Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tis a gift to be simple

The title comes from an old Shaker hymn,
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

Probably my first introduction to living simply, aside from being raised by depression-era parents, was as a teenager, visiting the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, Ky. It was a revelation that less stuff could make life more enjoyable and free the mind for pursuits other than acquiring, and then maintaining that which we acquire.  Shakers created beautiful furniture.  We've all had Shaker-style cabinets and chairs at one time or another, haven't we?  They did not procreate, thus the decline in Shakers.  And, they shook, or danced and spoke in tongues-early Holy Rollers.

But, I digress.  I've been following a new blog, To simplify and the title reminds me of that old hymn.  Not that he's living an Shaker life but on a scale of simple compared to most Americans, he's off the charts.  And he makes great music

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