Living Small in a Big World

So, I was rambling yesterday about living situations and 600 square feet being too damn big.  Well, we’ve gone through a number of changes about how and where we want to live.  The ‘where’ is anybodies guess, but that helps determine the ‘how’.  For one thing, we’ve decided we favor smaller, more compact living.  Apartments do come in smaller sizes than this one, but that would involve another move into someone else’s dwelling again and I detest moving.  Again, another clue to the question of how we want to live.

Smaller just makes sense.  My wife likes to say that her favorite place to live has always been a small single room apartment plus bath.  You’d walk in the door, you see four walls and that was pretty much it.  Yet, she was happy there.  It was cozy and she had just about everything she needed, easily accessed more or less.

I find that more square footage just tends to fill up with junk.  As I look around this room, I see very few items for which I really have a need for.  I hate this room and this apartment.  Sure, we could’ve done a lot worse moving cross country into an apartment sight unseen, but it doesn’t feel like home.  There is little interest in personalizing it because it feels so temporary.  I want some sense of permanence, some coziness and some pride in making my dwelling a reflection of myself and my behavior. I think that really, technology is humanity’s most noteworthy evolutionary development like sight, gills, flight in other animals, whatever.  And, what is a dwelling other than a human’s metabolism of the natural world into an environment that suits his/her needs?  Almost everything we humans do to reshape the world around us involves some form of technology, and I think the personal dwelling is an excellent example.  The home should facilitate the personal growth of a human being.

Anyhoo, getting a little deep there.  I’m a lousy consumer.  I just can’t bring myself to buy many things anymore.  I just suck at it .  Maybe it’s because I see a sea of unwanted garbage out there, (second hand that is) and I don’t feel the need to buy new.  And, yet where did all this stuff come from?  I used to rarely hesitate to buy good quality tools that I had use for, but a lot of that came second hand too.  There are a lot of kitchen wares over there, but again, quality and practicality.  I love to collect books and I’ve been slowly downsizing that, instead using the FANTASTIC Multnomah County Library system.  Much of the rest is just houseware type stuff.  Bare spot on the floor?  Stick a rug on it!  Got a weird corner of the room with noting in it?  My uncle is giving away this chair!  A lot of our stuff came from garage sales and Goodwill.  Neat stuff that has some history and character.  There get’s to be too much of it and it makes a once spacious room feel small.  And I don’t think we’re even all that bad.  Some people in suburbia have ten times more shit and I don’t know how they live with it.  As I look around I feel trapped, not by debt or obligations, but by stuff!  I want rid of it.  I want to let it all go and simplify my life to a living space that works for me.  That’s a comfortable place that I can work on being a better me.

I want to live tiny.

M.C. Pletcher

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Posted in Dwelling, Personal, Philosophy

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