Have few desires.”
My roots come from Europe and while walking through the grand palaces of King Ludwig or Louis, I can see from where my decorating sensibilities have evolved. Color on the walls, clusters of artwork, shelves of “things” that some might call knickknacks. Similar to any of my friends houses as I fit the trend of my fellow European Midwesterners.
Yet, I’ve always been drawn to the Southeast Asian sensibility. Clean lines, crisp colors, clutter free. Platform beds, shoji screens, tasteful sculptures. Simple. Tidy. I’m as equally drawn to the teachings of simplicity of their religious wisdom. Lao-Tzu, Dhahli Lama, and Buddha, as they preach about release of want concerning the material world. I practice meditation in attempts to make order of the chaos that Western Society projects.
We learn it young, this chaos factor that creates stress and panic in our lives. Competitive ball games, endless activities, packed schedules. Then, there’s the race for things. New IPad, better TV’s, fancier cars, bigger houses, more toys. To purchase all the new fangled stuff, we work harder and put in more hours, so that we can sit in front of the new computer that is just so cool. Children have entire rooms dedicated to their toys to entertain them because, let’s face it, we adults are far too tired to take them on a bike ride. And there’s always more work tomorrow so we’d better rest up. There’s a new iPhone coming out next month that looks amazing!
I have been caught in the trap, not only trying to keep up, but keeping up with married couples who have double the income and double the time to devote. I’m exhausted.
Last week, I traveled to my “new” hometown where my son and I will be moving. While I was there, I visited two houses that cost less than half what mine does currently. It also has half the space and half the yard. Which means half the work on all levels. Simplicity. I yearn for it. On the 9 hour drive home, I allowed myself to begin decorating my soon-to-be new pad. While my imagination was taking wings, I asked myself one question.
What would be the environment that would best influence my writing? This is important since I’ve decided to work only part-time and really put effort into being published.
Chaos rules my life, not just in the things that I work to own and then maintain, but perhaps a bit because of my ADD as well. While discussing management techniques with my counselor, he asked me what my house was like. I told him about each different room and how cool they were, to which he nodded with a raised eyebrow. When I returned home that night, I saw what he was imagining. The kitchen was celery green. The laundry room chocolate brown. Living room was moss green. Entry way orange. Bathroom was a lovely shade of, what my son called, swamp green-blue. I’ll stop there.
Disjointed and chaotic. ADD. And I haven’t even begun to discuss the stuff.
I have a new plan for my house that is cohesive and clean. Clutter will be kept to a minimum. Furniture with simple lines. And only one color will dominate any of the house. I might even study up on feng shui, just to be safe. Foo Dogs are a must and I’ve already started shopping.
As a writer, the environment in which I work impacts my story. One aspect I’ve always struggled with is finding a calm, cohesive string of words. Many times during rereads, I shake my head and simply start again because the tangent wasn’t as clear as I intended. As Jack Kerouac said, “One day I will find the right words and they will be simple.” It’s stories told simply that can have the biggest impact.
What is your writing environment like? What effect does it have on the way you tell your stories?