George Carter
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The Call of Extreme Minimalism

| Saturday 25th November, 2023

It keeps calling to me… Diogenes, with his blanket and bowl (and latterly just his blanket)… the call to see what we really need in this world.

There was a point in my life a few years ago when I only had 72 items for personal use. And unlike some extreme minimalists I didn’t count my keyring as one item – no, each key and the ring itself was counted.

I had very little, and things got very simple.

But I did have a lot of shared things. The 72 didn’t include a bed and bedding. It didn’t include cookware, crockery, cutlery.

It didn’t include tool sets used for maintaining the house. These were all shared items and it would not have gone down well well if I’d discarded them.

It also didn’t leave room for thriving. Since allowing my belongings to increase again I’ve got a wonderful desk with awesome speakers. A high quality microphone and audio interface for recording voice-overs. A wonderful bouzouki for playing the folk clubs.

Part of me wants to ditch it all (or a good chunk of it) and keep maybe a ukulele and a laptop.

But another part of me enjoys the thriving, enjoys the abundance of having nice (and useful) things around me.

My lucky knot bracelets remind me that it’s not black and white – the magic lies somewhere in the middle. And so I surf that place where I don’t really get to live any ideal.

But of course there is always the option to disappear in a van once in a while with almost nothing – to live that Spartan life for a bit, but with the option to return to the belongings that are sitting in a house somewhere, or storage if necessary.

This is the start of an adventure and I’m not sure what shape it will take yet. And that’s fine.

I don’t think, though, I will be ditching all my nice things.

We will see.



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