Wireless, adjective, having no wire; network with no physical connection
Duffel Bag, noun, a large, cylindrical bag for carrying personal belongings
Looking around at your belongings, would you ask yourself why you own what you own? Do you own things that help you live your life? Do you own things that remind you of past joys? In that state of crisis when one has to determine what really matters, we quickly realize what is important.
If you live your life as I do, as so many other people live, you surround yourself with your life — bathing in the constant reminders of past and current inspiration. Some for entertainment, some for pleasure, some for business. Your belongings often reflect the life you have lived; the outward expression of your perception of reality. In those moments where you breathe in the experience of your world, the adornments in your home shine with life.
But life is not a picture, it is not static, it continuously moves. And it does so whether you are aware of it or not.
So what happens to the possessions that once sparkled with life that now gather dust? The books once read that sit on calm shelves, never to be disturbed — never to be experienced? We become curators to the remnants of our past; dusting the shelves of lifeless relics holding only to faint memories that these things were once important.
Do you re-read the books in your house? Do you re-watch all of the movies? Are the toys played with? And the guitars?
I found in my house a tub of Lego’s and it had not been touched in years. This tub had been moved with me from place to place sort of following me around as if hoping to be used. There’s a sort of sadness to Lego’s going unbuilt. As a child I escaped into imaginary worlds reflected outwardly in those toy building blocks. But looking at the tub of unused Lego’s, it was like a muse with no artist.
What do you need to be happy? And what do you need to experience the most from life fulfilling your desires?
I would propose you need only two things: one is the necessities to sustain your existence, the other are the tools to live out your desires.
The essential things to sustain your life! You need food, shelter, perhaps clothes… Think of the things you take with you when traveling.
I have realized I need clothes, toiletries, a bed, a bathroom, and food. When traveling you find the food as you go, and the astute traveler knows that a bed and bathroom can be found as needed on any journey. So you pack only the clothes and toiletries that you’ll need for your journey, the rest you will acquire as you travel. And of course, the lighter you pack, the more you can do and experience while you are traveling.
In order to carry these things, the most perfect luggage is the Duffel Bag! It’s light, simple, and will hold your clothes and toiletries as you move about the world. The necessities of life can fit in a Duffel Bag and go with you anywhere! And toiletries are easy to pick up as you go, so don’t worry when the TSA throws them out (it’s happened to me more times than I can remember).
The necessities keep you alive, but you need more to really live! This is different for everyone. For some, this might be entirely minimalistic: a pad of paper and a pen, the book you’re currently reading, a laptop, a phone, etc.
What I’ve realized in traveling and needing to work remotely, everything that I personally need to really live can also fit in that same Duffel Bag! Given a good laptop with wireless Internet access and a phone, I can work. I can’t read too many books at once so I rarely ever need more than a few books at any one point in time. Art and photography supplies have been drastically reduced as I have moved to digital.
And that giant CD and DVD collection? Pick your modern alternative (currently, I’m going with Last.fm and Netflix).
In trying to make sure all of my computers from the home to the office have access to the same files I store everything online (including version-control so I can track any edits and changes); I also do this to ensure that if one of the machines crashes then I won’t lose important documents. I got to a point where all I needed was a modern computer (Mac, Windows, or Unix) and I’m easily up and running with personal and professional work. No one computer is a necessity, they are all just tools.
If this “Information Age” can do anything for you, it is to unbound you from that traditional way of life where you would need shelves full of reference materials and supplies. Unbound and wireless to live your life without being trapped in offices or studios. The information age studio can be by design, and perfectly mobile.
Live your Life
In a sort of life experiment, I decided to get rid of most of my possessions. If all I really needed to fully live and enjoy my life was so simple then I should be able to not only continue doing all of the things I do but to actually do more.
It was tricky; our minds race to think of the time and money invested into these possessions. How can we just “give them away?” Remember: the past value is not the present value — and for possessions unused, the present value becomes a negative debt against the priceless time you have to live your life!
If you are to surround yourself with anything, it should be the in-progress life and not the past.
With that in mind I kept a bed to sleep on, a desk to work on, a camera, a computer, art supplies, and an iPhone (of course). And in this information age I have combined the computer and the entertainment center to provide me a fully integrated music, movie, television, and computing environment — which I must admit is much nicer than running cables around the house. So I am making no sacrifice even in my laziest moments where I lounge around watching television. I can draw on my Wacom tablet staring at a cinema display in the comfort of my home or I can take it with me in my wireless Duffel Bag.