Nov 20, 2010

Considering The Lilies

My new living room

I dwell in a pink and white, shabby and chic mindset. My favorite magazines are Romantic Homes and Romantic Country. I am drawn like a moth to a candle to frilly, lacy fabrics in impractical white's or ecru's. I love china with rose patterns. I like candle light and fresh flowers in crystal vases. If I had money I'd be armed and dangerous in a Rachel Ashwell aisle.

However, I have three children, an emotionally disturbed cat, an enormous fluffy dog who has a wee wee behavioral problem, a three-legged frog and a kuhli loach. There is nothing , I repeat NOTHING frou-frou about the critters I dwell with.

When the cat peed on the arm of the love seat (no, never before!) call it a road to Damascus revelation or a gestalt shift. Call it anything you like. All I know is that I looked around my bare naked living room and suddenly realized something.

I liked it. I liked it a lot.

Two of the most beautiful memories of my fairly uninteresting life were touring Lancaster County Amish farmland and the Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts.

There is exquisite beauty in simplicity.

Jesus knew this. You'd probably never know this unless you study His words as He's been given a bad rap by too many over the years but if He dwelt on earth today He would probably be embraced as the numero uno guru of today's minimalistic movement.

Case in point: "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these."

How true.

The words of the Shaker hymn Simple Gifts have been swirling around in my newly minimalistic head all week. It was a relatively unknown song written by Shaker Elder Joseph in 1848 until Aaron Copland introduced it to the world in his musical score for Martha Grahams ballet, Appalachian Spring, first performed in 1944.

Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

The Shakers were known for their taking in of orphaned children, celibacy and simplicity. Heck. I'm already two-thirds of the way there in my current life style.

I do believe I may be coming around right.

To listen to the song go here


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9 comments:

chickory said...

i understand this and love that lillies passage. I like the flea market style magazine because i have a flea market budget. and if you are arty, you can do a lot to upcycle a good find. however, i agree that a more minimal home is a good thing. clutter taxes the mind and makes it harder to focus. and then there is the matter of dusting a home with 50 million knick knacks. i say NO!

glad you are feeling better!

chickory said...

forgot to tell you - my best buddy here has a Pyr. WHat a cool dog. her name is Hannah. Betty takes her to her ceramic shop every day. Big as she is, she had never broken a thing. great dog. and so pretty. (as is yours)

Elizabeth said...

I love the Shaker simplicity, too. Alas -- it eludes me as far as clutter, books and papers go --

Zoey's mom said...

Simple is under rated.

I long to simplify and although I am highly organized in an obsessive over the top kind of way and nothing gives me more of a charge than purging stuff,I long to simplify the clutter within my head.Prayer might be a great place to start.Dusting off that yoga mat might be another idea.Still searching.

Love the look of your new space.Grace and faith ... two of my favorite words.

Jennie said...

This song and "I'll Fly Away" have always been my faves. I was a fan of dear old Martha's piece to the song as well.

I think I ended up with (stole) a cassette tape that you bought at the Shaker Village? Strangely enough, that and the Dirty Dancing soundtrack were probably on the top of my most played list.

I like the new look.

Jennie said...

Holy cow!! I had to look up what a Khulie Loach was. Does that mean speedy is still alive?!?!

SECRET PEPPER PERSON: said...

Yes! Speedy is STILL alive. I can hardly believe it my self

Michelle said...

It looks awesome.

Island Rider said...

Will you send me your address, please? I made you something and want to send it to you. cslu1@aol.com Thanks.