I borrowed Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo from the library. In this time of transition and change, would I like a more orderly, tidy home? Of course. More joy? Certainly.
I read the book and appreciated its guidance. To me, reading about organizing my things was soothing. (Looking at the uncontained stuff around me was not so soothing!)
In the Afterword, I discovered an idea that was more fascinating than a tidy home. Here, Marie shares an interesting perspective on how spirits dwell in material things. She believes there are three aspects to this:
- “The spirit of the materials from which the things are made.”
- “The spirit of the person who made them.”
- “The spirit of the person who uses them.”
Let's swap the word spirit with it's synonym of pneuma which is defined as "vital spirit or creative force of a person".
This left me considering my own inclinations. For example, how do I view fast food compared to a home cooked meal? What about manufactured cookies vs made from scratch? Does the saying “baked with love” have merit? How do I view locally grown, handpicked food as opposed to food that was harvested and shipped across the country?
What about handcrafted items, when individuals have given hours of their time and focus rather than mass produced?
How about a book or film recommendation? If an individual finds a story especially compelling and recommends it to me, will it have a similar impact? Is the spirit of the person who read the book or viewed the film shared in the recommendation? What if an item is given as a gift to another? Is it valued more?
If we are aware of the spirit of things, do we treat the food/item/experience with greater reverence?
Marie Kondo speaks of the Japanese term mono no aware, which translates to “pathos of things”. She expands, describing it as the deep emotion that is evoked when we are touched by nature, art or the lives of others with an awareness of their transience. It refers to the essence of things and our ability to feel that essence.
Is this why we enjoy the seasons, knowing they will not last? Do we allow ourselves to linger over a good meal? If we have a greater appreciation of the things in our lives, will we care for them or maintain them in a different way? What if we only purchase things that sparked this sense of joy?
And then, exploring these thoughts through the lens of a maker...what is the spirit of the materials that I am working with? What spirit am I imbuing my products with? When I am creating a custom piece of jewelry and have communicated with the client, how is their own spirit weaving together with mine as the item is created? When I am creating from a place of peacefulness and presence, how will that impact the person who wears or uses the item?
Take what works for you in these musings as mental nourishment. This interconnectedness of all things can be magical. ~ XO Amanda