Monday, March 31, 2014
Mutterings Mighty, Minor and Mini Mincing Much of Matters Minimal
There are several interesting things about Pat, but one that has brought him some notice and fame up in Toronto is his house.
Click here for the TV visit. Pat's home follows one made of straw.
Unique looking it certainly is. It has this ski-jump little roof and those three elongated windows down the front. It is certainly far from the many McMansions that appeared all over the landscape around my parts during the former housing boom. It is compact, simple, yet pleasing and has a fashionably slim figure.
But it isn't really the look of the building that is the story here. It is the stuff inside or lack thereof.
The kitchen, which you see on the right, contains an oven/range, sink and refrigerator. The stove and sink each disappear under cover to become simply a long counter, the faucet sliding down flush. The refrigerator is also under the counter and about the size of the frat-boy beer cooler I have in my office here. (No beer, I fear, just chocolate milk, ice tea and a variety of "sody-pop". I guess one simplification in my life is being a teetotaler.)
His bedroom is basically a balcony up an open staircase. And yes, the bed folds out of sight into the wall. The footprint of this home if 566 square feet.
You see among other things, Pat is a minimalist. (He is also a Vegan, but no one is perfect.)
My middle child, daughter Number 2, is also a minimalist and probably pretty good competition. (She is a Vegetarian.) This is her apartment pictured on the right. It would not be so full of stuff if not for the toys and things for her two cats.
So what is a minimalist? Is it someone suffering from claustrophobia?
Well, one definition is "one who favors restricting the functions and powers of a political organization or government." By that definition I am a minimalist.
Another definition is "a person who favors a moderate approach to the achievement of a set of goals or who holds minimal expectations for the success of a program." I am not that and I know my daughter isn't and I doubt Pat is either. I favor a realistic approach to achievement, but I hold optimistic expectations of high success. I think it is better to sometimes fall a bit short than to start out with a goal of underachievement.
The applicable term for minimalist here is restricting our possessions to what is necessary. What we might feel is necessary to a pleasant life might vary, of course. I am, to tell the truth, a minimalist at heart. I would not go so far to say I would like to pack all my belongings into a backpack like Andrew
"Yeah," you say, " it don't look so empty behind you in those photos that pop up now and again!"
True, but what is in this little 9 x 11 room is most of what are my personal belongings, and some of them may go. I'd be rid of the racks of CDs since I have all my music in iTunes now, except my wife prefers the CDs. Yes, there are other rooms and they have furniture and pictures on the walls and knickknacks and stuff, but remember I'm not a singular man. My wife and daughter live with me and they aren't necessarily of a minimalist mind. Most of what is in this place I consider theirs. I have tossed most of what was mine away.
What you see mostly in this room are books. Maybe one of these days I'll donate these to the library, as I did many of my other books. A few years ago my personal library contained over 5,000 volumes and the downstairs was lined along every wall with shelves to hold them. Those shelves and the contents are all gone now along with most everything that was in the area with them.
My bed isn't in here, but it could be if my wife and I ever choose not to sleep in the same room. She has the real bed, I sleep on a futon, which folds up.
You can see I minimized my hair.
I saw in 2012 that life was not things when I had to clean out my parents home. Ninety plus years of gathering objects and in the end you know what was left of their possessions? Nothing but the photographs.
I have in this room what I use, my computer, my Bibles, my little refrigerator and those records we all must keep. The white binders in the background of my photograph are the books I've written over time, though I still have a dozen more to bind up. I'll keep those.
I agree, Pat, things are shackles on our freedom and living. I really am of a minimalist mind.
But I ain't goin' Vegan!