Straight and Narrow

Healthy Couple 7“Tigers don’t know if they like ice cream until they try every flavor there is.”  Calvin and Hobbs

Sometimes I have to risk being foolish to find my potential. I have to stray from the safe. I have to make a mess.

I admire the straight orderly lines that others make. I’d like to follow them and order my life in such a way. I’ve always been fascinated by the minimalist with their neatly trimmed greenery and lack of clutter. Buddhist monks with their orderly lifestyle. No frills. I’ve tried to convert to the Macrobiotic diet and vegan-ism.  I crave simplicity, but only for a time.

A beautiful landscape with green grass, trimmed shrubbery. One or two outfits. Utilitarian shoes. Practical flooring. Food for a day. Why does this intrigue me? Could life ever be so simple? Could I actually live in a house decorated only in white? Or black?

In one of my many times of wandering around the internet, I bumped into this: The Minimalist Religion.

“At its heart is reverence for a divinity. This is a single being for, as the medieval philosopher William Occam said, why multiply entities (or assumptions) unnecessarily?

We may pray to this divinity for guidance or assistance in serious matters (why shouldn’t we?).

We should avoid giving attributes (either limbs or supposed qualities) to the divinity because the more we attribute, whether by imagination or inference, the more likely we are to make mistakes. As we don’t really need a portrait to revere God, mystery seems preferable to misconception.”

After mulling some of these things over, I understand my fascination with minimalism. There are no decisions.Thinking is optional and absolutely no conflict. In the choice for dishes to eat from, no worries. White. Clothing? The white shirts please. It limits your options so you can concentrate on other areas of your life.

But I love color. My walls are yellow. I have red, turquoise, yellow, gold, brown and many other colors and it makes me very happy. When I am trying to keep things simple, I become obsessive. Afraid to move. I feel constricted and agitated. That’s not a good way for me to live. Life is messy. I’m good with that.

If you draw a straight line and EXPECT to follow it perfectly, then watch out. You will fall short of the mark. But, if you are using that line as a general guide and realize it is only a focus point or a mark to help you keep your bearings, then you will wander and stagger but you will be able to right yourself easily. You will be able to find your way back to center. In that way, having a line, a religion, a moral stance can help. Somewhere inside us,  we have our center. The place we can return to if we have spun off the center pole. The irony is,  even the North Pole shifts.

Some find Buddhism as that foundation. If you have a favorite color, theme decorating may be for you. Many would agree that it’s smart to buy only quality items, especially for expensive purchases. In that case, staying with the tried and true name brands would be good. Many of the philosophies of minimalism rings true. I will always lean towards being a vegan since my digestive system prefers it. But there are moments that I crave variety. I like messy.

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