Dangerous Compassions

free zines

zine irony
I used to give away my zines only, for years, and people would be skeptical. Or people would think the zines had no worth, if there was no dollar amount–they must be low quality, so I should’t bother.
I learned I could reach more people by charging for my zines, as people would rather buy them and participate in defined, relaxing commerce than risk incurring some terrifying emotional debt by accepting a free thing out of love.
I sold zines on etsy for some years, until the packaging, shipping, and staying on top of orders wore me down.  Now I just trade and give to friends.  I might accept money from a library that has a budget for buying materials, but that’s unusual.
A world where people ask “what’s the catch?” because they’re so used to being preyed upon makes me cry. I would prefer a mentality of caring for one another by default, giving, sharing, and not needing to carefully calculate whether we can afford to help others.
I see profit motivation in all sorts of places, killing us.
Being motivated by anything other than money can make me incomprehensible.
(All that I wrote on facebook earlier in reference to a meme about profit vs non-profit hospitals.  I will spare you the meme, but there, you get my anti-capitalism for fun.)
A good friend says “Free is my favorite price!”  I relate.  I love free boxes, dumpster diving, roadside trash.  Caution comes easy, and I fear contamination.  But using discards for something useful is a great joy.
There’s a box on the sidewalk next door that has been getting food left in it.  First was half a case of canned garbanzo beans.  I thought that was strange: Hmm, someone could make a fuckton of hummus!
Ming and I were about to leave on that trip.  I left the canned beans there after taking a photo.
Then we got home from our trip, and I saw different things in that same spot on the sidewalk, in a banana box: canned potatoes, boxes of cereal, a type of bread I used to like.  I thought someone was getting giveaway food and leaving what they didn’t want on the sidewalk for others.
I decided to harvest at least the canned stuff, to bring to the food pantry at the Worker, in hopes it would not go to waste.  The spot for the food is right behind two trash cans, and the food feel very close to being trash.
Ming accepted my plan, and I was grateful.  After a trikeride, I looked through the box and took the canned potatoes, canned peaches and pears, canned kidney beans, a bag of government walnuts, and a bag of government prunes.
The food wasn’t old stuff that was in the back of someone’s cupboard for years.  I decided to keep the walnuts and tried one–it was fresh!  I was amazed!  Too bad I can’t eat walnuts–that’s on my no no list, for the obscure health condition I think I have.  But I packaged up walnuts for the peacemakers who will be here in two weeks.
Ming saw a neighbor who uses a walker, struggling our of her car, and offered to help her.  She said no, but Ming saw her put food in the free box.  He said he thought I was right–she was putting her giveaway rejects out, for others to eat.
I thanked him for offering to help the neighbor.  That neighbor seems nice.
This moth lady I painted yesterday on an atc says Absolutely.  I trust her.
art moth

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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