February 27, 2010

Entry Way

 Mirror to the immediate right upon entering.

A little before Christmas, I redid our entry way. Our house is good-sized, but the entry way/foyer is not -- you're in, you blink, you missed it and now you're in the living room. Ta-da!

Still, there's a little recessed area by the stairs that is perfect for a little "landing zone" type of table.  My solution when we moved in nearly 6 years ago was a small bookcase from Ikea, with a set of frosted mirrors (also Ikea) above that.  I put those mirrors up over five years ago now, and was just getting tired of looking at them. Ditto for the bookcase, but I didn't know quite what I wanted.  Well, I would have loved a clear lucite console table, but that wasn't really in the budget. 

Anyway, around the end of the year, I re-painted the whole area a soft gray (Bunny Gray, by Benjamin Moore). It shifts a bit blue, moreso because of the deeper gray/blue in the living room.  Still, I like it.  I also like the replacement for the bookcase,  the floating shelves. They look like the Lack series from Ikea, but the Lacks  didn't come in the right size. So these are an internet find, and were a perfect fit.  The little stools and the above mirror are from Home Goods.  (The mirror was on clearance for $18! Score!)

Before: Entry Way 

After: Entry Way
To be honest, the "After" picture here is giving me goosebumps -- it's might chilly, especially in comparison to all the colors in the "Before" pic. Well, this was my take on winter -- mirrored frames, mercury glass, and black.  (Even my purse matches.)  I'm switching it up this weekend and plan on warming it up a good bit.

Pictures to follow! (Just like the Big Green Wall, which is still empty and bare of any photos.) 

February 21, 2010

That She Be Her Own Orchard

I feel like someone should slap me upside the head. Or maybe, rather, what I'm reeling from is just that -- a kind of slap upside the head, delivered via a form letter, the reminder -- for I always need this reminder -- that my girl is a wonder, and no thanks to me. That, most important (and still most baffling) of all, she is not me. Not in any way, shape or form -- this child who annoys me with her wild energy, dulls me numb with her endless chatter and floors me every day with her wonder and energy for life and living. 

This weekend, she is worried over the incubated eggs in her 2nd grade classroom; they are due to start hatching any minute now, but it didn't happen soon enough, during school hours, for her to witness it this past Friday afternoon. She came out of class angry, frustrated to tears at Mother  Nature's poor timing, that she wouldn't be there to see the chicks hatch. She was so excited, she says, that she had dreamed about it on Thursday night.  (Her teacher promises to send an e-mail update as soon as the blessed events occur.)

Meanwhile, her mother, proud and puffed up for years now at this child's rampant curiosity, her early reading, even her wishlists: can you believe she only wanted a globe and a world map for her 7th birthday?, meanwhile this mama's ego is taking it on the chin, at the news that the world, or at the least the school district, can judge her as precocious enough, but hmm, no great shakes.  It's a tough balance, the investment of self, the projection of self,  onto these small and still-new people that are my children.  I think that in general I do a fair job of keeping a balance, reminding myself often to cut us all a darn break.  Still,  shame on me, for falling prey to my own ambitions and assumptions, while meanwhile this happy, healthy and magical person bounces (and shrieks) (and collides) (and sings off-key) (loudly) through our rooms and hearts just as specifically herself, only herself, as ever.

When she was very young, a baby, I found this poem by Gail Mazur and meant to have it framed and hung in her room.  I never did, but remembered it again, tonight. 

Young Apple Tree, December

What you want for it you'd want
for a child: that she take hold;
that her roots find home in stony
winter soil; that she take seasons
in stride, seasons that shape and
reshape her; that like a dancer's,

her limbs grow pliant, graceful
and surprising; that she know,
in her branchings, to seek balance;

that she know when to flower, when
to wait for the returns; that she turn
to a giving sun; that she know
fruit as it ripens; that what's lost
to her will be replaced; that early
summer afternoons, a full blossoming

tree, she cast lacy shadows; that change
not frighten her, rather that change
meet her embrace; that remembering

her small history, she find her place
in an orchard; that she be her own
orchard; that she outlast you;

that she prepare for the hungry world
(the fallen world, the loony world)
something shapely, useful, new, delicious.

February 6, 2010

Pour Your Misery Down

If, as the husband contends, I'm like Shirley Manson and only happy when it rains, then today is like, the best. day. ever. for us moody bitches here in the 951. (This is the view out the window immediately to the right of my keyboard in my little upstairs nook of an office. )

Although truth be told, this is the song running through my head right now:

God, so beautiful, and makes me want to just dive to the bottom of a stiff bourbon.  Well, to quote Shirley again, I only listen to the sad, sad songs. At least on a perfect indoor Saturday like this one.

February 2, 2010

26 Minutes of Your Life

Theo Nestor is a Facebook friend and a real-life acquaintance, a friend-of-a-friend whom I've met twice and had an easy time talking with -- which is not a small thing for me, an introvert who finds getting-to-know-you chit-chat  annoying at best.

Theo is also a writer, a real one with an agent and an editor and an honest-to-god physical book that you can find in any book store. I've seen it here at my local Target.  Her book is the very warm and witty How to Sleep Alone in A King-Size Bed, a memoir of sudden divorce and starting life anew.

It's not some slammed-out, shallow chick-lit thing about pain and redemption and cougar sex, either, but a really insightful account of a marriage, a childhood, a whole complicated life.

On top of being a single mom and college instructor and working on her newest book, Theo also curates a blog, 26 Minutes, where she throws down the challenge to anyone to set a timer for 26 minutes and sit down and write a piece of memoir.  Back in November, I took a deep breath, sat down with my spiral notebook at the kitchen table,  looked at the clock, and began writing. I wrote and wrote in a headlong rush. It was almost Thanksgiving, never a favorite holiday of mine, as its nearly always been fraught with some sort of family stress -- and that's during the good years.  Maybe that was why the words came so easily, as I went back into my memory and wrote about another Thanksgiving, when I was around twelve or thirteen years old.

I went over the time limit by about 10  minutes, but of course I wasn't going to stop writing mid-sentence. Especially when that exercise was the first time I'd sat down to just do it in a very long time.  And I don't think the strict time limit was ever the intent behind Theo's prompt.   I re-read what I'd written just once, then sat on it, as the holiday came and then the Christmas season behind it.

On Sunday, Theo posted a Facebook link to another new essay on the blog, and it got me thinking about my own.  I spent an hour or so typing up my longhand pages and editing in a few places (but reigned myself in hard from the whole-hog rewrite that I typically do).    I contacted her, asked how to best submit, and after I sent it over, she posted it up on her blog almost immediately, and linked to it from her Facebook page.  She said some mighty flattering things, by way of introduction.   The whole experience seemed to happen very fast, so quickly it left me a little light-headed, but it really wasn't that fast -- not when the concept of writing a memoir has been slowing forming in my head for the last year or so. 

I have been fairly open with close friends about many parts of my rather fractious childhood and adolescence, but I've always cloaked my life in writing behind the veil of fiction.  Lately, I'm just exhausted at the thought of doing that anymore -- and frankly, not imaginative and inspired enough to just make something up -- Um..you know: Fiction. 

Considering the battering and buffeting my psyche has taken lately just mulling over a memoir, I hardly consider it taking the easy way out. 

Anyway. Enough throat-clearing, as we used to critique back in workshop class.  Here's the link: Here's my 26 Minute Memoir
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogger Template by Designer Blogs