Beauty · Personal reflections · Words of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo

2 Objects of Joy

That’s enough. I give up. I am giving in to the temptation. The temptation of wanting to possess. Beautiful objects, beautiful things. Not for me, but for my home. (Same difference?).

When I started this blog almost a year ago (it will be a year on April 14) I had decided that I would never want this blog to promote or have any role whatsoever in promoting a mindless “buy more, consume more” mindset. Even though the inspiration behind the blog does recognize and accept the inner beauty of form, I didn’t and don’t want this blog to become a vehicle for showcasing pictures of beautiful objects from exclusive designers or expensive brands. So far I have also been able to avoid the trap of writing blogs on topics or themes sponsored by product brands and other companies interested in promoting themselves for free via the blogger community.

But the temptation is now too great. In my frequent travels through virtual world, I see such beautiful pictures of beautiful things on different websites or blogs I visit. So what about my resolve? Well, okay, I am still not going to start writing my posts to promote different product brands. That will be totally against the spirit of this blog. But once in a while one is permitted some indulgence, no?

Plus I have a reasonably good reason to give in to the temptation, at least that’s what my mind tells me.

You see, I have a casual interest in creating harmoniously beautiful living spaces for myself and my family and I have my own ideas on how to do it. And it is this interest that also drives me to browse through some interior design and lifestyle blogs. I don’t follow any particular design trends (I find them too limiting and I like freedom), nor do I like to spend exorbitant amounts of money on beautifying my living spaces (mostly because I don’t have it). I just go by what feels right to me, what feels beautiful and comfortable and creates a harmonious and serene ambiance.

I try to follow as much as possible the advise of the Mother about taking care of material objects,*** which requires that I don’t keep too much stuff in my house which I know I won’t be able to take care of. I must keep a check on how much stuff I accumulate, because stuff always has a tendency to accumulate! For the most part I am able to go by my self-made rule which goes something like this – “practice restraint and mindfulness and not allow the spaces and objects in those spaces to overwhelm the people living in those spaces”. So while I try to satisfy my desire to make my living space beautiful I also try to be mindful of how I do it. While I give in to some temptation, I also try to practice some restraint and self-control. At least as much as I can.

But today I am giving in to the temptation. Partly or fully, mindlessly or mindfully, let the reader decide.

“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. ” 

― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

I am starting a new series today – Things of Beauty. I did a post earlier with the same title (in singular), the opening sentence of which actually provides a good inspirational and philosophical context for this new series. I had opened that post with a quote from Rabindranath Tagore:

“Things in which we do not take joy are either a burden upon our minds to be got rid of at any cost; or they are useful, and therefore in temporary and partial relation to us, becoming burdensome when their utility is lost; or they are like wandering vagabonds, loitering for a moment on the outskirts of our recognition, and then passing on. A thing is only completely our own when it is a thing of joy to us.”

This new series will showcase some objects which I would very much want to possess for the sheer joy of having them around, near me, so whenever I want I can see them, touch them, feel them. Some day, whenever that some day might be.

Because I am not into brands or labels, I will try to ensure as much as possible that almost all of the objects showcased in the series are what marketing people call as “unbranded”…at least to my knowledge. Or let me put it this way, because I don’t see myself going out to expensive boutiques or exclusive stores – real or virtual – to verify if these objects are some big-ticket designer items or their replicas, I will consider them as “unbranded”. My only criteria for picking these objects will be whether they appeal to my sense of beauty, and if they are the kinds of things that I would perhaps some day like to acquire for my home. And because something in me tells me that these things of beauty will bring me joy for ever.

Let me also add that if at all this series promotes “buy more, consume more” mindset I sincerely hope it will be a mindset of mindful consumption, the definition of which I leave it upon the reader to decide. For I personally like to go by the advice of the Oscar Wilde – “To define is to limit.” And as I said earlier, I like freedom when it comes to decorate my living spaces!

So with all this long preface, rationalization and justification for starting this new series, I feel I am now happily ready to share two such “things of beauty” for this first post in the series.

The first…

What a cute little planter this is! I mean, look at it. How can anyone say no to this one? It is one of those things that every gardener should have it! Well, I don’t know about every gardener, but I should definitely have it, I think. Actually I am quite sure that I should have it…I will have it some day. If I keep saying it like this with such hope, one day it will appear in my home! Obviously because it is a natural object made into a planter with some human handling, mine will not probably look exactly like this. Depending on the size and texture of the pumice stone used for making my planter, mine will perhaps look even better. Or at least I can hope it will 🙂
The second…
Now, isn’t that a great looking wind-chime? I already have…let me count…5 wind chimes (including a very special one from Svaram) in my outdoor living space – made of 3 different materials, but I would love to have this one too. I don’t have one made out of little seashells. But that’s not the reason, or at least not the only reason for wanting to have this wind-chime. I am taken in by the sheer charm and simplicity of this piece. The little touch of wicker on the top adds so much beauty to it, I think. And since I live quite close to the sea, I think it would make perfect sense to have such a wind-chime making its pleasing sea-shell sound in my courtyard. Now that I have also discovered a rational argument for possessing it, what more can I say in my defense? Done…this wind-chime too goes on my “must have” list!
O alright, their reasonably decent look-alike might also work.

Well, folks, that’s it for this joyful post. Two objects of beauty on my “must-have” list for my home…garden, actually. Objects that will surely bring more joy to my home and garden!

One last, but certainly not the least, thing before I close. It is more of a disclaimer, actually. By saying what I have said in this post about my personal decisions regarding what I don’t do through this blog, I do not, in any way, intend to make any judgmental comment on any of the blogs which review, endorse, promote or write for various product labels or brands. Some of these writings serve good purpose, I am sure. I am merely stating my personal preference, my personal bias, if you will, about what I think I should or shouldn’t do via my blog. To each his/her own, that’s how it is in the blogging community as I am beginning to understand it a little bit. No judgments of any kind, no imposing of personal biases of any kind. Completely democratic, completely free. That’s what keeps this whole exercise of blogging meaningful and relevant – for bloggers, readers and the larger social-cultural context. Having said all this, let me also offer in advance my apologies to anyone who might have felt any sense of discomfort or displeasure at reading any part of this post.

More objects of beauty and joy to come in the future posts in this series…whenever inspiration strikes!

*** Here is the Mother’s advice:

“Not to take care of material things which one uses is a sign of inconscience and ignorance. You have no right to use any material object whatsoever if you do not take care of it. You must take care of it not because you are attached to it, but because it manifests something of the Divine Consciousness.”

~ Collected Works, Volume 14

Linking this post to ABC Wednesday: J is for Joy.

Response? Reaction? Thought? Question? Criticism? Let me know.

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