — and these non-material energies ought not to be underestimated. What if we all found creative ways to ignore it? Yawned about it and went for walks instead over Dunedin’s lovely hills; threw more compost on our vege gardens; found ways to honour the patch of ground and river and harbour over which the conceived monstrosity looms?

I don’t know the answer to any of these questions, but they persist, and I know that the force of desire, and the force of opposition have to meet somewhere, eventually (and there’s an awful lot of glass at stake in this particular configuration) …

5 responses to “Devices and desires”

  1. Thank you, Hirini. I’m intrigued by what you say, not least about the seasons. I look forward to mulling your book.

  2. We must continue to provoke change Penelope. Use the turn of seasons to disarm the horns of power. Antlers fall so do male penises. Beneath the surface of the problem lies the embryo of its own evolving solution. Your questions are the first piercing. We can engage power on power, fire against fire. Bigger fire wins. Or we explore the alchemy of opposites. Weaving the elements together to elegantly disarm power using the orbiting seasons of Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer. Also reminds me of the line from the film Power of One. Little beat big when little smart. First with the head. Then with the heart.
    Aroha ai

  3. Raymond, if you want to make a dig, please come and find me in the kitchen.

    Claire, I’m sure you’re right. And the dance in that whirling forcefield is giddying and addictive. Who wants to be free of desire? Only now and then does that seem desirable.

  4. Lots of rich material to contemplate here, Pen – thanks – and in amongst it all, a call to love (y)our ‘callous’ heels. We do rather neglect our feet, don’t we – think of all they enable us to do. It can’t possibly hurt to honour them from time to time. If your egg works, let me know – I might have to get myself one!

    In response to your thoughts about forces of desire and forces of resistance… oft times (every time?) the one force fuels the other… I’m not sure it’s possible for the one to exist without the other? What are you thoughts? L, C

  5. Where does the power come from? From us.We elect these people but only about a quarter of us bother to vote in local elections.