Although our borrowed cabin in the country was not quite as spare as Charlotte’s Web author E.B. White’s enviable makeshift work space (in his boat shed overlooking Allen Cove in 1976, pre internet), we are refreshed by going minimal for a week, in nature and quiet.
We were so intrigued by White’s utterly simple, focused space, that we browsed some of his essays. We were amused and heartened to read of White’s eloquent stuggle with “stuff” in “Goodbye to Forty-eighth Street:
For some weeks now I have been engaged in dispersing the contents of this apartment, trying to persuade hundreds of inanimate objects to scatter and leave me alone. It is not a simple matter. I am impressed by the reluctance of one’s worldly goods to go out again into the world. During September I kept hoping that some morning, as if by magic, all books, pictures, records, chairs, beds, curtains, lamps, china, glass utensils, keepsakes would drain away from around my feet, like the outgoing tide, leaving me standing silent on a bare beach. But this did not happen…
…a six-room apartment holds as much paraphernalia as an aircraft carrier. You can whittle away at it, but to empty the place completely takes real ingenuity and great staying power.
It seems like “stuffism” is an age-old and enduring challenge, and White’s solution was, simply, to take himself “out” of it to write and think. We’ve found that can work wonders.
via Cabin Porn
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