I really don’t need much at all

I’m trying hard to embrace the idea of minimalism. Actually, I’ve been trying since before they had a word for it but it is hard not to acquire a lot of “stuff,” especially in the kitchen.
I’m a sucker for anything lime green, as if a lime green paring knife magically would elevate my skill as a chef. I am no chef; I’m not even sure I qualify as a cook but that’s a story for another day.
When I was sewing everything my daughters wore, and they were so happy for my willingness to do so (please note the sarcasm), it was hard to resist buying fabric. I thought it compared to having a lovely stack of lumber at the ready because then anything was possible.
So gradually, over time, I found homes for my inventory of fabric, lace, buttons, thread, zippers, and a whole lot of other sewing paraphernalia. It seems I had enough zippers in preparation for the apocalypse (just in case zippers would help).
That stuff is all gone now and I thought I would maybe self-destruct, but it turns out not so much. So it was a win-win situation.
I find it hard to throw away gift bags but now I happily donate them. I had enough wool to knit a scarf that could circumnavigate the planet. Not any more. I’m very proud. Unabashedly so.
I had enough sealer jars in my pantry that some might have thought I was attempting to corner the market on sealer jars. Not so. They’re gone. Correction: the excess are gone–gone to a worthy cause.
I remember visiting a home once when I travelled to Cuba (several homes, actually, most of which were in Havana). The thing that struck me about these homes was how they were furnished with the absolute minimum of things.
They were functioning homes of everyday people so it hadn’t been staged as a work of art or anything that bordered on the false. And without exception, the homes made me feel calm and rested and safe, I suppose, though I can’t explain why.
I wanted to sit and just be in the space as though it induced a certain meditative air. The wood was dark; the walls were white and clean. There was no clutter of papers and trinkets and just the right pillows or any of that sort of Home and Garden image.
Personal art adorned the walls but not much. The dishes were few and simple.
I look at my desk while I’m writing this, cluttered with pencils and pens and cleaner for my eye glasses and my current project printed out and stacked high, my thesaurus and dictionary at the ready, research materials scattered about.
I have photos of my daughters for inspiration, a photo of my horse who shared life with me for 25 years, and my backpack sitting at the ready should I take my writing gig on the road.
I don’t need much else. Everything that matters to me is sealed in my memory, hopefully there until I no longer breathe.
I don’t need anything more.
wendistewart@live.ca


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