The power of “paper and ink”
Sunday morning: at my home listening to Tracey Chapman’s “Money’s only paper, only ink” (a valentine day’s gift from my husband which arrived 4 days previously).
Now, I’ve always been a Tracey Chapman fan. Mostly because I’ve a feeling she looks a little like me, or I her, to everybody’s indignant cry! (God knows why. Hey.. that rhymes :-)) and because she strikes me as an individual, the kind of person I fancy myself to be. I have always loved her songs, and on our first night in Awassa I’ve even tried singing one of my favorites (‘Last night I heard’) to my husband-to-be from the toilet. (Been always a shy girl, especially when it comes to making the vocals work. Something somebody advised me at an early age should be limited to the privacy of the shower room).
But none of her others songs (even “Fast Car”) has hit me to the core more than this song did. You see, lack of this particular brand of ‘paper and ink’ was what kept me from going to my parent’s home, to eating what the heart desires while watching “The Morning After the Night Before: A Barbara Walters Oscars Special”, and more importantly to keeping my littler brother company who looked so heart-broken that he told her not to come back when his older (13 years my junior) sister left to have a study-night with her friends at the university. (He didn’t mean it!)
It’s not that I don’t have any money in the world. However, being one of those handful Ethiopians who use money to give them the ‘power of buying’ instead of the power to keeping it at home and looking at it as if it’s a long lost cousin, the green I thought would pull me through the weekend and bring me back to the office on Monday has run out. So here I am, broke and bored, yawning every other minute at an ETV special ‘Live from Tigray’.
Now, I don’t know how that would strike God, ‘who created the sun, and owns the sea’ as Tracey said; the fact that having no money to well functioning adults means being as good as paralyzed. But it makes me reminisce bitterly over the evils of the “paper and ink” genie. Bothered by the one and important question: how could humanity let this happen?!.
That contrary to it’s created purpose, how money has become a slave who enslaved its master, the only power the free man in the free world bows for, a genie able to order the lamp owner about instead of running around eager to do his bidding!
If the creation of money wasn’t a sin all humanity is responsible for, the man responsible for coming up with it would have been turning in his grave for all eternity. Knowing full well that the demon he unleashed on the children of Adam and eve is responsible for most of the world’s ill, innocent animals and nature included. What’s more, there doesn’t seem to be an end to its tyranny and, perhaps, “we ain’t seen nothing yet”.
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