“It looks beautiful, and the children will love the soldiers. Do you have any more?”
“Tons,” said Mrs. Best.
“Load ‘em on,” my mother said…”More is more.” (from One True Thing, by Anna Quindlen)
Less is More. It’s been one of my philosophies in life. I’m not sure at what time or place I latched onto it. Probably in my late teens or early twenties. Less is more is the code of writing, especially for journalists. You only have so much space to tell the story. I may have picked it up in university. Whatever, it stuck with me and it became not just a writing motto but a life motto to some degree.
Less is more is sometimes a good idea. Like with Christmas lights. Overdone Christmas lights make me cringe. I know some people love it. I’m not one of those. As we drive by houses doused in lights, I remind Mark, “Less is more.”
In art, the subtleness between more or less can be the difference between a masterpiece or a gaudy piece. Talking can be a fine line with less is more or more is more. In some situations, less is more is called for. Others, not so much. Which is probably why being a good friend is an artform.
As I get older and “wiser” I realize less is more is not always a good philosophy to live by. It can make you chintzy in areas of your life that you don’t want to be known for sparseness.
The opening quote is from one of my all time favourite books and movies.
Anna Quindlen’s story about a career-obsessed daughter (a journalist) coming home to care for her dying mother has given me pause to think about so much over the last decade. The story is so rich. Her comment, “More is more” has stayed with this Less is More Girl over the years. It has made me question ideas. At first I agreed with the writer daughter, that less was more. A small part of me was bothered by the fact the mother could be onto to something. It’s been a nagging over the years. Pride sided with less is more. Because more is more means you have to invest yourself. Give of yourself. Much easier to hide behind less is more.
Roasting pumpkin seeds yesterday reminded me of this scene from the book. The last time I tried roasting seeds, they didn’t turn out so well. I think I was chintzy on the oil. Because less is more, yes? Yesterday, I wanted some good tasting seeds so I poured on the oil, along with the salt, thinking, More is more. (Guess what? More + More = Good)
As I enjoyed some seeds, I pulled out this faulty thinking of mine and examined it. My own mother is a More is More person. Maybe it’s the fact that she can remember the Depression as a young girl. I’m not sure but what I do know is that my mom’s generosity is always abundantly given. Not out of much but out of sacrifice.
Our homes are definitely a place to practice, more is more. You cannot give a child enough love, grace, patience, hugs or kisses. You cannot attend enough games, plays or recitals. Your presence is always more is more to a child. Same with time. More is more. Most of it should be quality but sometimes the fact that you are present in the home speaks as much as anything else. More is more.
If our parenting is modeling this than it’s mirroring how our Heavenly Father, parents us. He is definitely a God of More is More. There is no end to his love, his grace, his mercy, his patience. His presence is always around us. Getting to know Him is all based on more is more. Less is more doesn’t work in a relationship with God.
He is a God of abundance. Yet He also gave in sacrifice. His one and only Son. He only had one of those, yet He gave Him lovingly to us. More was more. It equalled salvation, and freedom for us. To set behind us the chains that bind and seek the freedom to discover and know deeply His love for us. His majesty. His righteousness. His holiness.
More is More. (Unless we’re talking Christmas lights or writing!)