A Beautiful Sparseness

gorgeous tote from Cuyana
April is the month most of us begin to take stock of our closets: we make choices that seem to imply more than what clothes will be packed away, which will be donated. In this part of the country, we layer so that many of our clothes are seasonless. I decided years ago to keep only what fits perfectly, is comfortable, and makes me feel beautiful and confident.

Great advice comes to us from online the Cuyana.com a site that features the Lean Closet Movement advocating buying less, but better quality goods from ethical sources. Thier blogs are helpful and inspiring!


Several years ago, I dontated about two-thirds of my clothes. It felt liberating!
I have a simpler wardrobe    but one in which everything fits well and makes me feel beautiful. I dress better because I have fewer choices. I work to practice the art of enough.

Art critic John Russell wrote of Parisians: A beautiful sparseness   was the measure of everyday life. To have too much of anything would have been a nuisance, whereas later it came to be a distinction..." 

Spring makes me roll up the rugs, clean, and set out my favorite items: smooth stones I've collected in my travels, books, and pottery (gifts from my aunt, an accomplished potter) and there is always one of the bicycles leaning against the wall where it does not belong. I contemplate an architecture of silence and light where space becomes more than just the lack.

 Out with the nuisances!

But it isn't that simple, is it? We have a complicated relationship with our belongings, especially after a lifetime of gathering. Objects have history, represent  stories, are a comforting physical manifestation of our joy and loss. We layer meanings; memento becomes metaphor.

We see this in Proust and Edmund de Waal whose fascinating book, The Hare with Amber Eyes is an exploration of "how objects embody memory."

Cognitive neurologist Tali Sharot, known for her work on optimism, informs us that our memories are not so much to remember or reconstruct a past, but to construct our futures, to imagine and prepare for what is to come.

What objects, what memories do we preserve to construct our futures? What do we need to take with us and what do we discard?

It all depends on the future you create. You create it now.

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