I read this article in Slate by Nicodemus and Millburn about their minimalist philosophy and their evangelizing divestiture from material things. Pish posh, I say! I think of myself as neither hoarder or collector. But I like my stuff. I really like my stuff. The stuff I like the most is the stuff that has almost no practical value or could be easily replaced by some other multi-use tool. Like in my kitchen, I like my Roma food mill and my mandolin. I like crushing and slicing things. I especially like having the perfect tool for such endeavors. I love my Thomas McKnight serigraph, purchased on my Mastercard – my first credit card – from an art gallery in Aventura when I lived in a crappy apartment off West Dixie Highway and 135th street. It cost $900 in 1988. I might be worth the same $900 today but I don’t care. I love it. It was pre-marital and was the first thing I took off the walls when I moved out. Mine. It is symbolic of my independence in 1988….and now. I collect Frankoma Pottery, made from Oklahoma clay. I don’t collect just ANY Frankoma; I am particular about glazed and design. I love fabric and texture and light. If I had to subsist in a dingy studio apartment with one window that looked out onto an alleyway at the brick wall of the next building, I think I’d go start raving mad. I need room and space. I need air.
And this is my point. I value design and beauty. While I am pragmatist, I find deep sentimentality in beauty and even more so if that beautiful object has a function and purpose. I understand the utility of a folding metal chair. I have a dozen of them at my office for luncheons and staff meetings. But there is no way I want an aluminum chair to be my basic desk chair. While it is functional, it is NOT practical and it is most definitely uncomfortable. (Plus it is ugly). I don’t want to live in a space that is ugly. My mood and state of mind are influenced by my environment just as a plant starves of thrives base don soil, sun, water and nutrients provided, so shall I thrive or starve depending on my environment. I think energy follows thought. My environment has tremendous influence on my being. If I were in prison, I would have to wrap my mind around the environment I was forced to exist. But I am free to create an environment that feeds my whimsies and pleasures.
And so, I have a beautiful space. A space that soothes, replenishes, protects, nurtures and envelopes. It is a beauty space that welcomes and opens to include other people. As I sit here I try to identify what or where in this space I have friction or dysfunction. With the exception of some clutter and my unfinished areas (like my master closet), the house is frictionless. Even when The Boys are not here, their spaces still feel full and inhabited.