Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #91: Simplicity

In San Gimignano, Italy, a letterbox provides a glimpse into the past to a simpler time.  I don’t know how I would manage currently if I didn’t have email or video chats.  Life would move so much slower if we had to wait for letters!  I’ve had email for most of my life; I was very young back in the time when letters were people’s main method of communication.


But if you want an even simpler way of life, think about how these monks on Ireland’s west coast lived around the 12th century.  Their homes were these small “beehive” huts, without even mortar in the stone walls.  They lived off the land and what they could grow, and spent the rest of their time in prayer.  I’m not sure I aspire to that extreme simplicity!

You can find more simplicity at the original Lens-Artist challenge.


17 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #91: Simplicity

  1. Tina Schell April 6, 2020 / 4:39 pm

    Oh my Mei-Mei, that IS simplicity to the max!! LOL re snail mail. When I studied overseas it was much too expensive to call home so my family and I corresponded using onionskin paper (do you even know what that is?) in airmail envelopes about once a week. I was very homesick for my family the entire time I was away and never once spoke with them until I got home. Now our kids make free calls almost daily. It really is a whole new wold

    Liked by 1 person

    • For Tyeth April 6, 2020 / 5:57 pm

      Greetings Tina, I remember onionskin paper, it was that thin paper with a waxy texture/surface to it if I recall correctly. And the old airmail envelopes (the ones bought in the UK) were a pale baby blue colour with a red,white and blue chequered border around the edge. The envelope folded out so you had three small pages to write on so we added sheets of the onion paper if we had more to write that wouldn’t fit on the envelope! I miss some of the old ways we used to communicate but if email and internet hadn’t been invented I wouldn’t have “met” interesting people like you and Mei-Mei – so it’s a good thing we have evolved!
      Take care and stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mei-Mei April 7, 2020 / 2:37 pm

        This is really fascinating, thank you both for teaching me new things this week! 😀 I think I prefer the Internet, too, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tina Schell April 7, 2020 / 5:24 pm

        🙂 exactly!! I guess back in the day it was worth it to make the paper really light before loading lots of it on those old airplanes. We did love getting letters tho, so that thrill is certainly gone. nice to “e-meet” you tho!

        Liked by 2 people

    • Mei-Mei April 7, 2020 / 2:36 pm

      I’ll be honest, I don’t know onionskin paper! I have seen airmail envelopes before, but never had to use one. And I thought it was hard having to just email my boyfriend when I was studying abroad!


  2. JohnRH April 6, 2020 / 5:54 pm

    Excellent, but BRRRRR! (The beehive hut.) Must have been chilly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. For Tyeth April 6, 2020 / 6:02 pm

    Hi Mei-Mei, I used to write letters now and then back in the day, I even had a nice fountain pen to write them. Sadly I never got many replies (if any). It was even worse at Valentine’s Day as I would get lot’s of handwritten cards but I could always tell who had sent them to me….I recognised my handwriting! I think I like the new world way of chatting and communicating….as I mentioned to Tina above, I wouldn’t have met nice interesting people like you and her otherwise! Great picture of my beehive holiday home btw and thanks. Stay safe and well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei April 7, 2020 / 2:34 pm

      The beehive huts were the original social distancing! 🤣 I could use a holiday like that, but maybe not all the time…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hansedeern April 7, 2020 / 4:08 am

    Great pictures!
    xxx Britta

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pattimoed April 7, 2020 / 8:53 pm

    Two wonderful examples of a simpler time. Great shots and post, Mei-Mei.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Leya April 9, 2020 / 9:19 am

    Wonderful examples, and, I have posted many air mail letters on that extremely thin piece of paper. Seems a whole lifetime since then – and I guess it is. I love simple, but to a certain extent…no monk living.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei April 9, 2020 / 10:22 am

      Yes, there’s simple, and then there’s ascetic! Not for me, either.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Michael J. Miller April 14, 2020 / 5:05 pm

    I think about this ALL THE TIME – what life would be like if letters were our primary means of communication. So much life would pass in between exchanges! But I also think about it in regard to the preservation and presentation of history. A great deal of our knowledge of the past comes from letters people saved or have been recovered. What does it look like 100, 200, or 500 years from now when we don’t have those? And what will our Twitter posts, Instagram pictures, text messages, and emails tell the future about us? I have no idea but I ponder it often.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei April 16, 2020 / 11:11 pm

      Yeah, I love in old stories when people travel and arrive before their letters do. And what interesting thoughts about historical record. Where people used to save love letters, I saved IMs from my husband! 🤣 Will my kids or grandkids ever see those?? (Will they care? haha)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael J. Miller April 17, 2020 / 2:53 am

        Can you imagine grandkids shuffling through old printed IMs or emails? Or looking at text threads preserved on the cloud? Because while so little of it is “formal,” so much of our casual conversation now is written/typed. There would be SO MUCH to choose from.

        Saving the IMs from your husband is such a cute story :). And who knows?? You may be sitting on the 20th century equivalent of Heloise and Abelard’s letters! Those IMs may inspire generations of would-be suitors 100 years in the future!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.