# 29 Living Simply

Living simply is essential for my creativity to flourish. My 1 bedroom apartment in Quincy is as bare as a cave. I have learned that for me … Clutter is the Killer of Creativity. My friend Lynette lives in a “nest” filled with “things.”

I just returned from a visit to my friend Lynette. She lives in a 1 bedroom apartment is Riverside, Rhode Island. It’s near Providence. The plan was for me to come down on the train that arrived about noon. She would collect me at the Providence station. We would drive to her place, have a simple meal, and I would catch a late-afternoon train back to Boston and then the MBTA, (we call it the “T”), back home. Didn’t happen.

Here’s what went down:

We started out great. Just as I emerged from the station lobby, Lynette drove up. I climbed in the car, gave her a kiss and we drove off to Riverside, about 15 minutes away. Then, within minutes, we were savoring complex gastronomic pleasures from earthy food and wine. Simply prepared but knowledgeably selected. Lynette does THAT simple well.

The food? Steamer clams boiled in a broth of beer, garlic, onions, and celery. Also a pasta salad made with mayo, celery, and onions. And hot dogs on buns with mustard and sauerkraut or chili peppers. And then a white wine, an Italian Pinto Grigio that complemented all the flavors and crowned the simple feast as a meal for royalty. Simple, inexpensive, yet superlative.

Lynette and I each shared our recent events. It was healing for both of us. Then it was time for me to begin my return journey. Lynette checked the radio for the traffic report. Bummer! The highway was a parking lot. Trying to get me back to the train would destroy all of the good feeling our simple visit had generated.

“Why not stay the night?” she asked, “I’ll take you to the train on my way to work at 10 am tomorrow. There will be no traffic.” I agreed, intending to write in the living room while Lynette watched her soaps and slept in her bedroom. Didn’t work. The sound of the TV soaps drifted out of the bedroom and my eye roamed around viewing the clutter of her nest. No creative thoughts. I finally lay my head down on the couch and slept until it was time to get up and return to Quincy.

Back in my clutterless cave I am writing up a storm. Again. But I realize this because of my visit to Lynette. During our simple meal, the clutter of my mind had been cleared and swept clean. Creativity flourished.

Thank you, Lynette.

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