At dinner Sunday night, my friend was talking about her brother closing his business in the midst of the recession and moving south. Selling his house in the suburbs of New York and buying a bigger one in the suburbs of Atlanta for a quarter of the price. Why, another friend asked. Why did he decide to uproot his life like that?
Apparently, he had been riddled with anxiety as a young man, and had learned that the way to handle it was to simplify his life. It was all about finding a less demanding way to live. It was one of those notes I heard loud and clear. Simplify.
Two other notes I put in the hopper this weekend, as part of a movement toward simplicity, which in some way I equate with finding peace. Begin to paint again, stir the restlessness within, let color and movement take over. I have been playing with this thought for a while now, and on Sunday night, at dinner with my friends, including two seventeen year olds who are taking art classes for the summer, it crystallized. Paint. Do art. Be in the flow of creating something.
The other note, which I took from the example of my cousin and her husband, was do something for someone else. It felt good this weekend to contribute in some small way to the effort to send four young people to college. The lesson I took from it was, be of service. Do some good.