21 Jul 2007

I made this doll a few months ago. I've had the pattern for years but never got round to using it. She is supposed to have a face but I don't know what kind of face. I don't mind her without but she looks like she is pretending to be Amish. I think I tend to have rather a romantic idea of the Amish, I appreciate that they have a rich community , by rich I mean in social capital, that is ,they are willing to help each other. From what I have read they seem to be less materialistic than the general population and of course because they don't use electricity in their homes they are not constantly assaulted by rubbishy media telling them things they don't want to know about.

In some ways because of the constraints put on their lives it is so much easier for them to avoid some of the worst aspects of our consumer society. As non-Amish people we actually have to make a decision about these things. Our society tells us that individual rights are paramount and so all kinds of rubbish is thrust upon us. We have to decide what we want and don't want and find ways to avoid what we see as negative.

What we have to do instead is grasp onto the things we see as positive, the things we truly want in our world and keep the rest at bay. You can't just stick your head in the sand but you can make an informed decision about whether you want to let the next big thing into your household. Modern technology is not bad but neither is it inherently good and necessary. Believe it or not society functioned well without mobile phones until quite recently, and there have been cases when mobile phones have saved lives. What I'm saying is you have to make a decision about what you let in and how it is used.

For all the advances in medical science there is still no cure for the common cold. The cold that tried to get me last week disappeared after a day or so but has now returned in a new and improved version. I was up early this morning, it's difficult to sneeze when you are lying down and it's difficult to sneeze quietly. I made myself a nest on the kitchen couch, I had to use toilet paper to for my nose as we have run out of clean hankies. I had the fire, my book, some knitting, my crocheted blanket and a cup of tea. Very low tech and very soothing to poor snotty me.

For some things the low tech way is the best way, for some things it is the only way. Comforting an injured child, soothing a baby to sleep, sharing a home cooked meal, candlelight, fire, playing on a swing in the sunshine, quiet moments talking to an elderly neighbour,admiring happy spring bulbs,the list goes on. Don't under estimate the worth of low tech, it will enrich your life and usually it doesn't cost more than your time. But you all know that already don't you.

16 Responses to “Simple”

  1. Thank you for this. I agree, it is so easy to be pulled this way and that by the things the world says we "need". And there is so much to be enjoyed, but missed, because we get caught up in whats the new big show on TV and the new hit movie release. I guess that's where we have to discern what to let in...and what to simplify!

    Very encouraging. You helped me to take things in perspective.

  2. We too, have found this to be so true, Jenny, and have likewise endeavored to think *outside of the box* of our culture and it's past, current, and future trends. It's been interesting to see that many of the things that we have decidedly forgone at times which seemed so extreme (the fact that we chose to do so), at one point in time, by and by even went by the wayside, societally, and were simply replaced by something new. The happy result has been feeling ever more free, to when, and as, we've deemed it necessary, forgo whatever it is that just doesn't seem to positively suit the life of our particular family. I often smile to the children and share, that the life of a peasant, truly is, particularly pleasant--doing much, by and for yourself, with your own hands--laboring, creating, making a house a home-- your own little universe of peace-filled delight, celebrating the sweetness of relationship. I am *so* sorry to hear that you're cold is back full force, dear Jenny. Your spot does look especially cosy, though. I hope you're able to remain curled up snugglie in it, while you rest up to get well. I'm off to find your apron fabric, this morning. True loving friendship, you know, that I'm am making my way out and into a vehicle, again :o) I'd walk, but I surely wouldn't get back before supper time. I'll look forward to a quiet homey afternoon, in the garden and sewing. Sending love your way, with a big gentle hug ((Jenny)), do feel better, soon. Your little doll is just beautiful.
    P.S. *you*, will I think, especially enjoy hearing about the lovely house we went to see, yesterday, when I get a chance to write and share--and you get a chance to come by.

  3. There are several large Amish communities in Ohio. A lot of folks like to vacation there. They do have a booming tourist business.

  4. I think your little doll is precious! I do hope you have the opportunity to just stay nested on your couch with your knitting and tea and such to get over your cold. I found your blog after visiting Eyes of Wonder, and do enjoy hearing about your life on the other side of the world. Get well soon!

  5. We have done without TV for the last three years or so and I have to say, not having it on has been a blessing. I thought I couldn't live without it but rather quickly, I felt as if I could never have it on again! So many things just became more important!
    Growing up beside the Amish, once can see and truly appreicate how lovely their life is, full of gratitude for their families and for what God has given them. But the outside world does rear its ugly head from time to time and invades their peace- specifically when that lunatic killed and injured all those little girls in their schoolhouse in PA- just terrible. But as the Amish do, they forgave quickly and set about helping one another get through this tragedy- an example for all of us.
    I hope you feel better as well and your dolly is very cute. We have lots of Amish dollies with no faces!

  6. I'm sorry to hear you're still not well, Jenny. Take it easy if you can and stay in your cosy spot today.

    I so agree with you about making those decisions and being mindful about what we let into our lives. If we allow it, negative aspects just pour in. Sometimes it's prudent to close the gate.

    The little Amish doll is lovely. I'd like you to explain your Steiner dolls to me one day, when you have time. I'm presuming it's the Steiner of biodynamics and Steiner School fame.

    Take care love.

  7. I just LOVE this doll : )

    Hope you feel better and that you are sent lots of cozy comfort as you are healing....

  8. There was a time when I turned the TV on during the day, every day. Now I go days without even having it on at all, especially when J is traveling. I have come to cherish the quiet. I am all for the simple things.
    I like my cell phone. Since it is the only phone I own(no land line in 4 years),I don't get calls from strangers. No unsolicited solicitations. I don't like to talk on the phone so I seldom do.
    I do love my laptop. I chat with my sister, my daughters and J when he is away from home. I thoroughly love the world of blogging, all the lives shared.
    Is the doll for sale?
    Mama Bear

  9. Oh I love that sweet doll just as she is!

    I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling well. Hope you're back to well quickly!!

  10. I do hope you get better soon. The doll is beautiful - do you plan on selling her?

    Nadege Armour

  11. I love your doll.This doll is so beautiful.
    I hope you feel better now.Send you a big huge

  12. In this town there's quite a large group of Plymouth Brethren (large enough to have their own school). I've come to know some of the women, and often I envy their lives. Family and homemaking are very important, large families common. They eschew much technology, but not electricity or landline phones. But no TV, recorded music, computers and other electronica. Their retail businesses have EFTPOS, a nod to the modern consumer. The women and girls may not wear trousers, their hair is long and secured with a scarf. Hence the name "scarf ladies". They're kind of Amish in many ways. However, I'm here making a comment, using a computer. It's not something I want to give up! I think I want the best of both worlds. It's possible too.

  13. I'm sorry your cold has returned. I think you're right about the choices we make. Yet, many people feel that these aren't choices, that there is no other way to live but embracing every technology as it comes along, to work all the hours in the day, get into debt etc, etc. Some people dream of a simple life but believe you can't do it in the suburbs or in the town. But you can live a simple, honest life in a tower block it's just a matter of rejecting or accepting the aspects of dominant commodified culture you choose, doing what is best for you rather than what is expected from you. If that makes sense?

  14. Hi Laura and welcome,yes that's the trick isn't it - discerning what we really want and need.

    Hi Jewels,I'm looking forward to hearing about the house.It is so freeing to realise you can make decisions about how your family live their lives rather than being dictated to by society at large.I like that, the life of a peasant is particularly pleasant.

    Hi Marie, the tourism associated with such a simple lifestyle seems overwhelming.

    Hi Cheryl,and welcome. I'm glad you like the doll. She is sweet.

    Hi Regina, good on you for giving up television.How interesting to have grown up near the Amish and seen something of their life first hand.

    Hi Rhonda and thanks for the kind wishes. Yes the steiner dolls are based in Steiner education.Keeping out what you don't want leaves so much more time and energy for the things you do want.

    Hi Wendy, thanks.

    Hi Mama bear, I think it is perfectly reasonable to pick and choose what we want in our lives and what we will reject. Yes I think I will put the doll in my etsy shop this week. I didn't do this earlier because I have been considering what to do with her face.

    Hi Dannielle, thanks I'm feeling better already.

    Hi Nadege and welcome. Yes the doll will be in the etsy shop early in the week.

    Hi Bettina, thank you.

    Hi Susan, we have the Exclusive Brethren here, I think they are the same as the Plymouth brethren. Here they get called the Hankie Heads which is not very nice. I think what I find most appealing about these groups is that the role of the homemaker and family is seen as important and treated with respect.

    Hi Natalie, It does make sense and it is very true. Living simply starts inside the person, its an outlook on life , you don't have to live in the country. Not so long ago, the life we seek to lead was just a normal suburban existence.

  15. have recently discovered your blog. am enjoying visiting.

  16. Hi Garden Goose, welcome and thanks for visiting. When I get the chance I'll come check out your blog.


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.