Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Empty Bowl

I have always dreamed of reducing my piles of possessions down to one bowl, a set of silverware, a pot to cook in.  Not long before he died my brother suggested he might sell the trailer in which I live.  He suggested I begin to move out immediately.  After some thought and many drafts of a letter in which I said I couldnt move in less than three months, I began to pack all my possessions.

In the end, he did not put the trailer up for sale, but most of my "stuff" was tucked away in bubble wrap and boxes.

I lived stuffless for3 months.  Sort of like living in a motel.  Yes, of course I could get along without all the knick nacks and doo dads I love.  If I needed a book I could dig into a box.  How many clothes do I really wear at a time anyway.

But as time passed I felt as if my "personality" had been hidden.  Put away.  Why should I live without the things I love surrounding me.  So, I unpacked my books and my special pottery.  Not everything but some and I feel a lot better.  I hate to admit it.

I want to be a very simple one bowl person.  And I am rather proud of all the stuff I have let go of through the past eight years, after I left my 20 year rental.  But I am not a true one bowler yet.

18 comments:

Kim said...

Suki, I LOVE this post. It is a truly beautiful expression of how one person (you) has gained wonderful insight into the person they are. You know, for many of us some things and the quality and beauty of those things become very important in self recognition. Like you, I love pottery and one reason is because I can feel the potter's hands when I place my own hands over the item. I think this is true of many beautiful things we choose to have around us...we can feel the energy the item emits. I love that thought. I cherish those lovely, sometimes very elaborate and sometimes very simple, gifts from those I know and those I do not.

You have tested those waters and know the importance of YOUR treasures in your life.

As always thank you for your beautiful words and soul touching contemplations.

Have a Beautiful Day!

Mystic Meandering said...

I love the *idea* of this - living simply. I also love being surrounded by those "things" that nurture, nourish, and comfort my inner well-being, and give my spirit a sense of upliftment. I think the trick is to live *naturally* according to our own rhythms, our True Nature that delights in beauty, and which doesn't *deny* anything - including things - which are just as much an expression of Being as anything else. And to find our what makes us come alive and live that way. Sounds like you are finding it! :)

I love your bowl - dare I say it is so you :) Simply Beautiful :)

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Suki, Your words touch my heart...you've been through a rough patch and seem to be out on the other side. It is said as 'we get older we become more of our true selves'. I just know you will continue to find joy in your life, your treasures and anything else that finds your heart....have a glorious time unpacking what makes you smile!

Lynn Cohen said...

I don't think I could ever be a one bowler. I like seeing my things around me although I am far from being surrounded by great wealth. But my own art, art of my friends, ship art my DH loves, books, those things make my life full and rich. The little pottery bowls with flowers on them my daughter gave me as a gift, and the ceramic spoon holder she gave me as a child both on my stove give me joy to look at. Yes, I have more clothes in my closet that I wear...and we have more stuff in our garage most of which makes no sense to me (accept my plastic bins of art supplies and fabrics)...which we could part with but DH can't/won't.
Laughing now. How why we accumulate what we do...surround ourselves with and what of it makes us more comfortable/happy and which makes us feel over cluttered and yucky. (see sentence about garage).

I'm glad you still have your cozy home that you seem to love. A few bowls and books...nice that makes you happy.

Robin said...

Lovely, astute comments here! YOU remind me of that blue bowl...strong, yet delicate, deep, yet gentle...
a classic...

You are an inspiration to me! How WONDERFUL to see a Suki-Post!

Love to you and Bibitty,

♥ Robin ♥


Love

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Good to see you posting again. I would unpack what ever you wanted to unpack. Why not live with what you love if it makes you happy. Life is to short so eat dessert first. :))

Karen Christensen said...

I spent years living with only what could fit into my backpack. When I finally settled in to a house I filled it with books and art and I LOVE that. Your blue bowl is a beauty and you should have it close at hand if only to admire it.

Umā said...

I think what's important is to simply bring awareness to what we acquire and what we hang on to. Forcing oneself to give up all material things too quickly because it's the "right" thing to do just causes the mind to continue grasping these objects even if the hands no longer can!

kimmie said...

I could never be a one bowler!
I'm glad you unpacked and feathered your nest a little bit .... I think there is real pleasure in that!

louciao said...

Your story brings to mind an old pop song from the 90s with the refrain "you don't have to live like a refugee." Back then, I would have it ringing around my head in response to some new plan of austerity dreamed up by my partner. I can't say his attitude has changed any--but then, neither has mine!



louciao said...

PS. I love that you are unpacking your treasures (at least some of them) and honouring the joy they bring to expressing your own taste and needs in creating an inspiring and nurturing living space for yourself. The only benefit of one bowl over multiple bowls is that one bowl involves less dusting--should one be so inclined to indulge in such an activity.

soulbrush said...

I have a lump in my throat the size of a golf ball Suki. I feel for you as we had to give away so much when we emigrated to the UK 26 years ago, and for years- yes years - I felt displaced without my silly little things around me. Now I don't collect or buy new things anymore- as I don't want to lose them again. Silly way to live really. You unpack and enjoy whatever you have and love- you can always pack it up again!!!

Annie said...

Suki, There is nothing wrong with liking to have beautiful things around you. Like you I wish I could live with just what I need, but I can't seem to do it either. I do think it is good to get rid of eveything you no longer love, this is my goal now and a much easier one to do.xoxo

BrittArnhild said...

I am home from India, busy unpacking. And of course I couldn´t resist bringing more stuff home to a house already filled with things!!!!!!
I will never be a one bowl person, but it could be good to reduce some of my collections :-)

kj said...

suki, i am glad you will have some memories and moments around you in concrete form. i know i will never be a one bowl woman but maybe a one garage :^)

i don't know how things accumulate. kind of like the mystery of missing socks.

glad always to hear from you, suki xoxo

love
kj

PeaceGardenSu said...

so good to see you here again... with blue bowl in view! <3

Laurie said...

oh my gosh I relate to this post on so many levels, been there done that sort of way, I also found I had locked some of myself away when I down sized to drastically, I found a happy medium, I kept what I only love or really need, its not 1/4 of what I once lived among, much happier now.I felt I had failed as a seeker of a more simple minimalist life, but the lesson I learned was priceless, the theory on one bowl is what started this all for me. Such beautiful way with words you have, I enjoy reading your posts, thank you for sharing,

Kelly M said...

I agree with Mystic Meanderings. Live naturally according to your own rhythms. There have been times when I enjoyed being surrounded by a lot of stuff, and times when I had less than one bowl, such as during the five months I spent hitchhiking in Europe. Now I have six bowls because I really like sharing a meal with friends in my home. But there certainly could be another period awaiting me in which I have one bowl...or none. I love my things, but at the same time I remind myself quite often that they, as my very breath is, are on loan and nothing more.