Textures and Details

Detail on a Jordanian kafiya. One benefit of simple living is the space it allows me to appreciate and create instances of detail, texture, and beauty moment-to-moment. I've been collecting close-ups in the form of photographs lately. Here are a few of them.

A doodle of mine.

Some will say that art, or creation, thrives in a state of chaos. Envision the stereotype of the studio piled high with canvasses filled and empty, paint brushes, scattered fruit. See the cliche of the writer behind her desk, hidden from view by books, pages, and files stacked high.

The edge of the moon viewed through a telescope on July 28, 2015.

I find that controlled chaos, or what I prefer to think of as curated or chosen chaos, is helpful for making connections that wouldn't be made otherwise, like how crashing into into someone at a packed party might help you meet a friend you would've otherwise never met.

I like chosen chaos for a certain stage in the creative process, the time when you are well into a project, deep in the jungle of it.

Detail on a pillowcase embroidered by a Palestinian artisan.

But, and here's how minimalism helps my creativity bloom, I like to start with a blank slate. My mind needs calm, an empty room, metaphorically and sometimes literally, to gain the deep serenity from which ideas arise.

If you never allow yourself the time to clean, clear, declutter, forgive, and take out the trash, traffic backs up, and with it the exhaust fumes of writer's block, burnout, procrastination, and distraction.

As scary as a blank canvas or empty page can be, you do need it to create something new.

One of my writing projects became the Simple Living Toolkit, which aims to help people reap a more joyful life by embracing minimalism. You can check it out here.