On a walk tonight the Big Dipper is clearly visible as I round the corner of my street going down Maureen Drive. I keep glancing up at it every few seconds and then wander off in thought. I’m thinking about this astronomical anomaly, the chances of it occurring so vividly and right in front of my eyes. Simply put, it looks very artsy on the edge of the tree line. And the crickets, well, they have their effect too.
But even more than the stars and their arrangement is simply being outside and walking. Some insist there’s no point to this activity—going for a walk. “What does it accomplish?” or “Where are we going?” they might ask. Everyone has their own prerogative, and everyone has their own mind. And a mind is just a body really, at least that’s what I learned a long time ago in Philosophy class. I argued the point but it really does seem inconceivable to think about it as anything more or less. Still, the mind can show you a way, and you can will your way to discover something about space, not outer-space, just the space you’re living in.
Of course, not everybody cares about this. The idea behind the movement is more than just exercising your body, it’s exercising your mind and putting yourself in a new seat when you get back to your house, or apartment, or trailer park, or wherever you call “home”. Really you just want to get to that point where you’re creating a stimulus for yourself, which is harder to accomplish when you’re being a couch potato.
I find it interesting because when I get back to my house after a long walk, or run, or whatever, I’m reorganizing things, switching things around, changing things in my home for whatever reason. The space has changed for me. I need to make adjustments. I need to simplify not just because looking out into the vastness of space has made the miscellanies around my house frivolous or unimportant. It has just made them…different. They are in fact a part of my mind, whether I like it or not. Why is the chair there? The area rug takes up too much space. The book shelf should be closer to the sofa. Things like that.
Whatever the case, the functionality of the space is what’s important. I can’t tell you how much I love a simple, functional design that does not need to be altered much. The room can breathe, and you can breathe in it, and perhaps stay there for eternity and nothing will change.
But then again, who would want that?
When I’m in someone else’s apartment or house or whatever, I feel like I can literally see inside their mind, however convoluted that space may be. How is everything arranged? The desk is near the window. There’s no area mat. There’s too much clutter. I’m not going to ever tell anyone else what to do with their space, it’s their burden and theirs alone. I’m not going to let my space be compromised. I will definitely point out what I think should be changed. I might hint at some things. But at the end of the day, it’s their space and they need to interpret it in the best way possible and nobody can ever show someone else how to interpret something that is believed to be arbitrary.
Perhaps that sounds a bit selfish. It’s not. I don’t think it is. I just think it’s human.
The clutter itself may come from a variety of sources. History. Past events. The inundation of the mind has things that won’t go away and so they have manifested themselves into the home, into everyday sight where they become commonplace and dare I say “useful”.
Why do people only redecorate every couple of years or so? It’s kind of scary. The refusal to get rid of personal belongings that don’t mean anything anymore, things that are taking up way too much space (in the most relative sense), these are things that are part of the human condition.
One of the more important questions I’ve come up with recently is: Are there more stories in a highly decorated house or one that is seemingly simple, with a bare minimum of essential items?