Wednesday, May 09, 2012


When I found that curtain rod, I regained a sense of the possible as well as the beginning knowledge of what I liked.

I believe that when you live in a small place, there has to be a sense of continuity among your rooms.  Without that, you have an erratic, choppy flow, your home feels smaller and can feel oppressive. Even though it took me weeks to get that curtain rod hung in my bedroom, it was having an effect on the rest of my condo.  I found a blue and white seersucker shower curtain and silver hooks with faceted crystal knobs. I moved my small collection of crystal, frosted glass and silver perfume bottles, and a crystal candle holder with a white linen shade to the counter.  I hung a small, framed Van Gogh poster filled with his yellows. golds, blues and greens.  One room held the right balance of cool and warm.  It felt crisp, fresh and clean, and then I knew I could create the home I wanted.

When I moved, my sister gave me an old couch of hers, a good solid sleeper covered in blue and white mattress ticking. On the piano behind the couch is a lamp that was also a gift from my sister. It's a cream ginger jar decorated in an imari style with birds, branches and flowers. Blue, white, silver, crystal and birds became the constants in my home.  Since I've always preferred rich, jewel tones, this light, airy feel surprised me. What also surprised me were how many symbols of air I found in my house.  There are birds everywhere. I found crystal birds that had been given to me over the years and tucked away because their navy blue didn't really work in any room of my home.  I have the owls I've collected since college.  I found a bird shaped plate that's now hanging on the wall over my kitchen table.  Symbolically, one of the meanings for air (as one of the ancient four elements) is thought and imagination.

Actually doing things, moving furniture around, deciding on where pictures and accessories would go opened up both my creativity and my confidence. Not for writing, no, not for that, not yet.  It hit in other ways.  I started cooking, really cooking, again. With a little inspiration from Food Network's Chopped, I started thinking about how I could combine ingredients in new ways.  I've played in the kitchen, had some meals that were barely edible and surprised myself with the quality of others.  I'm particularly proud of my cream sauce with avocado and horseradish.  (I served it over tilapia.)

I have a container garden on my patio with pots of basil, rosemary, cilantro, chives lavender, petunias, pansies, violas and English ivy. I planted some of the violas in an old silver pitcher that was tarnished beyond my ability to polish away, and now tentative, purple blossoms are starting to spill from its spout.  I remembered one of the exercises from The Artist's Way, collecting a folder of images of things you love and would like in your life,  and I started a Pinterest account.  I've made recipes I've collected there. I've done a couple of crafts, (painting picture frames and wrapping others in fabric), utilized some organization ideas, used wine bottle corks as labels for my herbs.  I'm doing as well as dreaming, and I really like it.

I think the thing that has surprised me the most was a purchase I felt compelled to make.  I went to a craft store to pick up a plate hanger. (The plate collection has surprised me as well, but it's not your granny's plate collection.)  To get to the plate hangers, I had to go through the art supplies, and there was this sketch book, smooth and black, with the elastic band to keep it shut and the loop for a pencil.  I have half a dozen empty journals in the same style.  It was filled with beautiful, creamy, unlined pages, and almost right by it was a box of water color pencils.  I had to have them.  I've never used water color pencils before, but they feel exquisite when I pull them across the paper.  It's easier to let yourself be bad at something and enjoy it when you don't have a good bit of your ego tied up in it.  I don't have to draw well, and I still love it.

So, I've found I like small, cozy spaces, light and bright colors, the play of light through my windows, the smell of herbs in the evening as I sit on my patio, the feel of a whisk in my hand, and the blast of heat from an open oven door.  I love playing with color and shapes, and I love feeling like I'm actually playing a role  in creating my life.


Blogger Lisa :-] said...

" It's easier to let yourself be bad at something and enjoy it when you don't have a good bit of your ego tied up in it."

Isn't that why we aren't writing right now? I find myself in the same boat...being creative in any way OTHER than words on paper. It just feels more like what I want to do right now. I hope some day I will want to write again...

May 10, 2012 4:22 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

i felt like my creativity withered and died, and now it's coming back in gentle, non- threatening ways. My sense of self is still somewhat delicate, and writing is not for the weak or timid. My life was constricted for awhile, and now it's broadening.

May 10, 2012 4:58 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

Man...I am SO there...!

May 10, 2012 11:05 PM  
Blogger Leigh Turgeon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

May 11, 2012 11:48 AM  

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