Tag Archives: adapting

Minimalism

I am a big fan of home renovation and decorating programs. One of the trends I find particularly intriguing is that of minimalism. In its simplest terms it is where you get rid of your junk. Now I like the concept but the reality is untenable, at least for me. I like my stuff.

I recently had a friend over to my place and we were talking about decorating and I was explaining the history behind, well, everything. Perhaps it is my nature but everything I own seems to have a story. There are the very heavy bookends that my father bought before I was born. They are horse heads and I’ve always loved them. Or the China horses I collected when I was small child. Of the many I did have only a few have survived the 50 odd years they’ve been around.

Then there are my paintings. I have a lot of them. I actually change them seasonally because I get bored easily. There are the chairs that used to belong to my grandmother or the one chair at my front door that I used for my first attempt at camping. It is a beautiful, hand carved wooden chair that I put a blanket over top of and pretended I was camping. That’s my history.

Of course, the other problem is, I like things. I like pretty things. I like wooden bowls and metal bowls and handmade . . . bowls? Oh my good heavens! I collect bowls! See, pretty creeps up on me. Most of these bowls are bought from a company that engages in Fair Trade. They’re not out to make a big profit for themselves. The artisan that makes the item is paid a portion upfront and then when the item is sold, they get more. I feel good about shopping there. I feel less guilty about buying a unique item that is handmade and, well, pretty.

Would my life be better if I had less stuff? The proponents of minimalism believe so. I’m afraid I don’t. Yes, there is the concept of having too much stuff. Look at any program on hoarding and you will understand. I’m not a hoarder. But I do keep my stuff. I put things into boxes and now and then I pulled them out to exchange them with what is on display now. I like being reminded of my past, of the people that were important to me and that helped to mold me into the person I am today. And, I like my stuff.

A Single Glass of Water

Oceans are deep

And rivers are fast

Water has power

The dye then is cast.

 

No life could exist

No land would be shaped

Through use of that liquid

Our world is landscaped.

 

We drink it and bathe

Even play on its back

We hide from its power

It takes quite a knack.

 

Sit back and give thanks

For that drink in your hand

The cells of all life

Through water is planned.

I Am Not Where I Wanted To Be

When I was four I wanted to be a ballerina. My parents had a beautiful mirror that depicted two ballet dancers in mid pose. The male was supporting the female who was standing ‘en point’ with one leg out of sight behind her. They were in relief in the middle of this large ornate, silver mirror. I was memorized by the hidden leg.

When I was nine I wanted to be a veterinarian. I loved animals and I wanted to help them, care for them. But there is another side to the job that is necessary and it involves pain and death. Nope.

Airline Pilot: nice uniform, nasty passengers                                                                             Professional Dancer: two left feet

Then I walked the boards of a school Christmas play. I had one line: “Pearls of great price to him we adorn, is the worship of each lowly one.” I wore my Mother’s terry cloth bathrobe and a towel over my head. I was hooked. I was also 11 years old.

Scoot forward several years. In High School I was in several plays that won awards. I got to perform on a professional stage, with the High School, several times. I enrolled in a University with a well-respected theatre department. And I continued to shine. Learning lines was easy, blocking (movements on stage) was almost instinctive. This was my element. This was also within a controlled environment. Graduation is one hell of a wake up call.

I went on auditions and got several jobs. Walk on and bit parts. I was there to react to the ‘real’ actors. I did meet a very few: Martin Short, John Candy. Most of the time was spent far away from the principles and waiting and waiting and waiting and . . . You get the picture.

I was never good at selling myself – problem one. I did not meet the criteria for the current fashionable young female actor: blond, pert, skinny and um, not bright. I was a real red-head, not skinny and intelligent (although I learn to play dumb quite well).

But a girl’s got to eat and I craved independence. I got a real job. And then I discovered I had Multiple Sclerosis. Perspectives change.

There was an adjustment period to my new reality but also new beginnings. My Mother told me I was in charge and the choice was mine: give in and spend a life wallowing in my self-pity or live. Find a life or make one. And I did!

I am not where I thought I wanted to be. I’m somewhere better.