Thursday, 28 May 2015

Transition kit

Komorebi as viewed from the big house. I like these photos taken with my laptop – the second one looks like an impressionist painting!   :0)

A bit earlier in the Spring.

Thinking about kit as transitional.

Let me unpack that.

When Komorebi first came about, I furnished it as if it were a house. I actually got a surprising amount of stuff in. I had a bed and a table, a chair, two big sets of shelves (one built in by the Badger, and a bookcase) and a coffee table. Thinking about it now, I can’t imagine how I wodged it all in. But I did.

I had loads of crockery and cooking things, a lot of clothes – sweaters, t-shirts, home-made skirts, underthings, multi-socks; lots and lots. I had a whole long shelf of books, a number of ornaments, hats, several pairs of shoes, all kinds of things. And they all went in, quite tidily. It wasn’t a mess. But it did go mouldy. Komorebi, under the trees at the bottom of the garden, gets fairly damp.

And then I got health issues as well, so I moved everything back into the house. Well – I gave most of it away; the furniture, much of the books and crockery and cooking things, the ornaments. And for a long time I wasn’t in Komorebi much.

Then I tried again, with a camping mattress but not taking my clothes there. That was okay, but I also needed the camping mattress for when the Badger was home and we were sleeping in his attic. Having my things divided between Komorebi and the big house meant everything I wanted always seemed to be somewhere else and I was forever shuttling back and forth, sometimes carrying a large green mattress. So for a long time I just gave up and thought about it.

Then I discovered the whole idea of extreme minimalism, and did a lot of reading about people who own very few things or live out of one bag. This really appealed to me.

I spent a while acquiring and ditching stuff in an uncomfortable ebb and flow of . . . what? Self-definition, I think. Acquiring the outfits and belongings that would tell me who I was. How strange. In this process, I eventually began to notice actually who I am, as distinct from other people’s cultural habits I had borrowed to wear for the time being. I find I like short hair, because it’s easy and I like my earrings. I like quiet clothes in dark colours and stretchy fabrics, preferable easy to wash and quick to dry. I like extremely comfy shoes. And I get cold easily so need warm layers. As a young woman I liked flappy, floaty clothes, but now I am older and my body is flappy and floaty all by itself, deconstruction is no longer the advisable keynote of anything in my wardrobe. After a while, a bit like a blockage giving way in a rodded drain, the clothes that were really me formed a natural discard pile, and I was left with things I always feel comfortable in, that don’t make me feel conspicuous or bad about my ageing body. I feel good. And there aren’t very many of them, just a drawer/shelf, plus some going-out things on a hanger. Likewise, shoes that I liked but made blisters, or looked good but felt uncomfortable, walked away, leaving me with the capsule wardrobe ideal of the small number of things that work for every conceivable occasion. Brilliant.

Then, having minimized my belongings, I began to feel I could make dividing my life between Komorebi and the big house work again. Because I missed the stars and trees, the night animals on the veranda, the quiet and peace.

But an odd thing happened. Living in the house had created a sense that life without furniture is lonely, miserable and unrealistic. I knew things go mouldy in Komorebi, so I cunningly equipped it with a carp fisherman’s chair and a large carp fisherman’s bed. I also got a double sleeping bag, because I feel a bit hemmed in, with a single one. I got a cheerful garden/beach mat for the floor.

All that is very comfortable.

But it also fills up all the space. Komorebi is very small, only about 9ft x 7ft. I keep having to move things about according to daytime or nighttime use, and the rug therefore gets rucked up. In the earth as viewed from space perspective, this is not of profound importance; but it still annoys me. I like my environment simple and good to go. Kind of immediate.

Also, with a bed and a chair and a mat in Komorebi, what I don’t do is clean. And cleaning is what ensures a spider-free environment. Also, a helpful response to the damp is to treat the wood more frequently than one otherwise might (not with vile chemicals, I mean; with fragrant oils). And of course I don’t do that either if it means lugging furniture about.
So I shall go back to the mattress on the floor (which is what I have in the big house too). The chair is for the Badger rather than me, and he has one in his woodworking emporium right next door to Komorebi, so he can bring that in when he comes to share a cup of tea with me. But that isn’t very often. Mostly his base is the big house.

What interested me particularly is that gathering kit seemed to attach to transitional moments – like stuff gave me courage to make a change. Once the change is made, I find I don’t need the stuff after all. I think I can save a lot of money if I remember that.


Patricia Yandell said...

That new haircut is amazing on you. Something that I thought might interest you happened to me today. I was having a blood test and the nurse said,"I like your cross". I said a polite thank you. (the cross is a Tao wooden one with a carving of what is meant to be St. Francis kneeling before the cross but to me looks like a dancing Jesus. She also remarked on a "gold" virgin and child I wear that I picked up in Austria(it is like a gold icon is style ~ very different an I don't think it is gold. Anyway what really struck me was her comment as I left, "They look at home on you." I have no idea why I am telling you this but it made a huge impression on me.
And I still think your hair looks amazing.!

Pen Wilcock said...

Thank you. :0)

I googled to see if I could find any pics of a Tao like yours, but couldn't - I found some wonderful versions of it though!


Patricia Yandell said...

There is one on an Italian site. I will have to take a picture sometime

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Pen, just wondering if you have tried a hammock -either free-standing or affixed to the walls - in Komorebi?

Pen Wilcock said...

Hammocks are wonderful. The thing is, for an adult hammock, a greater space than Komorebi is needed - and Komorebi is only, in terms of its structure, a normal garden shed, with insulation and inner cladding. The walls are not sturdy enough.
I did have a hammock - Buzz has it now, for summertimes in the garden. This one:

xx :0)

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

That hammock is awesome! <3

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx

Anonymous said...


Pen Wilcock said...

Oh yes, some of those are good!