'Any fool can make things complicated. It requires a genius to make things simple'
E F Schumacher (or Woody Guthrie, depending on your source!)
There is beauty and power in something reduced to its simplest form, and that is exciting to me. Consider the powerful effect of the tree if you were sitting in this room by architect John Pawson, master of simple. It is more potent as a living thing than a whole forest of trees....simple can be strong, beautiful and exciting.
In the aptly named series Beautiful Minds on BBC4 James Lovelock creates a model which he calls daisyworld which reduces a complex theory (of our planet as a self sustaining system) to something which we, the layperson, can understand by making it simple. Simple as in comprehensible and simple as in reduced to its essence. There is beauty in that.
Beauty and simplicity are very closely linked for me, and beauty sustains me.
I 'll open another category on the blog - Simply Beautiful - where I shall occasionally post something I find exciting because of its simple beauty. Thanks Lynne.
What does 'simple' mean?
There is simple as in reduced to essentials, plain, homely, frugal, basic, - not complicated.
There is simple as in effective and efficient, economical, functioning well - not cluttered.
There is simple as in self explanatory, understandable, clear, transparent, honest - not obscure.
Simple is often used to mean natural, as nature intended, - not contrived or man made.
Simple can be sophisticated - Japanese gardens, Swedish design, minimal music - an appearance of simplicity, but richly overlaid with meaning and cultural references. Very contrived. Totally man made.
Simple can also, points out Kevin McLeod of Grand Designs 'be hugely expensive'.
Raymond Blanc talks of 'complicated simplicity' - I think he may be referring to the army of staff at his command when he creates a 'simple' dish on his new TV series!
There is also simple minded and the simpleton, not expressions often heard today.
Such a wide range of meanings for one innocent word!
I plan to take a look at what I mean when I'm referring to my own taste and preference for 'simple' in my life, and since the time is right I'll start with my garden....