comforts and coping skills

October 20, 2007 at 5:52 pm (blog)

We all have certain things that give us comfort.  Sometimes it’s not so healthy.  Other times it’s innocent and brings us some form of nostalgia that allows us to go back to a time or place when we felt safe or content.

One (of many) of my comforts is candlelight.  I used to always say that I wanted to live in pioneer times, when there was no electricity.  I wanted to experience the kind of life that required the use of candles, being dependant on them as the only source of light and warmth.

I just lit every candle in my room.  Over the past few months I have been collecting different sorts of candle holders.  I have made some great finds on craigslist and in thrift stores.  I try to stay stocked up on the candles that go in each of my holders.  I just counted 48 candles, all dancing their own dance, almost as if they truly understand what their purpose is.  They seem completely content just to flicker.

These days it’s hard to imagine life without our technological comforts.  As I sit here looking at the screen as I type these words, I realize the dichotomy of what I am saying.  Though, still, I would like to have the opportunity to experience a real reliance on the basics.  No cell phones, laptops, or tivo.  Maybe just for a week… or maybe just a day.

I have a friend who lived in a rustic cabin for an entire year.  She and her husband occasionally bathed in the barn where they had rigged up a shower by putting a water hose up.  There’s no electricity, which meant the winter months were quite chilly. I remember hearing about the numerous trips to the fireplace in the middle of the night, just to add another log and stoke the fire.  The thought of that gives me an excited sort of wonder.

I’m not sure why I’m so enamored with rustic life… or the idea of it, rather.  I think alot of it has to do with my own way of coping.  One of my most famous coping skills is retreating into my own little protected corner of the world.  I can come up with quite creative reasons why I decline to do things.   At the time I completely justify it in my head.  It is only later that I realize what I’m doing.  Something about stripping everything down to the basics of life seems like it would be a welcomed change.  It would almost force me to look deeper in myself, instead of finding something to busy myself with until I feel like dealing with it.

Maybe someday I will be able to partake in the rustic lifestyle.


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