blurred chandelier - the fillmore - sf, ca
there was a time years ago when i found myself fascinated by the idea of wealth. imagining homes with elevators and sprawling lawns and indoor swimming pools, i would lie on my back for hours staring into the passing clouds. but strangely, i never coveted the fantasy estates in my head--they existed more as an imagination exercise than anything. but that didn't stop me from diligently counting chimneys on passing hilltop houses. and don't get me started on chandeliers (i thought crystals were diamonds. honest mistake).
a lot has changed. i have a pretty firm grasp on fortune. but i still maintain a swirly complex relationship with luxury and luxe living. i work surrounded by goods i cannot afford. i'm a part of this micro pocket of people who work at the feet of san francisco society. i covet the idea of having a vast expendable income. and all this is held in perspective by an awareness of the preposterous pretense that so infects wealthy corners of the world--and the wannabes too for that matter. something i have observed only recently is the personal puppeteering act that happens among the super-rich. it's as if--at some point--these women, these people, become so obsessed with representing their bounty that they lose themselves. they lose their flexibility, their ability to relate, their ear to the real-world wind. there are exceptions of course. quite a few, in fact. but what a chore it must be to keep up and stay up and work toward being the most up of the up. the competition is never-ending--a marathon of archaic checkpoints and a treadmill lifetime of networking. at some point, you have to wonder if that life is really a life worth wanting.