Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Simple Life Abandoned

Do you ever get so sick of everything that you just wish that you could forsake it all for chopping wood or making boxes? Our lives are so abstracted and complex because we make them so. We analyze everything. We construct everything. Nothing can just be, for our worlds are complicatedly interconnected. We rely on so many things and have no earthly idea what life is like without electricity, streets, automobiles, even grocery stores. We need the people who build grocery stores, grow the food that fill them, transport the products to them, and power the freezers so the food is edible. We don’t know them, but we need them. Most people have no idea how to live without community. Few even have an interest to try.

Is life better in our world of two-hour commutes, skyscrapers and consumer research? There are people out there who know more about us and our habits than we ourselves know. Information is everywhere. Privacy is shrinking. So really, is our life better with microwaves and cell phones and the Internet? Are we happier than our forefathers? Or is life just faster and busier?

The first question I posed wasn’t mine, but one from a PhD researcher here in the office. Seemed ironic that he would ask me that when he is one of those who analyze our habits and the complicities of modern life; the complicities that some days I just wish would disappear. He is one of the ones that provide information to big corporations about us – the consumer – so we can then be provided with more perfect means to have a further complicated life.

I think that I would happily forsake central heat and air for a Little House on the Prairie existence. I hear a cabin in Montana calling to me. I honestly believe that I would be the happiest person alive; living off the land with a cabin I’ve filled with books, my piano, a typewriter and plenty of reams of paper.

Have you ever longed for simplicity? Or do you happily assimilate every modern convenience into your existence while eagerly awaiting the next?
- Crazy/Hip Blog-Mamas +