Friday, June 21, 2013


Alliums on Matt's table

In a week that contained parts resembling a bad TV drama (absolutely nothing to do with my sister's first week in Ireland), I have reached Friday craving simplicity.

Apparently, I cannot even call myself an aspiring minimalist (I prefer the term Voluntary Simplicity anyway), as I show no signs of turning my house into an empty white box, but I accumulate far less stuff than the average person. However, things still have a habit of building up in volume eventually, and I spent several hours in cathartic mode - getting rid of shoes that are not compatible with my knee problem, doing paperwork, sorting through the pile of cuttings that I tend to chuck into a drawer rather than filing straightaway.

Part of me thinks I have no need to hold on to bits from magazines and newspapers, but going through them last night was inspiring, and I see the creative necessity for notebooks and folders filled with these snippets that I deemed worth revisiting. The randomness of this collection sparks connections and associations that help get me unstuck when it comes to art-making.

So I try to resist the frequent urge to throw them all out and delete all my bookmarks and my e-mail archives and give away all my paintings and drawings until everything is just pleasingly calm, empty space, because I can see how that is dangerously close to an anorexic mindset (the desire to take up as little space as possible and ultimately to disappear).

My sister and brother-in-law are waiting for the containers with all their stuff, and the whole operation makes me think how much easier it would be to own so little that moving would not be weighed down by one's possessions, but then again I am hardly planning a nomadic lifestyle, and I like being surrounded by books, art, clothes and objects that remind me of the people in my life, and as long as I stay on top of clutter and the cuttings are filed rather than jumbled together in a drawer, I feel comfortable. Outer order does contribute to inner calm, at least for anxious people like myself.

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