Simplicity

Simplicity -perhaps a term not easily defined except by silence.

Silence as in truthfulness and harmony, all rare commodities these days.

Our social relations are filled with noise via social media, busy schedules and multitasking. Filled indeed yet very often empty of substance or care, as many rarely take the time to just sit, talk, enjoy a simple cup of coffee. A like on a photo is not caring.

The world is increasingly filled with noise through constant sounds —cars, music in stores, adverts— and visual pollution with screaming advertisements, loud and clashing colors and dare I say, spelling mistakes!

Our everyday environment seems to be artificially crammed with as many sensations as possible. Coffees now have ingredients that a priori have nothing to do with coffee, computer screens are filled with jumping images and sounds, clothes at times resemble publicity panels, and more.

So what is simplicity and how can we bring some into our lives?

The most important thing I believe, is that it has to be done effortlessly. And that may be the key to simplicity. The very moment something entails hardship, it no longer is simple. Effortlessly does not mean a lack of diligence, rather the opposite. It means that it is done naturally, and hence with care and full attention.

If we are to clean a table, then let us clean it thoroughly. And while we do so, it is all we do: clean the table.

The same goes for cooking. Ingredients are chosen fresh, they are chopped by hand to take in all the aroma and colors, they are cooked with care slowly letting flavors rise.

If we are to dress, it is reducing the number of accessories to a minimum as well as choosing a non brash pallet of colors, sticking to one or two at the most away from primary colors.

I will write more about all this as the blog evolves. But in the meantime, understand that when we do things in a simple and honest way, our state of mind gets infused with that simplicity and honesty.

As we eat wholesome food, as we reduce the noise, as we do one task at a time, our thought process calms down. As we are attentive to our gestures and words, gentleness invariably comes along.

So after all, simplicity is rather simple don’t you think?

Thank you for reading and please tell me what you think as this blog is meant to be an inspiration to all of you.

Kenza.

The quiet festivity

The traditional New Year celebration is not really my cup of tea, a change of number barely gets my attention. New Year’s eve is just like any other night, a bit of music, a bit of poetry and quiet dreams of infinity.

For me, it is Navroz that brings on the festivity; when Spring gently knocks at the door baring the gift of light, illuminating the house and encouraging me to clean it meticulously.

I prefer the swallows’ early morning songs, to the loud and hollow conversation of revellers; and the quiet opening of the hyacinth, to the commotion of fireworks.

Instead of the display of caviar, champagne and glitter; I would rather feel the blessings of the haft seen, the seven items of the altar: the lentil sprouts, the garlic, the apple, the vinegar, the fish, the mirror and of course, the book of Hafez’s poetry.

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On that day, you are cordially invited to our house to sit under the cherry blossoms and listen to the gentle conversation of the violet, the pansy and the tulip. Believe me, they always have a lot of interesting things to say if you listen carefully.

Please come and come early, so that together we may dance amidst particles of light and smile at Hafez’s witty and eternal poetry.

Photos: Courtyard in Isfahan, Iran; and swallows in El Charco Botanical Garden, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.