my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?

6.15.2006

Living Lightly

Sometimes when people come at me too fast, or too hard, or I'm in the vicinity of individuals who are so obviously on the make, acquisitive, grasping, aggressive in their viewpoints and eager to persuade -- no, roll over -- me ... my hackles absolutely rise.

I can feel the fine down on the back of my neck go up, and I understand exactly how Bucky feels if a stranger comes into his yard.

I don't know if my territoriality in terms of needing psychic space is unusual, or if others have this same kind of requirement for a certain distance between them and others ... but I was hyperaware of it this week, when I kept lunch appointments in what we Seattleites like to call downtown.

You know, Seattle is urban, but it isn't that urban. We're a city, but not a metropolis ... and yet, there is such a difference in the feel of the inner city versus outlying neighborhoods.

It's different in the way people move, the density of traffic, the pace of activity. I spent some time today in Pike Place Market, ordinarily one of my favorite places in town. A farmers market, it is so colorful, there is so much to see, to buy, to eat ... so much going on. But today, it was just rife with tourists. Wall to wall with people who probably felt the way I did when I first visited Pike Place, kind of overwhelmed and overstimulated. The place buzzed at a faintly uncomfortable pitch. I didn't enjoy it so much.

I wish they could see it on a rainy day in winter. That's when it's best. All the color is still there, but it's quieter and people are more thoughtful, more truly interactive. You can talk to the stallkeepers and they actually see you, it's not all flash and grab exchanges of goods and money.

And you don't feel so impinged upon ... there's not such a heaviness of being, pushing in on your own.

My thought for this post is a corollary to this need for room. The need for the lightness of being ... that I want to live lightly, not aggressing upon others nor being aggressed upon. Not continually absorbed in acquisition of the next ... whatever.

I like the idea of moving quietly through life, having just what you need, no more or less.

It's a kind of minimalism that becomes more appealing to me all the time. The idea of owning a few, very beautiful, things ... that is the credo actually: own nothing that is not beautiful, or useful, or both.*

The world is often too much with us. And we needlessly encourage incursions into what could be, and should be, space. Just space. Space full only of spirit -- not stacked with stuff or crowded with those who want to sell us stuff or packed with those who have such a need to push themselves upon you.


* "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." William Morris


Today's fragrance: The rose, jasmine and woods of Sonoma Scent Studio's Sensuel, layered over the rose and jasmine Fever lotion bar from Lush. I'm snout-deep in rose/jasmine hog heaven.


photo of Post Alley at Pike Market by Tom Frank Posted by Picasa

9 Comments:

Blogger katiedid said...

"I wish they could see it on a rainy day in winter. That's when it's best. All the color is still there, but it's quieter and people are more thoughtful, more truly interactive." So true, and better yet, on a rainy day the colors reflect off the wet pavement and stones like smeared watercolors running up to meet your feet.

4:03 PM

 
Blogger mireille said...

that's so pretty, katie. And vividly accurate. xoxo

4:07 PM

 
Blogger Fred said...

When I worked for WAMU, I had to travel to Seattle at least once a month, sometimes two. Without a doubt, it is one of the most inviting cities in the U.S.

4:22 PM

 
Blogger WinterWheat said...

Authenticity, I think that's what you're driving at. During tourist season, the place becomes a caricature of itself. Such a shame.

7:10 PM

 
Blogger Kate said...

I like this post a lot. :-)

8:05 PM

 
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

Really, a beautiful description of the city and the feelings.
You're not alone either. I am not fond of shopping or crowds for some of those reasons you mentioned.

2:05 PM

 
Blogger Laura said...

The older I get, the more I feel exactly the way you describe yourself. We know more who we are, what we want and what we definitively do NOT. Then there's arranging our days and lives to accommodate what we've learned. Stay away from tourist havens when we can. Claim our own places and times. I like this post, M.
L(lines)

6:58 PM

 
Blogger Logophile said...

I love the Market and the whole downtown area, but not in tourist season. I share your feelings on that. I took a friend who was moving here through in mid-June last year and found myself repeating, "It's better in the offseason" quite a bit.
However, in general,
I find I have such an abundance of space and quiet, because of a spouse who thrives on both, that there are times I positively long for some bustle. But the minimalistic idea appeals to be as well.
It is a challenge to raise children with a minimalist sensibility without creating a sense of deprivation. It is a balancing act we continue to work on because we do believe it is important for the enviroment, our fellow humans, and even more importantly, a healthy soul and heart.

7:38 PM

 
Blogger puppytoes said...

we have always vacationed in "off-seasons"... and sought out quiet places (off the beaten path) in which to live. our kids used to complain because, as we moved around the country, we'd alway choose homes surrounded by trees, instead of other houses. now they thank us for providing them with what ever slice of nature we were able to find!

beautiful post! as for scents of roses mingled with jasmine? mmmmmm. that *is* heaven! i can close my eyes and smell it from here! xoxo

7:57 PM

 

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