Poem: Less

Less

Coffee. Tea. Sugar.
Three tins.
Black lettering on white enamel.
All that is there.
The simplicity
is purposeful,
A life of reduction.

At some point, you will find it,
the place where less
is not enough.
But not yet.

Every thing released
leaves room to breathe,
opens possibilities,
creates space,
room for the soul to dance.

About this poem

When I got divorced a decade and a half ago, I was the one who moved out, so the kids would have the stability of staying in their childhood home as long as possible. I moved from about 4,000 square feet to a tiny little place, less than 800 square feet in the basement of an old school.

Much to my surprise, after a lifetime of gathering more and more, I felt very at home with less. It was comfortable to me. Less confining. I felt freer. An unexpected joy.

It’s been hard to maintain that simplicity. In some places, I have succeeded. In others, not so well. But I find myself always looking for things I can let go. I’d make a good minimalist, I think. When there is less, there is always room for something new and wonderful. It is peaceful to me. And that allows room for simple faith, simple care of people, simple love.

That is why, despite my love of antiques, I also love modern design and architecture. It is why I like the ocean with it’s simple landscape of beach, horizon and sky. It is why the simplicity of Shaker furniture sings to me.

Simplicity is good for the soul. But man, the world makes it hard. I suddenly have an urge to clean.

Tom

PS: The picture was taken at the Hancock Shaker Village, in the common house kitchen.

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