“If getting rid of each cup and garment took as long as it will take to get rid of the ink on my skin, I’m sure I’d have thought twice about getting them in the first place,” writes Design Stories columnist Hanna-Katariina Mononen about her past purchases.
IN THE PAST YEAR, I’ve been doing a lot of emptying, selecting and discarding. By gradually selling or giving away things, I’m preparing for a new stage in life in a new living environment. This way, moving house will be much easier, or at least the smaller amount of stuff will be easier to move. Anyway, I think it’s a good idea to go through all my belongings every once in a while to get the feeling of clarity and freedom that only decluttering can offer. Before moving house seems like a particularly good time to do that, as it’s nice to be able to move forward in your life without the burden of unnecessary things.
While letting go of objects, I’m also in the process of letting go of images drawn on my skin over the years. I won’t go into the details now, but suffice it to say that tattoo removal is an expensive, long and painful process. The experience involves, of course, material loss and physical suffering, but in the end, the greatest toll it takes is mental. Already before the first laser treatment session, I’ve been through a wide range of emotions from regret to shame. It was hard admitting to myself that I was no longer happy with the decisions I’d made years ago.
By the way, I’ve come to the conclusion that all things that’d be too difficult to explain to us ordinary people are called laser something. That’s why laser is so readily offered as, for example, the thing powering weapons of mass destruction in sci-fi movies and the instrument used in eye surgery, requiring the utmost precision.
“Few of us think that their thoughts and values haven’t changed at all in the past seven or fourteen years, which is a good thing.”
Apparently, our cells regenerate every seven years – or at least that’s what I’ve heard. Whether that’s true or not, the theory seems appropriate. Many of our basic traits remain the same year after year, but something in us also changes – a lot. Few of us think that their thoughts and values haven’t changed at all in the past seven or fourteen years, which is a good thing. This seven-year rhythm sets requirements for the decisions we make, and it seems that we should be extra sure when aiming to decorate our skin.
Unlike the images on my arm, which will take years to remove completely, getting rid of objects has mostly been almost criminally easy. I cannot help but think whether objects could be purchased after the same amount of contemplation it takes to go under the needle. This kind of thinking could, at least, serve as a loose guideline for making purchases. If getting rid of each cup and garment took as long as it will take to get rid of the ink on my skin, I’m sure I’d have thought twice about getting them in the first place.
Will the object allow for me to change? In the ideal case, the things we buy not only serve us in the moment but also in the future when we are, once again, different. This would reduce unnecessary production and the related problems that will eventually affect us all. No laser can help us solve those.
I recommend: Fear-filled film fiesta
THE TIME AROUND the end of October, leading up to All Saints' Day, is an excellent period for chilling movie entertainment. You could, for example, customize a marathon that stretches deep into the nocturnal hours, featuring some of the scariest and most beautiful films. Personally, for such an event, I would select Italian director Dario Argento's 1977 "Suspiria," and why not also the 2018 version directed by Luca Guadagnino – both fantastic in their own way. The list would naturally continue with Ridley Scott's haunting "Alien" and Kubrick's classic, "The Shining," that premiered in 1980. Among more recent horrors, Ari Aster's works, "Hereditary" and "Midsommar," would undoubtedly have earned their place.
The author, Hanna-Katariina Mononen, reflects on the issues of a beautiful and sustainable life in her monthly column for Design Stories. She thinks that just like in life, in the home, the most beautiful parts are unplanned – and often relatively ordinary as well.
Text and image: Hanna-Katariina Mononen