Planet Haolewood

A toolbox, a change of underwear, and a surfboard.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Simple Life?

It was never a conscious goal of mine to simplify my life but that is the direction it has gone and I find that it suits me. I’m not in a relationship. I own no property. I’m fortunate enough to have a job that requires hard work while I’m at work, but demands little of my attention when I’m done. I dispatched with many of my possessions and left others in my parents’ basement and I moved somewhere underpopulated and far away from just about any other place. I didn’t seek any of these things; that’s just how it worked out.

It’s remarkable how simple my life has become. Sometimes the biggest decision I make in a day is which surfboard I want to take out. I sleep well at night. Even in the tsunami dreams I’ve been having lately I can see the danger clearly and seem to be able to get to higher ground without much trouble. Life is slow paced on Kauai. Sometimes after work the whole crew just sits down on the plastic chairs under our sun/rain shelter and hangs around. No one’s in a hurry to get anywhere.

It’s been said many times and many ways that acquiring more things is but a dead-end off of the pathway to happiness but I find myself inclined to chime in anyway. Having less things is not only just as good. It’s BETTER. Life in Hawaii supports that position. Almost every social situation is casual and the weather doesn’t change much so you don’t need many clothes. Things you do have tend to get rusty or mildewed so it’s really more trouble than its worth.

Just how simple CAN life get? And how simple would I want it? My life may not always be this simple. Things happen after all and I might even make conscious choices that make my life more complicated. Wasn’t it the Buddha that said desire is the source of suffering? Getting what we desire doesn’t bring us peace because there is always more to desire. It’s only in letting go of desire that we can find peace. I wouldn’t say that I feel at peace with my simple life; I feel a little bit uncomfortable actually. I’m not really used to it. But I’m working on it.