I’ve reached this point where making things more simple brings richness to my life.
Clutter has become something I regularly purge – brings me clearer state of mind – like some proverbial dead sea parting to see greater simplicity, clearer views of plain truth in people and their circumstances.
Fewer things, more people, fewer distractions, more ideas, intriguing complications, more joy.
That’s it, plainly, simply.
We are born.
In between, we live.
What pleases me?
Elegance of simple truth.
Beauty of plain facts.
Yes, plain – and simple.
Simple, like roots of trees but not without exploring the branches of life.
Clear, like water but not without exploring that paths it takes.
Not Amish plain or cheese-pizza simple.
Simple life – without requirement for fanfare, without a need for joy or strong feelings about any thing – who wants that?
Life, just plain, just simple, is too plain. Too simple.
But isn’t that what everybody says they want – happiness, good health, long life – plain and simple?
Solutions to problems.
Lifestyles that work out.
DIY (doing it yourself).
Don’t we all?
For the few moments we take to utter it, sure – but realistically, who yearns for plain?
Who aches for simple?
For a minute? It’s sweet brain candy.
For an hour? Could be tolerable.
For a week? A prison, with shackles.
For a year . . . oh my, who could imagine a year of plain and simple?
Solutions, lives, people – work, art, entertainment, avocation, travel, adventure – threads woven, this tapestry of our multi-layered lives has depth, risks and rewards, rich flavours, interesting ingredients of delicious tastes and joyous experiences because they aren’t plain. And rarely are they simple.
I was discussing. OK, no .. stop. It wasn’t discussion. I was monologue-ing. I was lamenting. Last night I was lamenting how simple my needs are as part of a discussion about why I’ve not found the right woman/pal partner to team up with to make mid-life more magical. I protested that I’m not difficult. I’m not.
Really, it’s pretty plain and really simple.
I’m pleasant company and rarely disagreeable unless there is a principle or misunderstanding involved in which case I am an effective communicator/debater who mostly doesn’t cut off his nose to spite his face. I am an effective communicator. I’m good company. I’m a good cook. I can be pleased for hours with a scalp massage. And great sex. I like that. There, in a nutshell, my simple needs. Why wouldn’t any woman want that?
The discussion went on at some length – notion that men and women finding each other in happy pairs, and lasting, without killing each other is a miracle of math. The odds are so high that any two people who find each other and think they can make a fruitful and happy life together actually can accomplish that. Difficult. At this age, is it possible?
While my track record is a dodgy mixed trail of trials and errors, mountains of successes and valleys of . . . well, just valleys, so that even things that seemed like failures when they happened have been subtle and not-so-subtle turning points in my learned experience.
I still believe this elusive construct is achievable.
I simply need a woman who is good company, a good communicator with strong fingers who loves giving a bald man a scalp massage. And she should like great sex too. And like being cooked for by me. You know, music, candles, cloth napkins.
There, that’s about it.
Plain, and simple.
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk -25C / -13F, clear, calm and incredibly cold! … thankful for the absence of a breeze, Gusta was cooperative in making it a medium duration walk. Vewwwy vewwwy cold! A great day for staying inside curled up with a good book or someone who has read one.
Hi Mark, I've now read three of your columns. They're interesting - seeming to be filled with a lot of angst. I gather you just got burned in an important relationship. It's a tough time. And usually a time when most people leap to get into another relationship rather than spending the time necessary to reflect on their own contribution to its failure. Although I think sometimes it's not anybody's "fault" - just not enough similarities or compatibilities to keep it alive. Or different values. Or it's the wrong time. Who knows? And I commend you for acknowledging your pain. So many people won't. Cheers, JR, Calgary, AB
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