Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Simple Life

On the Langebaan Lagoon in the West Coast National Park there lives a man alone. He is 81 and has lived here in solitude since birth. He does not read, neither write, and never got married. When I first saw the photo album which inspired this post, I was in awe of the wonderful neatness and simplicity of such a life, and the obvious character and integrity of the owner. I felt that in reality there was nothing lacking in this existence and I have subsequently returned to the album many times to ponder on "the simple life".

My painting shows a little outhouse, a washing line and some bokkoms drying in the fresh lagoon breeze. I am sure you will also love the comfort and tidyness of everything inside the cottage as shown in the photos.

My thanks for the inspiration goes once again to the lady who can pick out the essential order of everything, photographer Mary Ann Bosch. Her portraits of the Lagoon gentleman and pictures of the rest of his home was and always will be a special treat.


  1. Gosh Marie. This looks almost magical, as if the door is a passageway into a black hole or something! I'm a huge fan of simple living. I hope this man is happy and content. I think I would long as I could read and paint!

  2. True that we can live out of just a box well enough to last long.. simple lives will have more quality.. liked this post Marie!

  3. There must be wonderful things playing around in his mind which keep him entertained and content.

    At first I thought this was a door which led nowhere... But I love your story about the way he lives.

  4. There is a lot to be said for the simple life. And living it in such a beautiful area. I have many fond memories of Langebaan where we spent many a weekend. Your stories and paintings are wonderful.

  5. Sherry, you have such wonderful observation. This idea could lead to layers of double meaning! As Marion swa something similar, I decided to show a little of the one side of "the little loo"

    I agree, padmaja, this cottage has just enough of everything!Thanks for the kind comments!

    Marion, and you know how much time it takes to fish every day! I listened to you and Sherry regarding doors leading nowhere or into black holes, so I quickly painted a side to the little outhouse!

    Jean, yes it may lead to a long life! I agree that Langebaan is unforgettable! I have an idea that this man lives on the Churchhaven side where the residents are protected from traffic, tourists and prying eyes.

  6. A lovely little outhouse Marie! And yes, we need so little in life to be happy and content...I wonder where it started, this snowball of collecting and ever wanting more..

  7. Gosh Marie, this is great! A real typical outhouse! And I think the fish drying there would compete for smelling space!

  8. Hi Ronelle...yes, and how easy to do your housework when there is simplicity!

    Thank you, Diane...if you go to my photographer's file she has lovely photos and portraits there to match this story!

    Liz, hahaha! But please remember that the purest air circulates there all the time!

    Liana, I am waiting for the post I published to show here. In the mean time, thank you very much!

  9. Your well done painting really fits your post on the simple life. Ahhh...that's the life for me.

  10. A typical and well-know rural scene, around here as well Marie. You've captured the familiarity of the long-drop completely and the simple, yet neat, lifestyle in Mary Ann's album also says it all. Lovely sketch!

  11. Our lives can get so busy that we forget what is important. It is often the simple things that add quality to our daily existence. This man wakes up each day to the sound of water, he goes fishing, he takes pride in his surroundings, and he lives a good life. He is very much a part of his surroundings.
    Really enjoyed this painting with the bokkoms in the foreground. Thanks for sharing such as interesting aspect of life in this area.

  12. Thank you, Dean! I am so pleased that my theme of "The Simple Life" made sense and people reacted so beautifully!

    Thank you, Maree! I am especially pleased that you looked at Mary Ann's album and also understood why she was attracted to the man and the place!

    A delightful comment, Catherine.You sure sum up his life very well. And I suppose you agree that the face in M A's album is so full of character and peace!

  13. What a fabulous glimpse into an uncluttered life.
    I have a secret desire to live alone on an island ;)

  14. Thank you, Mary! In this person's life there are no lists of wants and needs!


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