I read a book awhile back by a woman who was a sort of therapist/self-help guru. In it she described a particular phone session wherein a client called from a low place, a dark place, a place with the threat of self-hurt. The guru, knowing this particular client well, told them "Find one drawer in your house, dump it out, glean through the contents, organize, purge, save only what you love and arrange them back as beautifully as you can. Then call me back. You have one hour." The client did as they were instructed and all in all, it was a very happy ending.
This story has stuck to me for years, and even though I'm in a grand mood today, I found myself thinking about it over breakfast. About shaking up a space, wiping out the grime, detailing the nooks and crannies, culling, curating, and making it as beautiful as I can. About how good I feel in a place like that, how pleased to be surrounded by my favorites, my collections. About how much it inspires and delights me to arrange these things I love: houseplants, driftwood, stones and bones, feathers, natural forms, and gifts from those who know me well.
This little corner is my very favorite spot in the house. It's technically our wee dinning room, no more than seven by ten feet, but when I sit here and write, or sup, or type (as I am right now), I feel that southern light soaking into my hair, the huge eastern window at my back with the sound of the river, the oxygen-carbon exchange with my plants breathing life into my skin and the brilliant feng shui that living things impart.
Today I scrubbed it down well, deeply watered every green thing and took my time making it lovely. I fussed over the maiden hair, glossed up the aloe, polished every inch of glass, and nestled my little blue bird right in the middle. The only spot I left unattended was the upper corner of the window. I have no love for spiders, but about seven months ago I made a peace pact with this particular one. Back then she was teensy, smaller than half my pinkie nail, but she had built a frothy white web and did a number on the flying pest situation that happens when one lives in the country right above a river. She was such a hunter, I told her as long as she kept up her end of the bargin, I'd leave her web alone. I saw her just the other day, multiplied about four times in size, fat on flies and gnats and I kid you not, hibbie-jibbies ran down my spine. But a deal is a deal and I'm not planning on breaking our peace treaty.
So this has me curious: do you have a place in your home that serves to house your collections? A place that makes you breath deep and feel a little bliss just from looking? A place you fuss over, arrange, tinker and tweek until it's just right?
Where is it? What do you keep there?
I'd love to discuss this in the comment box!
these the two green thumbs.