Minimalism

There has been much spouted and written about this subject but I just go on my merry way, doing what I do, being what I am, and hat is definitely not a minimalist and never would be in a hundred years.

I had a friend visit me a few years back.  She walked in the front door, stopped, looked to left and to right and made the comment “I’m a minimalist myself.”  Who cares?  She stayed for three weeks.

The things I have collected over the years are mostly beautiful and have either been given to me or I have bought them cheaply at Op Shops or even the Blayney Tip.  Some of the paintings we own have been bought from the artists who are often our friends but not necessarily.  One very large print of a painting by Hans Heysen, well framed by a reputable framer, I purchased at the Bathurst Tip Junktion for $5.00.  I love it and otherwise could never have afforded the original or even this print if the truth be known.

Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder and beautiful things going to landfill in this well over-landfilled country of ours in this age of throw away, chuck out, get rid of it, is criminal.  Our museums are full of “things” which have been kept by people who “might need them one day” because these objects were not freely available or would have cost much money and in another hundred years there will be nothing from this era for our great grandchildren to admire, laugh at or gaze at in wonderment. 

Another friend of mine lives at Jindera which has just celebrated its 150th anniversary as a town.  Their fashion parade sported gowns and creations, some of them coming from the late nineteen hundreds as well as later ones from the early twentieth century.  How wonderful.  Someone has kept these to be seen and wondered at.  A 93 year old friend of mine had her wedding dress displayed at her 90th birthday party, three years ago.  She commented “They could have ironed it!”  But it was there.

The ancient cars driven in parades, how beautiful they are.  Waiting at a roundabout this week, about fifteen MG’s of all vintages rolled past, beautifully kept, lovingly restored.  If someone hadn’t kept that old rust bucket in their paddock or shed (hopefully shed) they wouldn’t be here for us to dribble over now.

An old, strangely shaped kettle I picked up in an Op Shop who knows when, sits in my home in a place of honour.  Never having known its origins. I was fascinated a couple of weeks ago, seeing the very same thing in an old movie which had been set in Russia.  One of the actors was pouring water from it into a teapot.  It is made of brass with funny little fat legs fixed to its round bottom and a ruby red glass handle.  What a treasure.

On Instagram recently I saw a photo of part of a house and the girl, obviously in love with this place she calls home, wrote this:

“The landing leading from my bedroom and past my ‘work in progress’ gallery wall certainly isn’t the easiest part of the house to photograph and capture, but please believe me when I say that it raises my spirits and makes me smile like a teenager in love every time I walk past it.

My love of mixing new with vintage and antique may not be to everyone’s taste, but I firmly believe that every part of your home should reflect YOUR style, and make YOUR heart soar, enveloping you in a fluffy cloud of contented happiness.  For most of us, decorating a house that really reflects our own personal style can take time to achieve with a lot of trial and error in between, but when you do it over time and in stages (we’re 8 years in and counting!!), that giddy feeling of finally ‘coming home’ is second to none.  Embrace your style, do not be swayed away from the things that make your heart skip a beat - and above all - enjoy the journey!.” 

My sentiments exactly.  Not for us the blank, featureless, white walls reminding us that personality by-passes do exist.

It’s wonderful to be able to walk into a home and feel the love there.  I hope people feel that, whether they’re minimalists or not.  

I can understand young people who have not yet had a life with memories attached to it, memories they don’t want to dispose of, being minimalists and I don’t blame them.  Life in the fast lane doesn’t give time for collecting the odd treasure here and there which at the time probably means not much but which later becomes “Oh yes, that reminds me of the time…”  Like songs, which can take you back years, decades, when you hear them again.  Smells do the same, conjure up an image, a time, a place.  So too, do treasures. 

Radio National had a podcast recently about older people becoming distressed when having to give up the things around them which have become part of their lives, their memories of friends and family whom they have known and loved over many years, gifts carefully made by little hands, locks of hair.

Everything in our house has been either given to us or bought with love and is treasured.  Why shouldn’t people be able to rest their eyes on things which make them happy, things they’re interested in or things that have no other purpose than to collect dust.  I would hate to imagine them in landfill.