Monday, April 9, 2012

Simplicity, Simplicity

Ahhh, simplicity, simplicity.... that supposedly evocative thought was penned by Thoreau. I started reading Walden's Pond but never got through it. I should feel guilty about that as he is considered one of the great american authors. But the book is incredibly short on plot. Which makes it very hard for me to read. It seemed to me to be an amalgamation of condemnation of the frivolous lifestyle sprinkled liberally with inspirational quotes. I'm telling you, the man would have made a killing working for Hallmark. Despite all the happy thoughts, if you are going to write without plot then you'd better include some pretty nifty instructions on how to do a task properly, or give me a good chicken feed recipe, or give the proper proportions for a fireplace that throws heat well. That is... if you want me to read it.

Thoreau was a bit of a cheat. Granted he had his wee house and few possessions, but I had read from a commentary, that he would walk nearly everyday to town. There, he would sit in the public house and visit with people. Then in the evening he would make the trek back home again. He walked five miles to town and I keep thinking how that would equate in labor. Five miles each way is a LOT of labor! How much firewood would that have cut? How much faster or better could he have built his house? How much food would that have preserved for the winter? Heck! He could have gotten a couple of books written that had a plot, and some characters. Maybe even some descriptive narrative! But his "good life" was built on going to town and sitting around, having a beer and visiting with people. That is the easy way to have people in your life. I did it the hard way. I married one and gave birth to the others.

I crave simplicity, not necessarily austerity. Mac sees simplicity as austerity and craves neither. I have to have my balance. I don't want to take much space. I don't want to steal another's resources but I need to be able to cram my children and grandchildren into this place. I need to have my home contain that bubbling hive of activity which is "family". And when the family isn't around, I want this life I am building to be so rich with their memory, that I feel them with me always. It isn't easy. It is labor intensive. It is immensely satisfying.

If Thoreau were alive today, I wonder if he wouldn't just be perceived as a lonely alcoholic, that couldn't hold a job, that bored strangers with his vain philosophies, that lived off the kindnesses of his few friends. Okay, okay! Now I'm just being mean! I have a mean streak. If a woman built a shack in the woods and walked to town everyday to have beer and talk to people in a pub, You KNOW what she would be called, don't you?! And it sure wouldn't be a great american author!!!!

Oh well, that should be the end of my ponderings for today. For my version of a simpler life I have to do a lot of work and I need to start now. The kitchen is a mess... again!!! I have some more to do in the round pen. Need to haul water to the horses this morning. Then I have to get started on the garden fencing. Simplicity, simplicity.


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