When I clicked on this link, I thought that it would be some interesting discussion on the idea of clutter in one’s life. I was right — it was interesting — but not in the way I thought it would be. Watch the 2 minute clip from Minnesota Public Radio below:
Not familiar with James Ellory? Check him out on Wikipedia (wearing, interestingly enough, one of the three suits he describes in his talk).
Now – I talk a lot about minimalism, about reduction of needs and wants, and especially reduction of stuff. Does this mean that I’m seeking to attain minimalism levels like Mr. Ellory? Absolutely not.
If you can’t tell from the short clip above, Mr. Ellory is a strange man. This is proabably due in large part to the murder of his mother at a young age (from Wikipedia):
After his parents’ divorce, Ellroy and his mother relocated to El Monte, California. In 1958, Ellroy’s mother was murdered. The police never arrested the perpetrator, and the case remains unsolved.
Ellory is one far end of the scale on which I am seeking balance. As near I can tell, Ellroy has no family, and has only loose ties to the physical world that we share. Perhaps this is why he is such a powerful author. It certainly can’t be because he’s a voracious reader – he doesn’t read other author’s books for fear they will influence his work.
While Ellory may have successfully attained a minimalist lifestyle, he has foregone a family, and the (messy) trappings that necessarily come with it.
No, I do not aspire to be like Ellory in my minimalism, though I do aspire to be better. I am working on a set of revised goals for the continued minimization of my life, but it is proving to be an uphill battle. I am hopeful that on the upcoming school break, I’ll be able to make some serious progress on this project. In the meantime, I will continue to seek a balance, and learn the lessons afforded to me by men like Ellory.