20 January 2012

Bliss Through Innermost Simplicity

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Browsing through Beth Terry's Facebook page the other day I stumbled upon a video that made me stop and wonder. The questions it arose were numerous. The calmness it exuded - immaculate.

Diana and Michael Lorence have lived in a 144 square feet (13 square meters) house they call Innermost house in the mountains of Northern California for 7 years now. It is the latest of many small houses the couple has occupied over twenty-five years, all for the same reason – to live a simple life of reflection and conversation.

They have no electricity, no source of alternative energy, no refrigerator and no oven. Instead they have one cast iron pot, a lovely library and a lot of candles.

They don't live off the land but they live in harmony with it. As Diane says in the video, she went to the woods seeking emptiness. What she found was completeness.

Watch it and let's talk!

The more I learn about the small house movement, the more I find this lifestyle luxurious in a weird way. Who can afford the revolutionary break out of modern society, after all!

Tell us what you think:
  • How did you feel watching the video? 
  • Do you think you could live as simply as the Lorences?
  • Would you live in a small house with young children?

And my own simple question:
  • Living in a house without electricity when and how do you use the Internet and a computer? Here is the Innermost House website.


  1. I feel empowered by watching the movie, but I feel suffocated at the same time. To each their own. I don't do well with small areas. Also, I like to host and there is almost no having guests over in that home.

    I think I could live like them, but I would struggle to be honest. It would be better for me to ween myself off everything than to go cold turkey. I'm even struggling to let go of my cable package right now.

    I think it would be an adventure to live in a small home with children. I would want to live in the forest or something wide open that the children could go play and explore outside during the day. I think their imaginations would sky rocket in this type of environment. I would almost being willing to change the way I live just, so my children could experience this life style.

    She probably uses the computer on her weekly trips to town at a library or internet cafe. She may have someone else that puts everything up for her. She hand writes everything and then mails to whom is helping her.

  2. I think I would have no problem "paring down" and living in smaller house but I couldn't do without computer/internet - I pretty do all of my business online so I would be in big trouble.

    I do believe that people want and purchase way too much "stuff." My friends are always shocked to hear that I haven't been a mall in years. I dont like the crowds, I don't like the products and I don"t need "stuff." What I do need is my husband, family & art.

    Happy Friday - Brandi

  3. Wow. I have seen and read quite a bit in recent years about people living in tiny, simple homes. I think it's pretty awesome, but the small spaces would also make me feel suffocated and stifled. I love bright, open, simple space where I can move freely and breath deeply. Watching her walk from her desk, around the bookcase, around another corner into the kitchen made me want to spread my arms and run!! I would probably need to spend much of my time outside and I definitely wouldn't want to do it with kids.

    When she started speaking at the end is where I really connected with her. I believe (and often say) much the same thing. You live your way. Let me live mine. :) While I won't defend my lifestyle or force it on others, I do welcome any questions and, love to offer it as an option in a world that often doesn't see beyond what is 'normal'. I think this story would resonate with anyone who searches for completeness in this lifetime. Spiritual completeness. :)

    (Lol ~ I had to chuckle when I read the above comment! I just took my 13 and 15 year old daughter to the mall... first time they can ever remember going!! ;)

  4. I appreciate this view so very much. It is true that if given a financially free place to make my decision for this invaluable gift, my heart will flutter like a bird. For now, we dream of doing what we can now so that maybe someday luck can show us the door. Many of us are working very hard to simply survive and be happy while we are here.

  5. I applaud the Lorence's for their committment to a simple life. Living in a moderate area of California, it seems to be feasible. Here in the Northeast it would be a little more difficult. But this certainly does provide food for thought!

  6. amazing .. this was a lovely piece , so happy you shared it. they have taken it to the next level and it works for them obviously. We live simply and I really do like it that way, not QUITE like the Lorences but what works for us! as always a thought provoking post S!

  7. Downsizing, I could handle. I hate clutter so I tend not to hang onto too many things. But as for electric, I need my sewing machine, my digital camera, my computer, and my Internet!

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  9. Wow.

    The first thing I have to say about the video is that it looks and sounds like Diana's life is really calm and quiet, and in a way it kind of looks appealing. As a kid I always wanted to be an Indian or a pioneer, someone who lived off the land; and with that small house, all the simplicity and the lack of electricity, that's what it looks like the Lorences are doing.

    In the end, though, I don't think that sort of lifestyle is my kind of thing. I love to keep things neat and simple, organized and of course earth-friendly, but I love the ease of modern life! Whenever we have a power outage I'm reminded of how easy electricity makes things. And I'm always using the computer - to look things up, to keep in contact with people, to share my voice with the world! I think I could live as simply as the Lorences, but I don't think I'd enjoy is as much as they seem to.

    Still, there's a really romantic aspect to it...like a step back in time. And I love watching the video! But I don't think that sort of life is for me. :) To each his/her own, however!!

  10. The peace and calm of their simple life must be very rewarding. It is not a life for everyone, but their are elements of their life that would be easy to translate into everyday modern life.
    Everyday Inspired

  11. I often think of running away to a small town or cabin somewhere. I'm easily entertained with books and art projects, so I don't think I'd ever get bored, but I would still need electricity. I'm sure the climate there is probably more temperate so at least heating and cooling wouldn't be a big deal, but I would have to connect to the internet at least a few times a week. Also, how do they earn money? I guess I should watch the video first. :P

    1. Yes, go ahead and see the video. They have a website alsohttp://www.innermosthouse.com/#/welcome, which could answer your question.

  12. I appreciated this video so much Sonya, it truly resonated with me and right now I feel so inspired by it. I often think of a different way of life...my friends and I meet once a month in a group called the Eden group, where we watch and discuss so many things. It is an evening of connections and conversation and this video would be so appropriate for it, thank you!