As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been going through all of my family’s possessions in consideration of William Morris’ view of “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” And it’s been enjoyable, but definitely a challenge, and taking longer than expected.
I don’t actually have all that much stuff, due to the traveling–or apartment hopping–I’ve done the past ten years. I did some exploring across the country, lived and worked in Maine and Colorado, started college back home in New Hampshire–but then transferred to Savannah, Georgia. I’ve been back in New Hampshire for the years since graduation, but I’m now living in my seventh place–in four years. This almost nomadic lifestyle has resulted in less things overall, but still much more than I need.
All of this has gotten me thinking so much about nomadic cultures, and even Gypsies. There must be a lot I can learn from them regarding a simple lifestyle, about what is really important to have, as necessity or enjoyment. I want my family to have what we need, and what we love, but nothing more. Maybe filtering through our things will help to keep our minds organized, and our thoughts focused. And it will certainly help to keep our current home feeling more tranquil and spacious. I imagine some nomads find their surroundings quite harmonious.
And doing all this isn’t only because I want a peaceful, uncluttered lifestyle and a calmer state of (collective, family) mind–that’s just part of my motivation. I also know that we’re not about to settle down with our own land and home, not just yet. We still have some exploring to do, and some experience to gain, not to mention the money that we “need,” and would “love” to save. We do have a plan, and a plan inside of the plan–and I feel it will be so much easier with less belongings. We’ll just try to live more like the pseudo-nomads we are for a little while.
And maybe with less stuff in our home I won’t forget to turn off the iron (this was very bad of me), and I won’t neglect my precious raw milk yogurt, remembering instead to take it out of its bundle of blankets in the oven before going to bed.
So, I’m organizing and re-organizing, donating and selling. Life is progressing nicely though. We’re working hard, conversing deep, and dreaming big. And I decided to put Fae in un-matching socks on yogurt day (a foolproof mnemonic device), and keep a tiny glass of wine next to the iron when it’s plugged in (an even better one).
Here’s a photo of Fae a couple of weeks ago at a local Irish Pub. She’s sitting on the bench between Jared and me, digging through her diaper bag, one of her favorite things to do. She certainly doesn’t need many things in order to be happy.
At the moment Fae is standing, holding herself up by some bedding that’s still in the package. It comes up just above her waist, a perfect height to also use as a drum.