As kind of a follow-up/response/thought sprung from this post, I want to talk about my Stupid Expensive Needle Case.
Like I said in my comment over there, of course hammers bring me joy. I love smashing things. Sure, I could use a non-hammer object, but put a real steel and wood hammer in my grip and woe to all nails and likely looking windows.
(I kid. It’s been a long time since I smashed a window on purpose. And said window had it coming, but that’s a story for another day.)
My Stupid Expensive Needle Case also brings me joy. Maybe I use a hammer once a week, but four our of five days I’ll be faffing about with that needle case.
I could just stick my needles in a piece of washi paper. I hear the thread-inclined chortling in the audience. Yes, this is actually a bit dangerous. I could keep them in a vial or a pincushion; even a less expensive needle case from a craft store.
Mine was was handmade by someone who used a branch from his own yard and input from his beader neighbor. It doesn’t rattle, it’s never cold and the top isn’t so stiff I have to wrench it around. When I leave it on the table, it looks like it’s supposed to be there. Hell, it fits in better than my lamp.
In the end, it’s just a tube with a lid. But, it’s a tube that does exactly what it is supposed to do and well. I might not think of it as having energy, but I think of it as being perfect for its job as well as something that brings me joy. Not hammer joy, but something much more subtle.
As some of the audience has likely gathered, I’m not exactly a spiritual person. In the world of myself lies an inimitable quiet. I am only ever kind of among the divine when my fingers fly over something I’m making, be it a necklace, a story or a Flatbear Blown In On The Northerlies. Maybe sometimes a broken window, but only if the window’s really deserving of its fate.
Sometimes, you need the things you need to get your work done. A frying pan is not a hammer. Sometime, look at your favorite artists’ in-progress pictures: you’ll see the same boards or brushes. I’ve met people who can only write in dead silence and people who can only sleep with the TV tuned to C-SPAN. Makers of the world are just a bit more vocal about our material investments, but we are all a bit selfish with the tools of our trades. They are, or should be, our joys and no one should ever feel guilty about it.
Western Minimalism (as a life-concept, rather than a mode of fiction) is very much about lauding people for their amount of empty space. It’s not actually about enjoying the things we need, be they, well, things, or even people. In fact, I would suggest Western Minimalism has a deep-seated hatred of people. People sometimes love shiny stones. They have needs and occupations which require equipment. Then again, I would do my best not to judge someone who wanted empty space as their thing that they had. Their needs are not my needs.
That said, I will stop celebrating my needle case only under pain of serious injury. I need something to admire when I stab myself in the hand for the 110th time, you know?