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the simple life

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Saturday, January 01, 2005

A Simple New Year

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,
to front only the essential facts of life,
and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,
and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
I wanted to live deep and suck all the marrow of life....
- Henry David Thoreau

Let me begin by wishing you a Happy New Year.

To live simply and to live deeply. That is how I want to live 2005.

I don't know about the sucking though.

To tell you the truth, I don't fully know what living simply and deeply means. (What I want to avoid is joining a "simplicity movement" and take refuge in its structures and ideas.) I'm still defining it but I suspect, at its core, it's a never-ending journey of discovery.

About life. About myself. About God.

This journey will be a huge learning curve. I'm prepared for failure and ridicule. However, the rewards might be too great for me not to try.

One of my first decisions in this journey is to re-examine my possessions.

Do I have these things or do these things have me?

There are many things I have that do not serve any useful function. Instead of being of use to other indivduals, they take up space in my apartment.

I have started giving some of my books away. In the past, I have the habit of buying books at all kinds of distributor and library sales. So I have amassed a collection, which many have not been touched, and many which seemed a good idea at that time, but now a less enthusiastic undertaking.

Giving away books is easy. It's my comics and toys and my father's ivory and crystal collection that will be a struggle.

Which is why I'm giving myself 5 years to give many of these away. Ultimately, I do want to own as little as possible. In truth, I still don't know what that means.

But I'm learning.


At 1/15/2005 02:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Thoreaus's quote. Been my favourite guy for a long time.

Mr S Tan


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