Thursday, May 24, 2007

Simple


It's ironic to me that as a designer and artist my taste in art, food, products, clothes, holidays, etc - as far as what's most appealing to me - are usually very simple and yet my life is quite complex. I love Brancusi. I love a nice plate of cheese with a crusty baguette. I love a young Oregon Pinot Noir. I love the flowing lines of a 1970 Volvo P1800. I love the look of a classic Saville Row suit. I love to fly to a new destination with no plans and just wander the streets taking it all in. I am happy to sit at a bench by the sea reading, writing or thinking.

Why is it that in today's world we feel the need to overprocess and overpackage everything to try to make it bigger, better or faster? Most parts of the world that are considered progressive or have strong economies, usually do so at the expense of their qualities of life and by trivializing simplcity and "express"-ing your joy. Conversely, countries that value life, family and a slower pace are often deemed lazy or unproductive. Try to explain the concept of a 10 minute power nap or a drive-thru Starbucks to a Greek and they might crack in pieces like a statue of Apollo.

I guess the most pervasive and influential countries and economies are what dominate cultures and dictate lifestyles. Certainly there are conveniences that come as a result of the making of a maniacal "work first, rest when you're dead" culture. I'm quick to order things online and love the feel of a new pair of shoes, but I often think of selling all my stuff and moving to a remote part of the world where life moves a bit slower but with more humility and grace.

8 comments:

spacedlaw said...

True that we are pushed into complexities by our environment, our societies. Very little of all this is truly needed.

Nathalie

Crafty Green Poet said...

I often wonder at it all, life has become over complicated and this is somehow presented as desirable. Good post.

gautami tripathy said...

We have been programmed into it. Work and more work but to tired to enjoy at thec end of the day. We do all this to make our life better! for whom?

sognatrice said...

Hopefully more people will gradually realize what you've outlined here. It's sad to me that so many go through life without living.

Janie Hickok Siess, Esq. said...

"I often think of selling all my stuff and moving to a remote part of the world where life moves a bit slower but with more humility and grace."
Me, too. Sounds so tempting. I look around this house at all the junk we have amassed in horror and amazement. My parents did the same thing, leaving my sister and I to sort through it all, deciding what to keep and what to chuck. I don't want to do that to my children.

Patois said...

Very thought-provoking post. I've recently started trying to shed the stuff, to slow the acquisitions down, and to slow our lives down.

January said...

I loved your take on the prompt and your list of simple pleasures. It is amazing the amount of stuff we accumulate to make us happy.

boliyou said...

Life should be that simple, not looking to electronics and "things" to engage us.