Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Test post to see if facebook picks it up.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Simplicity Unclutters

Faith and love reside not in buildings but in the heart. The spirit is portable and resists being locked up. Simplicity always begins with a leap of faith. And simplicity will enable you to leap lightly.

Simplicity begins sensibly. You may wish to scrutinize your life for any excess baggage - not just material possessions, but affections, beliefs and prejudices that bog you down and impede your pursuit of happiness.

Complex machines are more likely to break down than simple tools. The same is true of your life. You are seeking to establish a functional, integrated life, which is marked by integrity. The simpler your life , the less there will be to manage or wear out because there will be fewer working parts. You will be able to concentrate on the things that produce the most satisfaction without worrying about accessories that malfunction

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Simplicity via Thoreau & Yount

I was reading in my new book A Contemporary Quaker Reader: Imagination & Spirit about simplicity today. The section was written by David Yount who begins with some observations on Thoreau's experience.

"Simplify, simplify, simplify" urged Thoreau who followed his own counsel. What he sought and found was "economy". For Thoreau economy meant extracting the most from life by keeping the mind clear and the senses alert.

It is a mistake to believe that for life to be full it must be like a room crammed with furniture. A crowded life leaves no space and no time for enjoyment. Crowding distracts the mind, dulls the senses and starves the soul.

Simplicity enriches.

Thoreau's experience led him to this seemingly naive yet unquestionably wise conclusion: "That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest."

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Two Trees

This is a beautiful picture of union and individuation in a mature and seasoned marriage that I read in Plain Living: A Quaker Path to Simplicity by Catherine Whitmire. Beth and I can so relate to this at so many levels.

Two young trees are planted close together
In common soil at marriage.
They send down roots together,
And feed on many of these same nutrients.

But as they grow taller and older
Some of the roots shoot out in different directions,
Away from each other, seeking mutually alien soil.
Nevertheless, the older original roots stay intertwined.

The trees also grow above ground.
Many of their branches intertwine and
Shape each other in the happy embrace of shared space…

But these trees are not only growing toward each other;
They are growing in all directions.
Like the roots, some of the branches
Stretch far away from the common center,
And breathe a mutually alien air.

Each tree is in itself whole and individual
And growing according to its inner design,
Yet shaped on the one side by its partner,
And on the other by the outside world.

Elise Boulding

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Developing one's own alphabet

Artists need to devise visual alphabets tailored to their own individual style, rather than copying from nature.

Editing details...

"Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things."

Where you grow up...

"What's important about painters is what part of the country they grow up in."