A fellow blogger brought this up. Why do we repeat ourselves so much? Their concern was with repetitive thoughts. Why do we spend so much of our lives thinking the same thing over and over again? My answer was that I didn't know but that it wasn't just thoughts. We repeat ourselves in time - we often have the same breakfast every day, for example. We also repeat ourselves in space - for example, we take care to arrange our living spaces to be broadly the same as everyone else's. These repetitions are very important to us.
I once suggested carpeting our living room with AstroTurf, painting landscape murals on the walls and painting the ceiling blue. We could furnish the room with garden furniture, I suggested. Nobody I suggested it to liked the idea - it was, quite simply, 'not done'.
It's the same in the arts. Did Bach write one Prelude and Fugue? No. He wrote hundreds of them. Did Agatha Christie write one whodunnit then follow it up with a Mills and Boone? No. Did Picasso paint one blue picture and move on? No. He painted them by the barrowload. Of course, once you've done something once you might want to do it again to improve and develop whatever it is you've done but nevertheless there comes a point when it's time to move on.
In the arts, it's even often said that 'form is repetition'. The composer John Cage had the right idea, using chance and indeterminacy to sidestep repetition. However, not content with doing it once, he did it over and over again.
To return to interior design. I quite like the idea of sleeping in a large tent pitched in another AstroTurfed room lined bookshelves (for when I feel like reading in bed). A hi-fi in the room could play recordings of ambient sounds from outside: birdsong, bleating sheep and so on. I could perhaps choose my location from a selection of ambient recordings. Before you ask, I could turn the spare bedroom into a 'dressing room' where we could keep our clothes.
I'll never get round to it. Like everyone else I'm too busy leading a repetitive life. We all repeat ourselves. We even invent timetables to make sure that we do. In fact, I wonder if we're capable of doing otherwise? If not, are we as free as we think we are?
What sort of things would you do if you decided to reduce repetition to a minimum?
While you're thinking about that, it's ten to eleven here. Time to put the kettle on...