Welcome to a sunny Saturday morning with a so far cloudless blue sky painted on the windows of the study at Myrtle House and Yours Truly in a somewhat wistful mood . . . I woke this morning and thought "Why is everything so complicated?" that was it - my very first thought. Now, I must admit that I have spent many nights recently trekking in the dark, midnight woods, looking for that evasive and elusive shade called sleep; and a flare up of old physical issues means I'm walking quite a lot like a question mark which isn't exactly helping my state of mind but I was a little perturbed that my first conscious thought should be that . . .
Then, after some consideration and deliberation, I asked myself the question again; why does everything have to be so complicated? And the answer is, of course, that it doesn't . . . as Thoreau wrote in Walden which first saw the light of day in 1854:
"Our life is frittered away by detail... Simplify, simplify, simplify! ... Simplicity of life and elevation of purpose".
I suppose it would be easy to say glibly "Ah well, that was then, this is now - life was a lot simpler then" and I expect that, to a degree, it is true; and you have to take into account that the book is an account of two years he spent living in a cabin by Walden Pond in woodland near Concord, Massachusetts experimenting with self-sufficiency and he was only able to do that because his friend and mentor Emerson footed the bill, as it were but, nonetheless (how I love that word) I think we could do worse than consider his advice when weighing up the direction our life is taking.
By 'our' life I do, of course, really mean mine. I think it is a modern day myth and cause of much sadness to me personally that, in order to live the simple life, it seems one must wade through a sea of complicatedness first - any one who has tried to set up a 'simple' wireless network in their home knows this first hand - but I think it is because we all of us see the world as a complicated place and so make our lives more complicated than strictly necessary in order to fit in. We are so aware of, and so able to respond to, the many connections that exist that we feel somehow bound and obliged to do so; I am never further than a foot away from my iPhone and its stunning array of apps to help me organise my life and communicate with people and consider their connections and . . . well, it all gets so complicated, doesn't it!
And so the morning slips on and I contemplate such concepts as, among others, the delayed gratification that seemed so prevalent in my childhood but which now no longer seems to exist; having said that I recognise that I am just as guilty of wanting things now rather than later although I could excuse this as an example of my buddhist (with a very small b) lifestyle where I live purely in the now, but I feel that would be cheating ever so slightly, especially as I know that the things in themselves aren't the answer. We do use them to fill the gaps and chasms that exist in our lives; the gratification doesn't last however and the hunger returns with a vengeance . . .
I recall a fantastic line from the wonderfully charming and feel-good film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - a film which I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone, by the way, despite some shoddy reviews - in which a very curmudgeonly Maggie Smith is told that she may have to wait six months for a medical procedure and responds with "Six months? I can't wait six months! At my time of life I don't even buy green bananas!" which resonates so deeply with Yours Truly that it could almost be mistaken for ultrasound!
So, given that a level of complicatedness has to exist at least momentarily, what does the week ahead hold in store? Well, on the professional side of things, furniture has been moved into the new premises and titivation needs now to occur - along with the procurement of stuff like desks and chairs as we have tripled our space but not our furniture - and then, once all that's been done, and bids written, and surveys undertaken, and workshops designed and fun events co-ordinated . . . Hmmm; maybe I should just sit here in my study and write? Ah, but were it possible! Sadly, unless some money rolls in this particular "Room of One's Own" won't be one's own for much longer and so the necessary evils once again take precedent and with noses to the grindstone and shoulders to the wheel it's no wonder my back is so bad . . . why is life so complicated?
I hope your weekend is simply wonderful and wonderfully simple; like me, the youthful morning's blue sky is slowly greying and so I'd take an umbrella just in case but have fun whatever you do and - since April showers bring forth May flowers - I think we can all look forward to a blooming lovely Spring!
'til next time
Be Seeing You !
*The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder ~ Virginia Woolf