I am very interested in the work of Dr. Clotaire Rapaille who has developed clear theories as to what really drives us to do what we do an why, most of the time we do not say what we mean. I find his theory fascinating and will try to write honestly and meaningfully about it in future posts.
As I said in the previous post ( Life lessons on living on a boat), we suddenly decided to dramatically downsize our lives in South Africa. We spend half the year here (and the rest in Canada, our other home), and we are in the process of moving from a large rambling house in the quiet fishing town of Hout Bay, to a very small flat in the hustle and bustle of Sea Point. Why? To reduce our carbon footprint and get simple; to live closer to my elderly parents. I am sure Dr. Rapaille could name other, not so virtuous, reasons for this seemingly spontaneous act of madness.
I arrived in South Africa a few weeks ahead of my husband, to view the new flat we had rented sight unseen ( affectionately named “the boat”) and somehow turn the space into a semblance of home for him to land into – no easy task in the week before everything shuts down for the Christmas holidays. Managed to find a guy with a “bakkie” to move the few selected items from Hout Bay home to flat, shopped my buggie to bursting point for newly defined essentials – like verrrry small kitchen gadgets and a diminuitive washing machine ( at 3 times the price of a regular size one). Picked up the Hub up from the airport on the 24th. He was travel -fatigued to the gills, and when I brought him back to his new pad I watched him wander the space in a daze. This really is smaller than we anticipated. It’s a room-for-one galley kitchen, a hold your breath bathroom and a very small living room, plus bedroom and small office. But hey, when you look out of the window at the wide open Atlantic, churning and frothing on the rocks just beyond, there is space galore. That’s the key, it’s what’s in front and not at the back that matters.
So, let the fun begin next morning with a Jewish Christmas lunch to prepare in the galley. Things I never thought about before, suddenly are smack-bang-centre. Like since there is room for just 2 saucepans, and the oven is diminutive and the kitchen counter is unusable if the washing machine is hooked up to the taps…what to feed the some-vegetarian, some gluten free, famished family about to arrive? A balcony BarBQ, salads and puds – their favorite, that’s what! Tchik-tchak (Hebrew for instant) happiness. Not only did we eat ourselves to the full, we gift-gave, and turned the living room into an overnight stay pad for our daughter Joy and her son Kieron after lung-bursting mattress blow-ups. The party went on all night.
Mom, she said with a hug leaving the disasterified boat behind her in the morning after– “I prefer it here. The energy sings in this little place”
Snip-snap-Bob’s-your-aunt, I vacuumed the entire place in a jiffie and set the boat straight. Of course this is just phase 1 of the dismantling of a life in a big house. It still needs to be packed up and disposed of, but all in good time. In the meantime, I am sitting on the deck of the boat (sea is calm) with time to read, to write to blog and to thank the universe for the great gift of a roof over my head, and the luxury to choose to be simple.
That’s the operative word – choose. I probably sound terribly bourgeois with all this goings-on about living small – there are so many people living in tin shacks in this country, so many hungry bellies this Christmas, what is this middle class woman going on about?
I don’t understand why some have and some don’t. Why my life is so blessed and there is such suffering all around me. It is a mystery to me. This I do know though – that I care enough not to take things for granted, and to consciously feel deep gratitude for all that is. I believe in Karma and cleansing the deep patterns we inherit and create in our lives. This is what I really want to write about in this blog, the insights and outsights that come upon me. To share these with my world. But first, it seems, I have to simplify my life and get real and honest – say what I mean and mean what I say. No easy task, but I invite you who reads this, to join me in the process and thank you for being in it with me.