Re: Simplicity
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2006 10:38:02 -0800 (PST)

On Feb 23, 2006, at 12:57 PM, pattymara [at] wrote:

Dear List,
(PattyMara from Tierra Nueva, CenCA coast) Thanks, Sharon, for your tender response to the question about community supporting voluntary simplicity. I especially loved the line about accepting that a mountain probably won't become a flamingo.

There have been waves of "voluntary simplicity" that we've felt in our forming days, and after move-in as well, as folks move through their life cycles and as the group soul of Tierra Nueva shifts and settles.

Thanks to PattyMara for her kind words. I wanted to share further a story and my own New Year's resolutions toward simplicity.

The Story. I was blown away on a tour of the EcoVillage of Loudoun County where in one house I found incredibly elegant simplicity. This was not by any means do-with-out simplicity but it was the height of no clutter and a striving towards comfortable elegance. Their family "religion" was graceful simplicity. Nothing was in their house because it was just there. There was not one piece of clutter anywhere. There were no doors on the closets. The clothing was hanging beautifully on hangers one inch apart, folded on shelves, or resting neatly in boxes. There was nothing in the closet that was not either worn or loved. The same was true for the whole house - no paper clutter! No piles of just stuff! But every door closed perfectly. Every molding was finished perfectly. It reeked of attention to detail. And a few beautiful things.

My New Year's Resolutions:

1. I do not have to multi-task. I can do needlework while I watch television if I want to but I no longer have to expect myself to type, answer the phone, and convince a two-year-old not to pour syrup on the hardwood floors, all at the same time.

2. I do not have to respond to all opportunities. Yes, I could do it well, and it would be fun, and lots of people would benet, and I would even get rich, but I still don't have to do it.

3. I do not have to get the report done for this or that team before this or that meeting. I can do my best but my time comes first. And my getting the report done has not once, ever, meant that the community made a decision any faster than they would if I never did the report anyway.

I'm doing pretty well on all those. The one I still have to find a solution to is paper. I swear it breeds. The piles on my desk just grow and grow. Simplicity where are you?

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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