I spent time in Nashville last month. What a great city--so full of energy. Of course, I’ve always enjoyed country western music (because I can understand all the wordsJ) Thanks to my husband, we attended the Country Music Awards, a night of glitz and glamour, if there ever was one. The next evening we went to the
Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium where we heard both new singers and some
that had been a part of the industry for 60 years.
Both events were amazing, but I found myself especially attracted by the straight-forward simplicity of The Opry. There was that familiar dusty stage, microphones, a guitar or two and great voices. It reminded me that excellence doesn’t need
extra trappings to shine.
I used to do some oil painting. I collected paints, brushes, palette knives
and gadgets of all sorts. I filled an entire fishing tackle box with equipment, bought canvas, gesso and an easel. I was ready to paint.
Then I went to the exhibit of a famous Western artist and saw the paint kit the artist took with him when he was sketching in the field. What was it?
A tiny tin paint box, smaller than anything my children had ever used,
with four colors and a pitiful brush missing half its bristles.
I looked at the artist’s renderings which were complicated,
detailed, beautiful, and done with that tiny paint box. Then I thought about all the equipment I’d gathered and the few paintings I’d managed.
My conclusion? It’s not about the stuff. I couldn’t paint any better
because I had lots of equipment.
We all have so much—our closets and cupboards are full and
our garages house far more than cars. We are enough—and perhaps even happier—when life is simple.
Christmas is a busy time of year. Keep it simple. Remember the reason for the season! After all, that’s what really counts.