You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it’s going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
I do tend to blabber on a bit sometimes. When it comes to art and writing, I’m something of a Maximalist (you can probably tell from the ELECTRIC title of this blog). More is More.
In art, I like Bosches and Bruegels and Chapmans, things that are apocalyptically complicated and intricate, things that you can really sink your teeth into, spend hours living in. Akira is my favourite graphic novel. I like big, stupid non-words like apocalyptically.
But I’m also a troubled half-Minimalist. I believe in a clutter-free world, clothes off the floor, books all in their right place, alphabetically or by size. I subscribe to bastardized Feng Shui bullshit, sometimes. My favourite musical genres are probably techno and ambient electronica. And while I do love me some Don Quixote or Infinite Jest, I have more fun with Harry Potter and Terry Pratchett.
In a world where over-consumption is the norm and media infiltrates every breathing second of our days, it’s becoming increasingly important to let the Minimalist out of the box. Instead of writing novels, write blog posts with as much heart and less baggage. SAve a fucking tree. Instead of conducting symphonies, sample the songs we already have and become an ambient DJ (don’t hate the DJ, hate the game). Instead of buying, buying, buying, make-do and mend. Filter the cosmic into the every-day, bite-sized portions. You can do it!
It’s not always easy, it’s not always possible. In fact, Minimalism is often reserved for the Bourgeois and the tired, rich hipster (and I in no way hide that I was lucky enough to be born “better off” than most of the world, a white, middle-class male in an English-speaking country).
This last year has seen me accumulate less than ever before. After my exchange, I began to see stuff as a burden. How can I move freely with all these books and clothes weighing me down? How can I breath stuck in a house, plugged in, for so many months?
Today, I leave most of it behind.
Because I’m going back to Spain.
I know now that I don’t need to rant and rave so much. People hear better if they’re not being shouted at (you reading this, *insert politician here*?). Like Pirsig says, we’re never fanatical about anything if we’re completely confident in it. And so despite some evidence to the contrary (a number of mind-numbingly long posts here), I will try to leave the fanaticism behind.
I know the sun will rise tomorrow. I know that that psycho-spiritual chemical-cocktail from heaven we call (big L) Love will win in the end. My big, bright, cosmic sun rises again West-ward.
Because I’m going back to Spain!
(And I will let the Maximalist out every now and then, you can bet on that. Tune in.)
Feature image: Rinzen, by Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art