Simplicity is Not Always Best {In Which I End One-Word Titles}

"When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain."
      ~ William Shakespeare

In writing, conciseness is powerful.

Why create a muddle of needless words for readers to slog through when a few, well-chosen, would say the same thing a lot more simply? Unless you're writing poetry or free-verse, of course, and then feel free to include some fancy language and break some conventional rules.

And when it comes to blog post titles, less isn't always more. How do I know this? Because this is my 315th published post, and I couldn't tell you one thing about any one of the previous posts if you told me the title. Not that titles or blogs are that important.

There's a fine line between saying what you want to say, simply, and completely missing it. There comes a point when one word itself is inadequate. And then it's okay to find a happy medium.

It's true of writing, and in life.

I have always loved the "feeling" of condos my family stayed at on a few vacations to the South. The pictures framed on clean white walls, the sparsely decorated rooms, everything in its place, it all played upon my slight obsession with organization and tidiness, but nonetheless, the lack of "stuff" and clutter was freeing, as if in the simplicity, time breathed more slowly.

A few times, in my own home, I have walked out into the living room, with the sun streaming through the big windows onto the couch, our one piece of furniture, and had that same feeling. But usually there are piles of books and magazines, and the game we last played, and our laptops and chargers on the floor, and the kitchen table is home to various random bills whether or not there is a designated cubby, and I still haven't exactly unpacked my clothes in the closet, and we live in this house.

And when I'm tempted to wish everything looked perfect and believe peace is found in a clean house, I have to remind myself that this is real life, not vacation, and freedom has everything to do with crumbs and carpet stains and the courage it takes to open our hands from trying to cling to control.

Living simply, trying not to accumulate unnecessary stuff, staying organized, and keeping a tidy home are not bad pursuits in and of themselves, but only if there remains room to live, to kick off shoes at the end of the day and leave the mail on the table and the non-dishwasher safe pot in the sink and sprawl on the couch with the book right where you left it, to give the mess of home, and self, over to God.

Simplicity is freeing only to the point it restricts freedom.

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