I know I'm supposed to be a good consumer. I know I'm supposed to want More.
I want Less.
As a youth, I wandered the globe with a 14 pound backpack. It held everything I owned. This was, I believe, the last time I knew where everything was.
Eventually, I took on what the Hindus call the yoke (or "yoga") of the middle years, the years of family and social productivity. With that challenge came a host of new possessions. Some, I admit, would be hard to do without. Here I'm thinking: washing machine.
It's time for me to upgrade my home encyclopedia. I have an old set of World Books, copyright 1981.
Many people don't realize that encyclopedia content changes fairly slowly -- probably an average of between 2-6% per edition. And even with those changes over time, a solid core of content remains.
I've always loved beautiful buildings. There's no one type. I like big prairie farm houses. I like tiny bungalows. I like the ornate two and three story office buildings with cornices and window ledges. I like skyscrapers that attempt to be more than Bauhaus blocks of concrete and glass. I even like gas stations -- at least those with some imagination (the green-roofed village style, the chrome art deco style).
In the course of my life, I have turned down various jobs simply because I couldn't imagine myself walking into a particular building every day.
I'm writing this on December 30, 1999 (I know, it seems like a millennium ago) in the faith that civilization as we know it will survive long enough to publish this column, and for you to read it.