I’ve just finished reading Radical Simplicity: Creating an Authentic Life. My reason for reading it was simple- when searching my local library for minimalist reading material, this was the only book they had on the subject! I must admit that is a little disappointing because his isn’t quite the brand of minimalism I am aiming for. However, it was an uplifting read- he still had to get rid of a lot of belongings to live in a teepee, shed, hobbit hole etc!
I loved his explanations of simpler living, like having a fire for heat and not cooking so much. He was so much more in tune with nature than we are today, living in our hermetically sealed boxes. The most profound point I will take away from this book, is what he said about needing to work for something to appreciate it. His example is around obtaining water for his shower/ bath, needing to wait for it to heat- his shower was hard earned, long awaited and all the more sweet. In today’s world, everything is instant and someone or something else does the hard work for us. Therefore, we often don’t appreciate what we have. Ponder that thought for a while!
I was disappointed by the quality of the photos- seeing as he was once a photographer. They were all black and white- simplistic- yes, but not easy to see. I really wanted to witness more of the detail of his radical way of life.
I’ve got a few other books that I’d like to read, but they will currently have to re-side on my wish list. I refuse to buy more books, when I am trying to thin out my belongings and get rid of so many. It seems to defeat the point. Also, they are all relatively expensive and there doesn’t seem to be a second hand market for them here in the UK. This means it will be harder for me to re-coup their value if I decide I don’t wish to keep them forever and they are more expensive to buy in the first place.
I’ve been shipping out more stuff, mostly via eBay and it really is starting to feel like I’ve made a dent in my stuff! It has also occurred to me that my brand of minimalism is going to look somewhat more excessive than others. I can’t abide the thought of having bare surfaces all around. I need some well chosen objects to act as inspiration and give interest to my life.