Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Creature Comforts

On the mall side of the Hirschhorn Museum of Art.

What is your luxury? For some people, luxury is all about the earth plane: property, nice clothes, money in the bank. That makes sense to me. Earth plane luxury is a foundation, provides safety just in case. For some luxury is spacial - they like to travel around, see people and landscapes all over the earth. Health is everyone's luxury though it can't be bought or sold.

Time is my luxury. I don't work too much, and even though sometimes I think I should work like a dog, mostly I remember that life is going by right now. Saving my time until retirement might be a good plan but on the other hand I might die suddenly, like that bumblebee I saw the other day. It's hard to figure out a balance between work and time. I'm not saying I've figured out how to do it well. Oh no.

Having enough time is a creature comfort to me, like good food or clean sheets. When I don't have to rush around, I'm pretty happy. Pushing, rushing, hurrying will inevitably put me in a foul mood, elevate my blood pressure, and bring out the worst side of my personality.

So I take my time at work, with clients and between clients, while I'm cooking or cleaning, when I'm walking around taking pictures. I give myself plenty of time to sleep, eat slowly, read slowly. I even take a long time brushing my teeth. And though I have nothing in terms of earth plane luxuries (except my good health, thank you, God!) I am content.

I'm not saying my way is the "right" way to live. My lifestyle would drive many people totally nuts. It works for me. That's all I'm saying.

A makeshift rickshaw? Wow. It was small, so I wondered if it was meant to be tethered to a large dog. Also, about the rusty seat. Is that for a second rider?


Cyndy said...

My luxuries are time and travel (but not time travel, hehe). I don't have much of either right now, but I plan to in the future.

ellen abbott said...

We live similar lives Reya. things are not a luxury to me, they are just things that take time and attention and maintenance. Except art guess. when I can I will buy a piece of art, sculpture mostly and mostly ceramics. weird huh, that a glass artist collects ceramics. The amount of money we live on wouldn't support most single people but two of us live on it. In exchange, we are not slaves to any boss or spend our days inside a building with no windows. Our time and our lives are our own. I would like to travel to some far away places though but it probably won't happen.

Washington Cube said...

I try to stay in a "patience" zone and absorb the moment when I am doing those things you describe. I always felt my late father was rushing through his life, with each event being hurried along. I listen and watch a lot around me, trying to understand what it means and stay sensitive to it. I've always said having fresh, cut flowers is a tremendous luxury, but time is high on the list, if not number one. I love that rickshaw. It's art.

Reya Mellicker said...

Greetings, Cube! Long time no see!

NanU said...

Time is my luxury too. Whenever I have some it's time to indulge in the secondary luxuries - of the earth (gardening), of space (travel), and of the interior (knitting, reading, a nap).

have a joyful day!

lakeviewer said...

I hear you. I never knew how it felt not be rushed and hassled. Now that I have these comforts, I guard them with my life. Our entire American philosophy is unhealthy; but we discover that too late.

willow said...

I don't like to be rushed or pressured, either. I like my comfortable, laid back schedule. My tasks are spread out nicely through the week. Ahh.

ArtSparker said...

Good point.

The rickshaw is know, sometimes I think the only significant achievement to come out of Western civilization is duck tape. Is this too cynical?

Elizabeth said...

You are so right!
So many people are endlessly rushing about.
When I taught people often said, "What are you going to do this weekend."
I'd always say, "As little as possible."
I think Americans are so often busy busy because they get so little vacation and are always being encouraged to buy things.
They go to yoga lessons to learn to slow down.
They drive to the gym.
What price idleness? Priceless.

Bee said...

These lines of poetry are always in my head:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
(W.H. Davies)

I have to fight against the cult of constant activity and accomplishment. I'm fortunate, though, that my husband works hard enough to ensure that we have security on the earth plane. (My Capricorn nature could care less about many luxuries, but does crave earthbound security in terms of housing!)

Whitney Lee said...

I never thought about time as a luxury. I abhor having to rush; like you stated it tends to make me crabby. I know that there are plenty of people who actually thrive on what I term the 'White Rabbit Syndrome' (I'm late, I'm late...). I have always attributed my lack of desire to zip around busily and never take time for myself to be a combination of laziness and selfishness. I much prefer your take.

Reya Mellicker said...

Duct tape is worth its weight in gold, no doubt about that!

I think the rushing around is kind of fun or lots of fun for many people whose metabolisms function completely differently than mine. I salute them - but - I am not built that way.

Variety is the spice of life!

Joanne said...

Time definitely rates. Another luxury for me is when someone else does the cooking.

Whitney Lee said...

You left a comment saying you work with a lot of pregnant women. I'm wondering, do you have any tips for pregnancy related sciatica? I didn't have this problem first go round so I'm a bit clueless, not to mention frustrated. Thanks.

steven said...

hi reya - luxury for me is about care. i have a friend who i eat dinners with once every few months. she knows food really well, she knows wine really well. so it is an amazing reminding journey to slow down and look at all that went into a meal. then to taste it. it always ends in joy. i have a friend who loves books (two friends like that actually). they write down wickedbeautiful passges and read them back to me. they remind me to slow down and really feel the words that were chosen from so many to be together in that particular combination. i could go on. but the essence is time. slowing down time to almost non-existence. to expand the moment like a soap bubble and then let it float away. that for me is real care. when your experience of a moment becomes everything. that's a luxury i seek at every opportunity - that's a luxury i'm hoping my boy and my girl will pick up on and dive inside. i wish you a peaceful evening in dc reya. steven

Ronda Laveen said...

Time is definitely a luxury. I'm a hit the ground runnin' kind of girl. I'll work a 12-13 hour day so I can take the next one off. A weird kind of balance but it works for me.

I'll second Cube. I adore fresh cut flower. Heck, any kind of flowers or greenery really.

Reya Mellicker said...

Steven you are truly so wonderful. I hope we get to sit down, have dinner and a glass of wine sometime or another, with other bloggers would be even better.

Ronda I can not work all those hours in a row. When I used to do 5 or 6 clients a day I was totally fried. Now I work on four clients only per day. You are mighty!

debra said...

Time. Time in the studio. Time alone. Time to read. When someone else makes me a cup of coffee---with steamed milk and the foam.

Nancy said...

We are learning what a luxury time is. I agree with your whole attitude - time is passing and why would you want to work the whole time? Enough is perfect.

My luxury? A soft bed with nice bedding and down pillows.

That rickshaw is so funny! I do think it is intended for a second seat. :-)

Rachel Fox said...

Time to think...that's all I ask...time to think.

Barbara Martin said...

Luxury is whatever one thinks it to be. Love that last photo, Reya.

Steph... said...

I agree to this. My greatest asset is my time and I make the most out of it.