Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More Amish

Apparently the population of Amish communities and, in fact, the number of Amish settlements have increased in recent years. I read this in a year-old National Geographic magazine as I was waiting at a doctor's office with ailments that are probably stress-induced and supported by the modern requirements of living and earning.

Later that week, I visited a friend in far western Wisconsin, where Amish folks have been thriving for generations. To be honest, when I see the Amish, I almost envy their way of life. I know that they toil hard, working the land and taking care of routine amenities of life with an investment of time and energy that most of us could not bear; but that kind of work, it seems, does not grate the soul or offend it, nor does it stress the mind and heart. That's what I think at a comfortable distance, of course. And from what I hear from my friend, it sounds true, though I'm still speculating, if not hoping.

At first glance, it seems counter intuitive to see the number of Amish settlements increase (and all that this may mean), but when you think about it, it's really something to expect. Something has to give. Our over mechanical and pixel world would naturally drive people to seek out simplicity. Not the casual kind of simplicity, but simplicity as a way of life. No one lives without complexity or trial, but you have to suspect that some of the nonsense and subjugation we have to deal with is derived from an outlook that's alien to our Adamic natures.

I see good folks on their horse-drawn carriages, and, as I zoom by in my motor car, I try to imagine that kind of life. That's my imagination speaking. Not sure how I would really react if I were suddenly in suspenders holding on to reins. Something to think about.


Anonymous JDay said...

You see it as a utopia from the outside, but inside it is different and more complex.
I see Amish using cell phones.
I see Amish families in the Children's hospital because some of their children have severe genetic disorders from generations of inbreeding.
Our modern life gives us food floods and distractions. We do need to simplify our lives, but hopping into a horse driven carriage isn't going to solve everything.

7/21/2010 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Umm Layth said...


I love the simplicity of the Amish! Their issues aside, they do live a life that allows them to focus on things that really matter: Spirituality and Family! To have a community of our own with the support system they have built would be an amazing blessing.

7/21/2010 11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It says a lot that my family and many others choose to vacation in areas inhabited by the Amish. It means we are craving simplicity and a different atmosphere. We always come home feeling recharged.

7/26/2010 2:30 PM  
Blogger fromclay said...

Thanks for the comments. I also feel recharged when exposed to that kind of life. JDay, inbreeding, cell phones, and hospitals, none of this is a response to the point of the passage, namely a yearning for simplicity and clarity.

7/27/2010 1:53 PM  
Anonymous JDay said...

I guess hanging out with the Amish is the Midwesterners' approach to simplicity and clarity. The Chinese mystics wandered in the mountains "without purpose". Geography figures in.
I keep reading all these posts about 'utopic' visions. It's July, it's hot, people want to escape. Maybe this is why everyone loves "Inception". And air conditioned movie theaters.

7/28/2010 6:26 AM  
Blogger fromclay said...

Maybe you're right.

7/28/2010 1:32 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home