It occurred to me today that on so many levels, in every aspect of my life, I am wrestling with how not to create waste wherever I see it. In so doing, however, I run the risk of being penny wise and pound foolish, in addition to becoming less effective.
Now I don’t mean to suggest that my wife and I are never wasteful, especially in ways we don’t see, but there are countless moments where waste-consciousness can serve as a distraction, however well-intentioned.
The simplest example comes from my landlord’s garden. He’s growing food we didn’t ask for him to grow, yet he doesn’t eat. That’s his business, but sometimes I make it mine. There’s a direct principle here of reaping what we did not sow. And while it may seem like a good thing–“reaping” the fruits of his labor–such non-essential activities take time from more important things. The wrestle with waste becomes a self-inflicted wound at that point…to say nothing of our family’s own general striving against waste, toward efficiency.
Even in my fine art practice, I’ve faced the question many times in recent years: is it better to go back in time and reclaim/restore the many half-finished works (potential waste) in my studio, or is it wiser to begin fresh, discarding (perhaps donating) old things so that they don’t dangle like a weight around my neck?
Artist of the Week | Antonin Gaudi | Architect
“Those who look for the laws of nature as support for their new works collaborate with their creator.”
“The straight line belongs to men, the curved one to God.”
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