24 October 2005

Useful or Beautiful

When I stayed at Colleen's house, I saw the following quote on her bulletin board, "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." -- William Morris

It's another approach to non-accumulation.

Other findings that resonate with me in terms of streamlining and traveling light:
  • John December's Live Simple Site is a modern Walden.

  • Reading the article about the man who was rescued after four months of survival at sea reminded me that we can live with a lot less than we realize.

  • The September 2002 Simsara newsletter on Vipassana meditation has a reminder to be careful what you carry.

  • Sheri Hostetler's poem, "Instructions" asks what are the few things we really need to carry with us.

  • Andrew Postman's article, 'Good-bye to All That examines why we accumulate.

  • "Domestic Imperfectionist," Dan Ho, reduced his possessions down to about 55 things because he became disgusted by societal obsessions with unstudied style and trade-up-manship.

  • Doug Dyment's popular One Bag site used to have an opening page that read: How to Travel Pretty Much Anywhere - for an Indefinite Length of Time - with a Single (Carryon-Sized) Bag.

  • The backpacking light movement offers a bumpersticker that says, "He who dies with the lightest pack wins."

  • Material World photography exhibit at O'hare airport in Chicago contrasts the possessions of statistically average families from 30 countries.

  • Joan Juliet Buck determined in her article, "Stuff Happens," that her connection to the past through loyalty to her possessions meant that she was living a "scrapbook" instead of a life.
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