One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

February 16, 2010

Kindling for the Creative Spark

Was it last January that I made that new year’s resolution to be more at peace with the creative clutter in my life? I think it worked.

Dudes, I am seriously content. Well, for me, anyhow. Content enough that many nights, sitting around the house with Ian after the kids are in bed, I’ll be all, “Ian, guess what?! I’m happy!”

Definitely a big part of it is my relationship to the creative clutter. You know, partly it’s that we’ve moved into this house that seems more us. And even though it’s just as full of things that we intend to do but haven’t yet (and probably won’t for years, if ever) it just feels so much homier and nicer to be surrounded by the things we aren’t doing here. At Franklin, there were all these bare walls, white and reminiscent of hotel rooms. Our beige couch looked extra beige against the mushroom livingroom walls. And I always felt like, “well, if we’d only get around to putting up some crown molding, to getting some reasonable curtains, to painting these walls… then it would be a decent house.” Here, the projects aren’t that different, we’d like to repaint some of the rooms, put down hardwood upstairs, replace a lot of old hardware. But the bones of this house are just nice. you know? While we’re not getting around to home improvement, I’m loving what we have.

And I’m being a little more forgiving about my environment. I’ve let go of the idea that I will someday whip this house into shape and it will look like a magazine and then we will work hard to keep it that way and keep it clean. Instead I just put little oases of loveliness wherever I have the space and the inclination. We’ve moved an antique chest out to the livingroom to serve as a coffee-table, and placed one of my pretty trays on it so that it’s allowed to collect clutter because the clutter can be easily cleared away if we need to open the chest. I have pretty pashminas that get draped wherever they were last used – the door of the computer armoire, the couch or my papasan. I’ve tucked my birthday hyacinth inside a copper kettle and have it sitting on my kitchen counter next to a blue and white vase and some festive napkins that I also got for my birthday.

I’m in the middle of crocheting a beaded bag. And I know it will take distressingly long to finish. So when I’m not working on it, I make sure to leave it out somewhere that I can admire it when I pass by. And getting to admire it more often means I’m more likely to sit down and give it a few minutes.

Sometimes when I’ve been practicing my drumming, I deliberately don’t put my drum away so that I can admire the copper etching on it for the next day or so.

I have been dying silk veils and fringed shawls to use in belly dance. And, right now, the sun-room is littered with veils and shawls that have yet to be ironed and put away. Years ago I would look at them every time I walked by and mourn the clutter, mourn the project that I didn’t finish in one sitting and therefore clearly never would. Now I look at the jumble of burgundy and dusky mauve and ivory silks and I smile at how pretty they are. I think the entire difference is in my perception of myself. Years ago I would be saying, “you see how messy and lazy you are? One more project you never finished and probably never will and now your house is just messier.” Now I say, “look how lovely the project is, even half-finished. Look at the beautiful things that can be done in the smallest of opportunities.”

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