Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

Less Is More – Or not?

on September 27, 2014

The Daily Prompt asks if I agree with Edna Ferber’s statement, “Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little”. Yes, of course I agree. This is a no-brainer for me. I constantly have the feeling of being overwhelmed by the “too much-ness” of today’s culture. Celebrities and their Twitters (which I do not read but can’t help but be aware of when I tread through all that fake news on my computer screen before reaching the safe – relatively –  harbor of my e-mail) are a sign to me of too much social media gone awry. All the talk about food, food, food makes me feel fat – but I confess I watch food shows in summer when TV offerings are slim-pickings. Everywhere on the Internet ads appear to sell me something. It is impossible to Google solutions for my computer when it is doing poorly without being taken in by a helpful crook. The other day I felt lucky to get out of that loop with only a $29.99 fixer’s fee. I intend to get better at recognizing scams. At least the other day I exploded at a phone caller telling me my computer was not working. I told the person (I feel sorry for people who earn their living this way) that my computer works just fine. Furthermore I did not believe he was who he said he was. I did not want to go into this with him. And I was going to hang up. It was awesome to bang down the receiver and pat myself on the back.

Paradoxically , I also experience the folly of acting on my less-is-more philosophy. When I moved long distance to my new home, I carefully packed the bare necessities, partly to save money on the moving truck (actually two smallish pods), and partly because I was tired of “things and stuff”. Unpacking my boxes was exhausting and left me wanting a glass of wine at the end of the day. I had packed a bottle of wine – obviously a bare necessity – and a beer opener, but no corkscrew. I hurried over to the hardware store just as they were locking the door for the day. I told them my story and convinced them to let me in so I could open my wine. In the two years I’ve lived here I have steadily replaced things I hadn’t considered necessities – additional plates and glasses for company, pots and pans left behind because I planned to give up cooking for myself, as well as for company (which I expected little of), and new recipes when I knew I had to repay the kind invitations of people I’m meeting in my apartment, as well as family. I still haven’t invited company but I plan to. I have drawn the line at family. I cooked a meal for my son and his family to celebrate his fiftieth birthday. I spent most of their visit in the kitchen laboring  over fixing one of my new recipes which left little time for playing a card game they wanted to play. My son said next time let’s order pizza and spend more time together playing cards.

On second thought, maybe Edna Ferber and I should meet somewhere in the middle.

13 responses to “Less Is More – Or not?

  1. Silver Threading says:

    I agree with you in so many ways. We are bombarded with the media at every turn. I love your idea of spending time together doing things and not cooking. Excellent commentary!

  2. vivachange77 says:

    Thanks, especially since from your blog I see that you are a marvelous entertainer. I imagine you do know how to cook and still have lots of time to be with your guests.

  3. You are so right about being bombarded and inundated with sales pitches and scams. Too many! Love the you-are-there quality of the post with just the right amount of philosophy. Cheers. 🙂

  4. vivachange77 says:

    Thanks. I always appreciate your comments. 🙂

  5. kategresham says:

    I carry beliefs and desires from the past- I’d like big family gatherings, to be truly hospitable… they’re left overs. Now, I need and cherish simplicity and quietness, a few friends at a time, but…the media constantly tells us for example that Christmas should be huge happy family gatherings and I can easily fall into gloom- I should be married, I should have children…so I practice letting go the old. Shared meals, when everyone contributes are much more fun than catering for it by myself.
    Simple is also at the heart of needs. We are surrounded/bombarded by multiplicity. It not only confuses, it stresses us. Decisions can be challenging- which is better? Is one right? Decisions about the simple things only makes our lives even more difficult. Does it really matter which soap I use? Choice. It’s everywhere. Sometimes I don’t want to choose. I could go on and on! thank you for this.

  6. vivachange77 says:

    I love your saying that simple is at the heart of needs. That is so true for me at this time of my life. Thanks.

  7. I agree that too much of everything is overwhelming. When I move I hope it will be with only the necessary things. People today have more choices to make in an hour than they would have in a year, when times were simpler. Though I would miss my computer and musical instruments if I was alive back then. Great post. Excuse my ramble. 🙂

  8. vivachange77 says:

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree about computers. Without one we would not be blogging and having this conversation 🙂

  9. vivachange77 says:

    I appreciate your reading some of my older posts and commenting today. I always enjoy yours. You’re a terrific wordsmith – to use an old fashioned word.

  10. I know what you mean about spending too much time in kitchen when entertaining , honestly when my adult children stay , the time of quality with their children, my grand children is much less than perhaps when I visit them. The reason being I spend too much time trying to make my home which is perhaps too small for large numbers of visitors into a first class hotel so as you can imagine my ideals are seldom met and the time becomes more like a struggle as the days pass and I miss the quality time I had hoped for with them. I love them coming and would be sad if they didn’t come but I have to work out a way in which to interact with them more and not just be the person with the red face at the cooker ha ha .Love reading your posts they always resonate with me , happy days . Kathy.

  11. vivachange77 says:

    In the time since I wrote this post I realize I am moving to a way of being with family in bits and pieces where we have good interaction. i’m resolving my hostess problems concerning repaying the delightful people in my apartment who invite me for a meal. I accept that I’m not likely to want to cook for them. Instead I lend everyone books, which I love and accumulate. The other day the ladies and I were talking about letting go of things – dishes, tableware, etc. When I told them i had given my “good” stuff” to my sons years ago and now have only eight plates they were aghast. I’m OK with letting them see that I really do not enjoy cooking and entertaining in general. Your comment gave me a chance to see this change in me. Thanks so much. It is a pleasure to correspond with you.

  12. JoHanna Massey says:

    I’m currently working through a period of change where I do not want to cook for others too. Timely piece. Thank you.

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