living in the house of the wind

I spent most of the past two days deep cleaning my house. There was little joy in it; this is not a house I would choose for myself under perfect circumstances (although I'm very grateful for it indeed), and so I clean as a chore rather than a devotion.



 
As I washed windows and scrubbed floors, I thought about what my ideal house would be. The vision of it changes over the years, usually reverting back to "old beach cottage with slighty warped floors, sun-bleached curtains, sand drifting in even though I hate the sea." But just lately I've been wanting wind, colourlessness, breathing space, after all the long heavy summer months. I've been wanting to rip up the carpet, which I don't think my landlords would appreciate, and give away most of my furnishings, and paint the rest white. All these shelves and nick nacks and things are just too much.

It would be nice to feel like I was living in the sky. I can't imagine anywhere else would be a true haven. This whole world is too much. Noise, neighbours, traffic, media, pollution. It steals a person's peace.




It seems lately that so many of my age feel an urge to declutter our homes, our lives. I wonder if we are drawn to it because our hearts and minds have become cluttered over the decades, so cluttered that one day we wake up and can hardly breathe. We ourselves are too much. It makes all the stuff we spent so long accumulating seem like a burden piled on our bodies, thickening our hours, dragging us down. I wonder if we are instinctively wanting to shed layer upon layer of material life and meaningless thought, as we appreciate more the wisdom of serenity, the dream of true peace.


10 comments:

  1. It sounds like a beautiful dream. I wish they would let you get rid of the carpet. I like rugs because they can be shaken out, but carpets seems to hold on to things. We have been decluttering too. It seems I start every January, and go strong for a few months, and I still have too much furniture even after giving a lot to two of my sisters. Our last home was large, but I don't regret it. This one seems much more cozy and welcoming despite it's size. I tend to save too many things thinking I might need it; I attribute this habit to growing up with so many siblings. xoxo Su

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    1. Your home is so very beautiful, from what I have seen of it, and you and your dd both have a clear sense of style. A few of my homes over the years have had wooden floors and although it means more sweeping, there's really nothing like the loveliness of it. White painted wooden floors would be incredibly impractical ... but one of these days ... :-)

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    2. Thank you, Sarah. Yes that would be wonderful even with the sand. Sweeping it out. Because even if they are scuffed, they are clean and warm. xoox Su

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  2. I think Thoreau had the right idea - just one room - a table, a chair, a bed. A cottage in a wood surrounded by trees and birdsong, swimming in the lake - no excess baggage. The simple life.

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    1. I've been there, done that, gone half crazy from the boredom. I may be an introvert, but the isolated simple life only works for me if I have someone to share it with at least some of the time (and a cat didn't count.) Also, people don't appreciate how hard it is to live comfortably without an oven. ;-)

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  3. I keep dreaming of my own little house, a simple pretty, white little house in the forest or close to the ocean. The ocean doesn't feel hot and tiring to me though, because the country I live in is rather wild most of the time. I mean, the weather is rather wild, and the ocean is often dark and restless. But I like that. I also like the nature close to the sea. Sigh. Many dreams. But I don't want a lot of stuff, like you said. Just something beautiful and simple, that delights my soul.

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    1. My ocean is often dark and restless too. I have lots of reasons for not liking it. I hope your dreams come true one day soon.

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    2. Oh yes, I figured it was dark and stormy too, but that maybe you didn't like it because it can be hot on the beach. I never liked the beach for that reason, on summer days. Anyway, thank you :)

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  4. I've been doing the de-cluttering myself lately. Bags and bags of stuff away to the charity shops. I'm not at the point where I want to white out the house, but the thought does appeal something rotten. Nut then I'm afraid of becoming one of those ubiquitous "white house" decorators with rotten barn board signs and flour sack pillows. That's the trouble with a minimalist mindset and a Bohemian spirit.

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  5. I think, I believe, I would like a rather minimalist home, and the idea of lots of white space and stripped floorboards appeals greatly, but the reality is that my home is the accretion of the years, and there is no particular theme. One day perhaps.

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