Saturday, May 26, 2007

Not So Simple

[Inspired by Sunday Scribblings.]

Here's the deal. I understand simple. I like simple lines in furniture. I am not fond of the Victorian-style of muchness. You won’t find my life full of brocades and tassels, nor gilt and diamonds, nor even flashy clothes and jewelry.

I don’t need millions of dollars to live my life. I don’t need five-star hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, nor a staff to organize, clean and care for my home.


As much as I understand simple, I just don’t have a real affinity to simple. How so? Allow me to put on my nerdy hat for the answer. I looked up “simple” in a dictionary. Among the definitions:

  1. easily understood. I am definitely complex. As Shrek said, "I have layers. Like an onion."

  2. presenting no difficulty. What! me be difficult? Ha! OK, you got me. I don’t strive to be difficulty – it just happens.

  3. plain. I grew up where everything seemed plain. I wanted “distinctive” and “classy,” certainly not plain or common.

  4. basic. There’s nothing wrong with the basics, but I somehow want a twist, a spark, something unique. The minimum is not quite enough.

  5. uncomplicated in form, nature, or design. I ask too many questions to be considered uncomplicated.

I wrestled with “simple” in the last few days. I though of creating some fiction, but I realized that “simple” and I needed to come to terms. And I believe I have come to understand my relationship with simple.

Simple isn’t necessarily boring. I do take comfort from the simple pleasures of:
  • listening to birdsong on a summer morning
  • nursing a cup of herb tea or cocoa while reading a book
  • soaking in a hot bath
  • a hug from my wife

And with a small twist, "simple" calls to me in ways like these:
  • a single slice of pie for breakfast
  • wearing sneakers – red ones
  • body lotion that smells like tropical fruit
  • putting together just the right words into a poem

I am a not-so-easily-understood, somewhat-difficult, distinctive, unique, complicated person who has made peace with her not-so-simple life.


gautami tripathy said...

Isn't that way all of us are made? Complex, ambivalent, complicated.

Crafty Green Poet said...

there are so many interpretations to simple. I enjoyed your post and your short simple lists!

Clare said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clare said...

Sorry -- I just deleted what I wrote because I messed it up. How's that for complex. It's too early on a Sunday morning... What I was trying to say is that I can totally relate to what you wrote, especially about understanding and appreciating many simple things, but being complex and complicated yourself. I really, deeply get that and it's nice knowing that other people feel that way too. I very much liked how you wrote the meanings of the terms and then explored your own meanings -- plus adding some of your simple pleasures.

Stacy said...

I am so down with the red shoes!

Your post got me thinking.

Tori said...

I have red crocs on right now!

It is very complicated to live simply!

Remiman said...

I think simply comes down to enjoying the moments that we encounter in our lives, and you seem quite good at that.

Maria said...

What a lovely, simple prosaic piece. I especially like the nursing of tea while reading.

And the red sneakers. Mine are blue, though.....

sister AE said...

For those who are curious, here's a picture of those red sneakers: