Can minimalism be applied in real life?

I grew up in a household where things have been given a higher value than human sentiments. Things were gifted to show love. Things were taken to show resentment. Somehow I began to seek value in objects, for they hold such emotional significance. The desire of owning went so far I sometimes had to dig in a pile to find something I genuinely need. I put my sanctification on shopping than conversing with people. I felt exhausted, but I didn’t know what was going wrong. For I had so many things. Happiness should be just around the corner. One day, I was going through a documentary on Minimalism, and I understood where it was going wrong. Essentially a concept of recognizing the things that matter and intentionally let go of attachment towards people, objects and opportunities that have no value.

Tried and failed multiple times over the years, because of changing lifestyles, moving from a city to another, and often finding myself in the necessity of breaking free from this sudden limit. This limit frequently restricted me from pursuing certain creative projects. Nevertheless, I have periodically come back to practice it again, as it brought me a certain degree of peacefulness and helped me focus. Consumerism has normalized excess, excess of clothes, excess of food, excess of people, excess of entertainment and excess of information. Minimalism is not just physical but mental too. Not associating with toxic people, quitting habits that harm you in the long run and taking care of your physical self because they are all in the same ballpark. Concepts as minimalism and veganism have been distorted to look like quasi aesthetic cults on social media and the real notion is lost through ideas portrayed online. The idea of neutral aesthetics aids in finding balance, and shifting focus towards other problems that are crying for help.

So I came to certain conclusions. One being, minimalism does not have established rules as to how many possessions it is acceptable for you to keep since every person lives in varied conditions. Minimalism promotes not letting possessions weigh you down. It helps with mental clarity in our lifestyles where we are overcommitted to plans. It gives room to focus on personal aspirations and purpose in life. There is unparalleled freedom in being in control of your own desires and letting go of the pressure to validate yourself through owning possessions. Through physical declutter, your attention would shift to recognizing who you are, rather than what you own.

Sukanya.

Blueberry.

Unknown Painting by Joseph Zbukvic
Painting by Joseph Zbukvic

 

As I clutch his hand and walk away from school, I ask him, “Can I have ice cream later?”. He nods and strides ahead quickly, while I try catching up with him. I try to walk fast, trying to fix my brown bob and adjust my little bag on my tiny shoulders. My cheeks turned red from the winter breeze. Unable to match with his pace, he picks me up and gently places me on his shoulders.

I could see the world from there. I could view the tops of people’s heads while they passed by. I could see the buildings, the trams, the statues and trees all better. It used to be nice to not feel the distress of not being able to view places while I strolled.

My mother imagined I would be spoiled if I would always demand to sit on his shoulders. So I asked him whenever only we both walked together. Though he knew how much I loved observing, for all the drawings I made of the things I saw outside, nature I loved being present in and the peculiar details of certain personalities I saw.

I vividly remember as soon as I was placed, with each step he hummed, like a soldier marching. “Hmm, hmmm!” he sang in a deep voice as he confidently paced in synchronicity while we head towards the ice cream shop.

We arrive and he places me down, asking me to select the flavours. I was never the person who would follow suggestions. So even though my father asked me to try pistachio, I would always go for the most unusual looking ice cream colour. I pointed at blueberry and looked up at the young woman in her apron. She smiled and asked in Italian, “So you’ve picked blueberry? Any other flavour you would like to add sweetheart?” I looked around with wide eyes, examining every flavour. I could not read by then, so I could only distinguish their uniqueness with the colour or perhaps if any fruit was drawn on the placards. I nodded in negative and waited for my ice cream to be handed over.

My father was right. Pistachio is indeed worth the try. But I am glad I made my own choices. I was given the space to learn from my own experiences. He and I are uncannily similar when it comes to our wants to explore. He learns from me and I learn from him. And together we grow, understanding each other.

The lady in the apron looks at me like I am the purest form of joy breathing. Perhaps I was. My concentration was fixated upon the curiosity of tasting that blue coloured ice cream. And it was all. All the worry was there. Whether it would disappoint me, and I would have come back again some other day to try another flavour.

 

 

Calm.

Anonymous Artist

 

Cars moving in disorder,
something like the chaos in my head
but in harmony with the leaves
of branches hanging in dismay.

To seek more beauty,
I look up towards the dark horizon.
The grey clouds and the frightened birds,
shrilling across the skyline.

I’m so happy to see the world like it is,
that I would cry tears of joy.
Except I couldn’t,
and I shamed in the inability.

So nature took pity
and covered my face with tears from the sky,
soaking everything to deceive the imaginary
and explicate the real. 

The branches stopped and went to sleep,
so the people had to leave too.
But I didn’t, because I was not a dancer.
Only an observer. 

I felt happy, in that moment of stillness,
until stillness felt torturous.
And I turned towards my car,
longing to seek confusion anew.

 

Real.

493ss_thinkstock_rf_purple_bruise

Real as the purple bruises
Real as the vulnerable me
Find peace in the real you,
For being real sets you free.

 

Sukanya.

Raw

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Unknown Artist

 

 

 

Have you stayed raw lately
With your flesh still clinging to your soul
changing skins
For every excuse and rationalisation

Raw is denied, raw is abhorred
Raw is uncomplex, naked in all senses
From raw we escape
And raw we want to seek

And no, it’s not a necessity because
Sometimes you’ll pause and stare
For you’ll forget your real one
With all the masks you wore

You’ll often call the false one your own.

Until it will give an itch
And crawl up under your skin
Infect your heart
And murder your soul

You’ll realize you’re sick
Struck with a terminal disease
Life will become a nauseous ride
And plenty of time of endure

For I am raw.

 

 

Sukanya.

Work.

 

Alex Pillin.jpg
Artwork By Alex Pilin

 

The dark sheets are tangling,
and so is my spirit to keep myself awake
in the wee hours of the morning.

I have to work
and by work, I intend
lending my knowledge and substance
to thieves smiling in suits.

They call it called work.
The ultimatum of fifteen years
of dreaming with open eyes
of having the power to change.

I am being consciously robbed by society.
And my people are the accomplices
because of their worldly possessions
of talents and the ability to dream were snatched too

They want you to exchange
these treasured belongings of yours
like your gift of creating magic with sounds
or evoke feelings with mere words

for coloured paper with unmatched worth
they put a price tag on your ways of life
ask you to sell your worth

in replacement for attractive litter
calling commodities obligations of life.

You know, you know all.
Yet you prefer to blindfold your eyes
and enjoy the distress

Your real riches are validation
You celebrate sadness
Your value misery
And misery you chase to seek,
and recommend your loved ones too.

Like pills, society prescribes it
drugs themselves of ignorance.
My ancestors did it, and so will I.
I will go to work too.

 

 

Sukanya.
©reserved.

Faraway place.

I enjoy envisioning myself
unchained by fear
happy, serene
in a faraway place from
this dirty rotten place
I have to call home
I feel like I am sinking
in a vast tub of water
trying to listen
trying to catch a signal
like a sailor awaiting his destiny
I don’t know what time it is
all I know is that
I woke up too late.

 

Sukanya.

Vase.

I imagined myself as a solid vase,
having a set of true colours,
and the strength to contain
the secrets of the world.

But I am still a piece of clay,
gyrating in the hands of people
disguised as potters.

Each running a hand,
skilled or unskilled,
giving me a shape,
and a direction to incline.

Fingers are those which make me,
and break me.
Some pointing at me,
and some pointing away from me.

Unaware of my outcome,
and frightened by the potters,
I do as they say.

“Of course I cannot sculpt myself,
it’s foolish and daring.
I will rotate until
they are tired of playing.”

I contemplate.
I feel the joy of admiration,
and nightmares of crashing.

Can I be a vase?
Or is being a vase
the potter’s false dream?

 

 

Sukanya.

A woman.

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“We All Fall Down” by Aykut Aydogdu

 

Her beauty lies within the petals,
Of her nasty talks,
Her constant nagging,
And her unaccountability for things.

Her beauty lies in
her diligent persistence,
her sincere affection
her calloused hands,
and her war with herself.

She smells like soap and scent
She smells like hardwork,
she tastes like lipstick
glazed with yeasted sweat.

Her swollen joints are painless,
her womb is numb.
Her bosom is a mere show,
to which her vulnerability succumb.

The baggage under her eyes
is heavier than her burden,
and deeper than
an ocean of sorrows.

Delve deep into them,
and you can swim inside
her vast mind, and her
endless presumptions.

She can never be a equal to man.
For man cannot compete
with this bizarre creature.
He will be left behind.
She is a senseless hag
for finding joy in sacrifices.

She is a woman.

 

Sukanya.
©reserved.

 

Treasure.

Crack me open,
like a piggy bank,
or an easter egg
like an excited child.

Crack me open,
and gold will pour
out of my soul.

Find the treasure buried,
right beneath the rubble,
of a war once happened
inside my head.

Shining, glistening,
shimmering in the mind,
in the form of sweet words
and good deeds.

And once you find it,
we’ll share it in half
because I helped you find it.
My treasure.

 

 

Sukanya.
©reserved.