very strong of late!
but i should know it by now.
it’s an old friend of mine.
it visits only occasionally now.
because i don’t have very much stuff.
i have had it visit all my life.
for as long as i can remember anyway.
i even had it as a young child to a certain degree.
i call it
CLEARING THE DECKS!
i’m quite sure it might even be some sort of
obsessive compulsive disorder.
but at least i don’t get up in the night and do it anymore!
i haven’t heard of any other people with it.
surely there are some. out there. somewhere.
since it doesn’t hurt anyone . . .
i find it comfortable.
and even necessary for my mental health.
and sometimes i have to get rid of things
just to be able to breathe.
but there you are!
there I AM !!!
and in this western society
you know . . .
the one that
as a form of entertainment
all kinds of
well . . .
you know . . .
THINGS old bean!
sitting hanging lying stacked piled stored
i just can’t do that.
that makes me the odd man out.
the odd WOMAN out!
it really does.
there aren’t that many of us out there.
oh . . . i’d say in the last few years
our numbers are growing a bit.
especially since things are becoming so expensive.
and my way of life is becoming a little more known
with all the blogs on minimalism and such.
but i doubt this minimalist way of life will ever reach the mainstream.
most people very happily live in a world
that revolves around
constantly collecting or buying various things.
and that’s just fine!
it’s just that it’s not for me.
close friends know not to give me anything.
i don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.
but if you give me something . . .
i will truly enjoy it
and i will love it for a period of time . . .
i really will.
and if it’s usable
as those things a dear friend recently sent to me are . . .
that i’m using most every day right now . . .
will eventually . . .
because i know myself . . .
will eventually pass on to a child who might need them
and want them badly . . . a child
who might not be able to afford them but will use them
and love them . . .
unless they’re all used up by then of course!
there’s always that possibility . . .
it’s the best kind of gift really… the using~up kind
whatever you give me
i will give to someone someday
who will really love it
and appreciate it.
PASS IT ON!
i don’t feel bad or guilty doing this.
i am not sentimental about
it doesn’t mean i don’t care about the things
or that i don’t care about the people who give it to me
or that i throw away memories of it.
i keep ALL the memories old bean.
are my true treasures.
and even in saying that . . . i admit . . .
i do have a very small box of real treasures.
so see . . .
even a minimalist has things that they might want to keep.
in my own small box are . . .
a small stone that mikey… my beloved nephew… gave me when he was 3
we were walking on a beach along the river and he told me to close my eyes
and open my hand.
if you’ve ever had a small boy . . . you know this took an act of courage on my part.
it could have been a big bug . . . a frog . . . a dead or alive snake even . . .
it was a tiny round smooth stone.
i have it still.
it was a great gift.
and an artillery shell that sat on my desk the entire time he served in iraq
a soap dish the marine gave me for christmas the year our mother died.
a little china bird pin that my vicki made with her own hands and that i often wear.
it is a wren. it is me. and it’s lovely.
a little pendant that tracy made for reve . . . and that i loved and i kept! LOL!
a small stone that i picked up . . . in england.
my zekey’s collar.
those are my treasures.
and . . .
i DO have a very few things that also have deep meaning.
not in the little box.
two beautiful water colors of new england
that remind me of my beloved mother.
they were done by my friend celia.
they’re hanging on my dressing room walls.
i see them every morning.
there is a beautifully framed little piece of cardboard that jacob
wrote this message on . . .
to my buddy tam
i love you
it’s when i was princess roxanne and he was king arthur.
the message was given to me on the battlefield.
the little silver framed message
now sits atop a small chest with a lamp. i see it everyday.
and there’s the magic harry potter wand that blake
made me with his own two hands.
it’s wood. i named it ‘ the phoenix ‘.
it is displayed with pride on a tall stand as you enter the wren house.
the kind of old hat rack stand you’d see in england… with a seat…
and mirrors atop and pegs to hang coats and umbrellas.
only there are no coats or umbrellas.
only my little wand . . . the phoenix.
it lies across two of the pegs.
i’ve even been known to occasionally use the phoenix to
you know . . .
do my own magic !!!
so . . .
there are some THINGS like that
that are dear to my heart.
but you know . . .
even though i keep them
and will always . . .
unless through some catastrophe i lose them . . .
i could still lose them
and not weep.
for it’s the memory of each item
and what it means.
and the person who gave it to me
MOST IMPORTANT TO ME!
and if i lose my memories . . .
well then . . . likely i won’t know it.
and the things wouldn’t have mattered anyway!
i feel things are not mine to keep.
nothing we HAVE is ours old bean.
all we really have is
all the rest is time.
i never want to preach here.
and no monk . . .
this is not meant to be a soapbox post at all!
i am simply explaining what i love about living
the way i do.
for most people it would never work.
it works for me.
it brings me peace.
and a sense of knowing
that i could lose it all tomorrow
. . . i have actually . . . once before . . .
lost it all.
it’s not the material things that matter when you lose.
and the world doesn’t end !
the world goes on.
with or without your trinkets.
the main thing is that you’re
i seem to have been born knowing that.
and i always lived like that . . .
as much as possible anyway . . .
within the perimeters of a ‘normal’ family.
i’m sure i was a weird little kid!
i loved books.
and being outside.
and one little china tea set i had.
and some stuffed animals . . . a bear especially.
and a few paper dolls.
and i adored coloring books and crayons.
i didn’t have tons of toys.
we played outdoor games.
i had jacks and a ball always.
and tiddly winks.
and pick up sticks.
and a bicycle always.
i didn’t want tons of stuff!
nice for my parents’ pocket book though!
but i have been repeatedly told by other people all my life . . .
“you’re impossible to buy for!”
like . . .
“why can’t you be like other people?”
i always reply that i’m NOT hard to buy for!
i like anything that can be USED UP!
especially treats i would not buy myself.
an expensive cheese. an unusual condiment.
exotic fruit. wildly different crackers.
these don’t seem like authentic gifts to people i guess!
it doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things old bean.
and people who know me accept it now without the comments.
and as it were!
clearing the decks old bean.
it was a little harder to control when i was married and with
my darling bob.
for 17 years i had to somehow control it.
after all . . . it was HIS home too!
still . . .
i got rid of things a little at a time.
not HIS things. well. not too many anyway. LOLOL!!!
luckily he wasn’t attached to lots of ‘things’ either!
that would have been bad!!!
i laugh now to think how lucky i was!
after all . . .
who would say to someone they were going to marry . . .
” how do you feel about marrying a minimalist? “
i’m not even sure the word was used back then!
but i knew i was one. even if i didn’t know the word for it.
i always knew i was different.
i just didn’t know what you called it
so i always called it
CLEARING THE DECKS.
i always liked nautical terms.
simply meaning clean and clear.
taken from the ship talk in bristol england.
it was the way you kept the ship.
everything on a boat has to have a place.
and kept there.
or you’d be falling and tripping all over the place.
not that healthy! LOL.
so i simply got used to calling my desire to clear out . . .
‘ clearing the decks ‘
it has hit me hard recently . . .
here at my little wren house.
it hits me like
the tide hits the shore.
it simply crashes onto the sand.
and it is forceful.
just . . .
well . . .
it is just doing what it does.
a natural happening.
it’s my own compulsion
to get rid of things.
to literally give most of everything i have away.
i never sell it.
i give it.
but it makes me so happy!
i manage to keep the truly necessary things.
after all . . .
it would be too expensive to have to replace all usable items.
but i part with things that you’d be amazed about if you knew.
like some furniture.
once i slept on the carpeted floor for over two years.
my back likes
and if you’re wondering . . .
i do have a bed now old bean!
but to tell you the honest truth . . .
i have to MAKE myself keep it!
i won’t be giving it away now.
if i did . . . and . . .
should i awaken someday and want to have a bed again . . .
it’s just too expensive an item to be replacing.
i try so hard to live like other people.
people old bean !!!
but then as they say . . .
” what is normal ? “
is there any such thing really?
no worries about me mate!
it doesn’t really bother me to be this way.
i quite like my life as a cozy minimalist.
it’s as necessary to me as air and water.
since moving to the little wren house here
i haven’t had it hit me quite so much though.
i probably have more here than i even did at wee blink bonnie.
yet still . . .
clear clean surfaces are everywhere.
i couldn’t function here well if it they were not.
it’s just too small! LOL.
i’m sure you know this yourself . . .
and it’s the same even with minimalists . . .
somehow we’re always acquiring
in some way or another.
it just happens in today’s world.
we think we NEED a certain item.
whether we really do or not!
and yes . . .
it’s weird how that happens even to me.
die hard minimalists give this advice on their blogs . . .
” whenever you buy an item . . .
get rid of another item. “
there are all kinds of advice from minimalists out there.
those people who count every single thing they have . . .
those who tell you how to go about getting rid of stuff . . .
the nuts and bolts of minimalism and how to achieve it . . .
they’re all writing or have written e~books about it! . . .
i don’t give that kind of advice here.
this minimalist is just happily living her own little life.
you do what you want with your own!
so . . .
i’ll simply be
clearing my own decks!
for now i’ll be content when it hits to just make sure
my closet and all the drawers and cabinets are simple.
and inhabited by only the necessary things.
i’ll never reach the level of the captain . . .
living on a boat with a back pack holding all my belongings.
. . .
one should never say never !
i know myself though.
and i enjoy having a certain modicum of comfort.
i like ‘enough’ chairs. and books. and soft lamplight.
and i like a few items i find beautiful . . .
colorful comfortable throw pillows in said chairs.
my few pieces of pottery.
the wooden pen holder made by the marine.
my perfect pen in it.
my computer . . . to
BLAB HERE INCESSENTLY !!!
my friends and family are finally used to me.
as long as it doesn’t affect anyone but me . . .
why should anyone care?
i am a minimalist and i do like beauty.
and the two are not incompatible in the least.
yet as i grow older
i’m finding that it takes less and less actually . . .
even of what i need for that beauty.
i will be getting rid of more clothes today.
i want only the barest minimum that is necessary.
even less than what i have now.
i just don’t want in there what i seldom if ever wear.
i want space in there.
next will be books.
i’ll be keeping only those i truly read and re read and genuinely
i have way too many books.
that is going to be harder. because even when clearing out . . .
i have always tended to keep the books.
but it’s time now to let other people enjoy them.
those which haven’t been opened in years.
you know who you are!
i’m not ready for kindle just yet.
i make use of the public library.
maybe i will get a kindle someday.
just not now.
bird song coming through the open window.
my neighbor getting his daily exercise by running
up and down his stairs.
he’s so cute.
i would have already had a heart attack by now!
my exercise today
vacuuming while it’s still at least a little bit cool
and then . . .
happily clearing the decks
i breathe again.
i breathe again old bean!
here are some pictures
of simple things that i find
in a home
there is simply something wonderful
about the art
of having not much
sunlight and shadows on a clear wall.
so very lovely.
fresh clean linens
not closets and drawers full of them
just enough for my particular life
my favorite david hockney print
it ALWAYS makes the cut!
i simply love it.
it hangs now in the wren house
over my fire place.
i bought it the first time i ever visited breckenridge.
it delights me.
i never tire of looking at it.
the true purpose of art.
of course you’ve seen this one before.
both here and on the peanut.
not my own room.
but i always love it!
that bedroom is everything that is beautiful
only what is necessary.
and yet there is nothing
cold or minimally clinical about it.
it is simply
below . . .
the next picture here . . .
a different feeling altogether.
just as wonderful
and something i consider of great importance.
it is my entertainment.
again . . .
it is not mine . . .
i do have a large window in the wren house.
it is open as i write this.
and it is where i sit to read.
when i saw this picture
i knew i had to use it.
a wabi sabi window.
a good book.
a cup of warmth.
poor is never poor old bean.
only if one is poor in spirit.
if you have a few good things . . .
don’t let them kid you . . .
you’re not poor.
poor is not having food to eat.
or clean water to drink.
or warmth when it’s cold outside.
or dry when it’s wet outside.
or cool when it’s unbearably hot outside.
i wish that on no one.
we seem to think we cannot live without in this country . . .
well . . .
i’m thinking we’ve kinda been sold
a bill of goods
as they say.
there ” they ” are again!
best of all . . .
just . . .
and it’s even better
if you can just be yourself
or . . . with a friend
who is content to just
good grief charlie brown!
one thing you can say truthfully about me . . .
there is nothing minimalist about my mouth.
WAY too many words here.
something i’ll keep working on.
talk about clearing the decks indeed !!!!
til soon old bean.