The Bitter Minimalist
You see, the South is a curiosity to people who aren’t from here. Always has been. Open up your copy of Faulkner’s 1936 masterpiece, “Absalom, Absalom!” Find the spot where Quentin Compson’s puzzled Canadian roommate at Harvard says to him, “Tell about the South. What it’s like there. What do they do there. Why do they live there. Why do they live at all.”
Gracie and Heather and I drove out to the flower farm last Saturday; windows down, new mixtape on the speakers. Heather had gifted Gracie The Bitter Southerner, a collection of essays and stories that encapsulate the South, and as they put it in the quote above, answers the question of what's it like there? Why do they live at all?
The piece she read is called Notes Concerning The Objects on My Front Porch, and it is delightful. If you've ever spent a humid evening playing cards and nursing cheap beer on a southern porch, the nostalgia factor is high. (And if you haven't, find ye a southern porch, stat.) We all have a jar full of shells collecting dust somewhere and my own Dollywood mug is proudly on my desk at work... But it got me thinking--
What about this minimalist movement? When the Capsule Wardrobe Queens die off, what will they leave to their kids? Here are your heritage heirlooms, children! A concrete vase half-dipped in copper paint and a semi-dead fiddle leaf fig! And please don't fight over this pair of white chairs you can't sit on in your blue jeans.
Maybe there's a case for a little more storied junk in our lives.