Edward de Bono in his book Simplicity says:
The lazier a person is, the more likely is that person to seek simpler ways to do things.
(He might be right..)
On to Simply Beautiful - probably my favourite Category. See here, and one of my own favourite posts here.
I hope, if you have time, you will enjoy a browse through Simply Beautiful. (Scroll down to categories in right hand column.)
Does beauty sustain you?
It is almost three years since I began this blog, so I thought that over the next month or so I would review it - looking back at the different categories, to see what I have learned, and to see if my life is indeed Simpler!
I re-read the posts in the category Simple (see the list of categories on the sidebar to the right if you have time for a browse). Click here for The Many Meanings of Simple....
I hope you will enjoy!
A recent blog post by Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project reviewed research into divorced people's views on what is really important in a marriage.
It turns out that what is most important is simple kindness, affection and respect in the simple day to day encounters - covers it all really!
Read Gretchen's article here
'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.
In actual fact nothing is simple. I can remember as a quite young child it snowing, and being awestruck when my father showed me, in a childrens' encyclopaedia, photographs of much magnified snowflakes and no two were ever alike !Perhaps it is because we would be very uncomfortable in a permanent state of awe - overawed - that we seek to believe that some things are simple, and predictable. It gives us a sense of stability and permanence which might not stand up to serious scrutiny, but is probably a requirement for sanity. (Volcanic eruptions happen, as we know.)
I have just ordered 'Snowflakes' from amazon to have in the house for the children who visit, in memory of my Dad. You can see the exquisite photographs from the book at www.SnowCrystals.com I do love snow still, and am working on a painting of snow falling, seen through the large windows of a friend's house.
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....