Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Dar and I were driving down highway 65 towards Louisville -- our annual trek to the St James Court Art Fair. I turned to her and said....

....okay, I didn't really so much turn to her because I was driving and had my eyes on the road, but I gave her one of those, "y'know?...." intros that let her know (because she knows me so well) that I was about to unleash one of my gasbags of incoherent and meandering thought that she could either tune in and listen to, or she could ignore, close her eyes, and catch up on the sleep that she'd just lost in the overnight rush to get everything together and packed into the van for the art fair

Anyway, I said...

"Y'know, if I ever did win the lottery...say, maybe 20-30 million or so -- not some measly 1 million that, after taxes would only leave me moderately comfortable, and the target of everyone's envious rage ....

...but if I won some serious money, y'know what I'd like to do?"

Dar didn't reply.
I didn't wait.

"I'd set myself up in a small, totally energy efficient house -- I'm talking wind generators, geothermal heat, solar panels, insulation out the wazoo such that I could heat the place with an Ohio Blue Tip match, or cool it with a single ice cube set on a plate in the middle of the room. And I'd do the shop the same way -- perfect amount of working space, good working kilns set up to operate as efficiently as possible. And the shop would have the tools I needed so that every creative impulse that drives me would find a road to roll down. And I'd pay off the mortgage and whatever other outstanding debt I might have so's to have a clean slate. Maybe I'd set up some sort of trust fund sufficient to cover medical insurance for the rest of our lives...

...and then you know what I'd do?"

Dar still didn't reply.
I still didn't wait.

"I'd pass along the rest of the millions to another struggling craftsman who would willingly, contractually agree to do exactly the same thing with the remainder of the money and then pass it on to another craftsman who would again, willingly and contractually agree to do the same thing...

...so that with one lottery winning, dozens and dozens (if not hundreds) of craftsmen could be set up in circumstances that allowed them to pursue their creativity in perpetuity -- not in luxury, but with a bit of security and efficiency that is usually only afforded the very wealthy or the very lucky."

Apparently Dar was listening after all. She replied, "What? ...are you nuts?! I'm finding a beach in Hawaii and sleeping until the year 2014."


  1. I like this concept........I wanna help someone who knows what it's like to live our kind of life.

  2. Funny, but I've had just as many people ask me if I think that creative people would ever be as creative if it there was no struggle for them to do so.

    I don't know the answer. But I wouldn't mind the experiment from the other side of the financial spectrum for a while. Then I'll be glad to report back. In the name of science, y'know.

  3. Excellent post! Here's to keeping it all alive, achieving utmost sustainability and living the simple life. My goal is to accomplish this on our own! Sure- those mega millions would help, but the real challenge is to do it as we go. Hmmm, a challenge indeed but one we must all embrace. Thanks for putting it out there.