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Simplicity Above All

June 15th, 2019 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, will you think me perverse if I draw a line in the sand and steadfastly refuse to cross?

I am at heart a simple man. Not necessarily a simple man to understand, but let’s not open that can of worms. The point is I orient my life where possible in favour of that which is clear and unequivocally simple.

It follows, them, that it is the simple things that give me pleasure. Winding my way through meadows, marshlands and forests, marveling at the winged wonders that inhabit them, is what I enjoy more than anything else. Curling up with a good novel also rates high on the list.

It also follows that I have an aversion to things that are unnecessarily complicated, do not bend to reason or do not work the way they are designed to. In the privacy of my own home, I curse them out quite vociferously. In public, I do so under my breath.

Let me give you an example. I have a tempestuous relationship with my television. I enjoy relaxing in front of it to watch one my favourite programs. It serves its purpose in this respect.

However, it takes 5 to 10 seconds to turn on for no apparent reason other than the jumble of technology that is jammed into it. I find this quite annoying. I realize that this technology powers more sophisticated features than the TVs of old. But I have no interest in most of the special things it can do.

Furthermore, it is programmed to turn on using the cable remote. However, periodically it perversely declines to do so. I then have to use the remote that came with the television. Once again, I find this more than a bit annoying and view it as a design failure. But all I can do is quietly fume.

You might deduce that I dislike complexity. But you would be mistaken. For example, identifying a dragonfly, based on a combination of subtle markings, behaviour, posture, habitat and geographic range, is an intellectual exercise I very much enjoy.

Here is the distinction. I dislike things that are unnecessarily complicated which is quite a different quality than complexity.  My television is complicated. Thousands of lines of computer code interact in ways I am convinced the programmers do not fully comprehend. This translates to quirky, unpredictable operation which pushes my buttons, if you will pardon the pun.

Where am I headed with this idiosyncratic ramble? I suppose I am constructing the beginnings of a personal manifesto – an attempt to make sense out of a nonsensical world by carving out a niche for myself.

You could say I am drawing a line in the sand. If you go looking for me, you will always find me on the simplicity side of the life equation. The other side of the line is foreign territory.

Returning to my original premise, I am at heart a simple man. Simplicity pleases me. I allow for complexity when it is ruled by reason. Beyond that my line in the sand applies and ever shall.

For better or worse, this is the world according to Michael.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at .

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