This image of “Simplicity” is my favorite of this whole “Illumination” series. Over the years, I have had to add a daughter, a dog, a horse, other versions of cats but the basic sense of being home with loved ones, or alone, or with pets, or occasional friends or whatever has remained constant. This image is about the joy of a place on the earth where one can find shelter, sink roots, let life be safe and stable. How important and yet how fragile and tenuous for so many people on the earth.
During this time of sheltering in place I am sending out my plea for us all to become more conscious of how basic a right housing is, and how fundamental a need and a cause for widespread availability of such for all. Whether a tiny house, a community state-of-the-art co-housing operation, housing is for us all, not just the wealthy who will no doubt try to use this pandemic as an opportunity to grab more wealth in housing, further disenfranchising more people.
Okay, that’s my current rant. Here is what I wrote about this image in the original version, pre-pandemic:
Simplicity is the quality of being uncomplicated, of taking things to their most basic and pure way of being. In this image, the house provides a container for the self, a safe place where the self can unfold. The simple structure of a house with four walls and a pointed roof is like a basic foundation or building block that occurs over and over in nature; it is solid and stable. Here the house is flanked by two trees, the sun and moon, flowers, animals, and all the elements of a peaceful summer day.
In this space, there is no stress or strain; all is content. The self is at home, secure and free. Without complexity there is no sense of the burdens of great responsibility inherent in the world beyond the safe boundaries of “home”. The self is unfettered and relaxed. The red door signifies the natural warmth of the dwelling. Here is a home where the heart can dwell. The cats are natural symbols of domesticity, or soft power. Here they are in the garden, a space that is carved away from the wilderness beyond, and is ordered and comfortable.