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PDF 197. Porcelain bowl with clear glaze: Northern Song Dynasty (11th century AD)


Certain things we thought came as easy as breathing: Love, for example; and also Happiness.

We thought this until they deserted us.

Then we saw that we were foolish to believe that natural things take no effort. After all, plants grow of their own accord and yet we still train gardeners.


And so we studied the disciplines of Kindness, Patience, Humility. We learnt the particular power of Fun. We learnt about gift-giving and we learnt what to keep for ourselves. We discovered that Love’s currency is in little pennies, of kindnesses done and done and done, and that this is painstaking and sometimes dull. Love is beautiful, but its parts are not.


We know beauty when we see it: that comes as easy as breathing. The hard part is creating it. Reject embellishment. Accept that small is enough. Create beauty so simple there is no possibility of doubt.