Living Simply and Learning to Love

I have been curled up next to a television powered fireplace in Cape Breton, reading a book that has been surprising me in how much it  makes me contemplate the work I do. It’s a book by Bell Hooks, an amazing Black Feminist Writer, and the book is titled, All About Love. If you haven’t picked up any of Bell Hook’s books, I highly recommend checking her out (and I know Venus Envy has an entire shelf dedicated just to her work).

I bought this book wanting to spend time thinking about how I love in my life and expected it to make me contemplate my personal relationship. Yet again and again it makes me realize what a big part love plays in my work, in the decisions I make, and in the reasons why I think the work itself is important.

This book that makes me feel proud of what we are all up to: building community root cellars and community greenhouses, creating public spaces to grow food, riding our bicycles and waving to each other as we pass, figuring out how to work together and share what we have to make something bigger.

To give you an idea of what I’m on about, here are some words from the lady herself. Bell Hooks says it so well:

Greed subsumes love and compassion; living simply makes room for them. Living simply is the primary way everyone can resist greed every day. All over the world people are becoming more aware of the importance of living simply and sharing resources. While communism has suffered political defeat globally, the politics of communalism continue to matter. We can all resist the temptation of greed. We can work to change public policy, electing leaders who are honest and progressive. We can turn off the television set. We can show respect for love. To save our planet we can stop thoughtless waste. We can recycle and support ecologically advanced survival strategies. We can celebrate and honor communalism and interdependency by sharing resources. All these gestures show a respect and a gratitude for life. When we value the delaying of gratification and take responsibility for our actions, we simplify our emotional universe. Living simply makes loving simple. The choice to live simply necessarily enhances our capacity to love. It is the way we learn to practice compassion, daily affirming our connect to a world community.

(Bell Hooks, All About Love, pg. 125)

To top it off, here is a fireplace to sit and read this post by:

Happy Holidays Everyone. I wish you all relaxation and time with those you love. Rest up and I’ll see you back at it in the New Year.

Written by: Garity Chapman