I helped a friend move yesterday. Which isn’t strictly true – I actually provided transport for a docile feline plus owner and a few assorted fragiles deemed to be too delicate for transportation on top of a bumpy truck.
The space into which the objects were moved was a demonstration of the art of the possible. Quite a small collection of boxes, bags and the paraphernalia with which we all surround ourselves, sat, somewhat forlornly, in a pile in the centre of the main living room which was beamed, with ornate faux antique light fitments. The empty space seemed constricted emotionally, void of content and breath, soulless, if you will, an empty husk from which a previous incarnation had departed. The new owners will over the next weeks fill it with light, joy and space, infusing the walls with their personalities.
I’m conscious of the fact that I myself am occupying the smallest space I have lived in for the last four years. The predominant colours are a dirty mushroom and brown, doubtless chosen to satisfy what the owner believes to be strong, masculine, efficiently unfettered taste. It’s rather like living in a luxurious hotel suite. The hard furniture is black, faux IKEA (if such isn’t a tautology) and functional – my grey display shelving fits in well. I no longer have a cat, but a patchwork cat blanket sits on the floor in renegade challenge to the austerity of the rest, which I have to confess, I quite like. It’s strange. I always thought of myself as minimalist and it really doesn’t get much more minimal, but i think I have to revise definitions a little. White leather furniture with three picture windows overlooking the ocean, bold Rosenborg landscapes on the walls plus a spotless terrace with a single potted palm is more in line with the clean perpendicularity of my mind, so my external view of a wall pockmarked with air conditioning units somehow doesn’t quite cut it, and makes me feel a bit gnomish.
Should I develop antisocial dispositions and a taste for reruns of American series, I hope my friends will have mercy on me and invite me out to get some vitamin D and practise my English.