May 27, 2012

Residential Designs

I've decided that Sunday afternoons are perfect for 
Reflections,
Imagination,
Ideas,
Musing,
And other such fantastical thinking-ups done primarily by one's right-brain.
In a conversation I was holding with Brianne earlier today, we stumbled across the topic of someday-homes, and more specifically on their design. 
Well, truly, it was something she mentioned in example to something someone had said about their dream-home designs,
(I'll choose to be mysterious here)
But it got the little cogs and wheelie-things in my mind turning about houses, and the various fantastical layouts one could concoct.
Which then got me to wondering:
What would be in my dream home?
If there were no limits,
If I could dream it and it could be done,
If I had all the money I could possibly need to create this haven,
What would it look like?
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I don't know where I'd want it!
It's a bad sign when you can't even decide on a location.
I'd like something Victorian in nature.
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Near woods, close to the ocean, secluded enough to be private, but with enough neighbors and the type of village needed close enough to be the root of many strange rumors.
Hm.
Yes, that sounds about right.
First of all, there would need to be lots of wall space for books.
And I mean lots.
And that's not even touching on the actual library room.
I'm envisioning something like this.
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Only with chutes and ladders.
Can you imagine how fun it would be to walk up a ladder to reach a book near the ceiling, drop it down a red (or violet, or mango-orange) tube, and then go hurtling after it? 
And of course the chute would have to have fun twists and turns, and none of those nasty metal bolts that shock you as you slide down (I have memories of the McDonald's slides from childhood in mind).
Maybe at the bottom there would be a pile of pillows, and (as a surprise to visitors who don't know better) the occasional ball pit.
But I would probably just fill it with skeins of yarn because it's a good way to store it in bulk.
To get to the library one would need a divinely secretive, in-the-wall- book door. 
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To deter small, inquisitive (and probably dared by the town bully) children and robbers, the house would be set up in a maze, like the Egyptian pharaoh tombs. 
Full of winding halls and strange passageways that would get you nowhere (or to some more secret doors so that you only think you're nowhere), or to the front door again. Almost like in Alice Through The Looking Glass.
The Kitchen would be marvelous. 
Spacious, 
Yet still very rustic and with an herb garden out back.
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More chutes from the library and various other rooms 
(Including the dining room)
to drop your dishes down so that you don't have to constantly wander up and down stairs to relocate your dirty plates, mugs, and cutlery.
There would be various guest suits, with various themes.
Perhaps an Aquarium Room like this, only less modish.
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A tea room, with a giant teacup as the bed, and an ornate teacup, claw-foot bathtub (with a teapot water spout). The sink and faucet would be similar, and you would keep your clothes in a bureau shaped like a tea-box. 
There would a be a tea and pot chandelier, and the entire room would smell like lavender earl grey or chamomile or something lovely like that. 
There would be terrariums all over.
I would decorate the house with living, green things, and hire a chap specifically for the purpose of making sure they were all watered sufficiently. 
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There would have to be a fantastic, glass attic (of course).
Something that you could see the world out of as you sat and read your novels. 
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What about a bird room?
A room for birds to fly into during the cold Winter, so that you could have beautiful bird-song all through the year, and then open it up again in the Spring so they could fly away home?
A Butterfly room, full of jars that hold chrysalis and caterpillars and butterflies.
A Science room, with microscopes and telescopes so that you can see the stars at night.
A large theater room, with a beautiful raised stage, painted and carved with frescoes and magnificent details.
A music room, every instrument imaginable at hand and begging to be played.
A ballroom! With a large, dripping chandelier, and the loveliest grand piano situated by the window. 
The craft room would be full of ribbons, fabric in every hue, and papers of all types.
The yarn room would be equipped with a large, armchair and plenty of tea supplies as well as all the needed knitting paraphernalia. 
In the main living room there would be a roaring fireplace with a kettle hanging over, and a wall of my favorite books.  
A large greenhouse room too, for year-round flowers and plants.
In the midst of my forest property, in a pretty clearing, there would be a large swingset. But I would have one inside too, in case I wanted to swing on rainy days. 
The dining room would look like a carousel, and we would all sit on small benches shaped like animals instead of regular chairs. 
There would be tree growing in the middle of one room. And you could climb up and sit in it if you so desired to.
Of course, throughout the house there would be a fantastic stereo system wired up. So that you can hear Beethoven's symphonies, as though a live performance, wherever you are in the house. 
The stables would be shaped like a giant horse, and I would have a giant, black, Arabian that I would gallop around on, not to mention a  Murgese and a Friesian.
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I'd better stop before I truly get carried away.
I have so many ideas, and no clue as to how you could possibly include them in a house!
What would your dream home look like?

May 19, 2012

Keep Looking Up.

Light dappling through the small high windows above me.
Faint strains of music and sound from a farther room winding their way through the house and to my door.
Items scattered haphazardly about-
Stacks of journals, cookbooks, poetry collections,
Old receipts atop letters that are waiting to be answered,
Articles of clothing thrown about the room, draped over the back of the bed, 
Yarn, paper mache teacups, a sketchpad (rather the worse for wear), and a paper birdcage-
All the symptoms of a person normally accustomed to cleanliness yet forced to abandon her orderly habits.
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My time has not been my own.
Attempting at least eighty hours for each pay period
(A length of about two weeks),
Daily Bible study,
Yoga,
And Therapy...
I still somehow find myself with bouts of spare time, but rather than addressing my living quarters, I find myself wandering down to the duck pond-
A copy of Mary Oliver's poetry secured firmly under one arm,
Journal and pen under the other-
to sit and stare out across the water, 
Read a bit,
Reflect and write,
And then stare some more.
Or else I'm in the kitchen trying to somehow reconcile my love and fear of food by baking and creating new concoctions.
Perhaps I'm balanced on the arm of the sofa, knitting a hat for a Winter so very far away.
Then again, I might be at the piano, chasing my dream of being able to adequately execute the perfect loveliness that is Debussy's Clair de Lune.
More than likely, I'm curled in a corner, nose buried in a book, large mug (or pot) of tea at hand.
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{One of my many new crafts, a paper bird and birdcage}

How is it that, when pressed for time, the first things to fall away are the habits and activities most essential to a structured way of life, environment?
More than a clean room or organized closet I feel the effects on my walk with Christ.
Every once in a while 
(Usually in the midst of confusion and distress)
I look up to find that, once again, I'm relying on myself.
Any image of Christ seems so distant: a world away.
How easily I revert from "leaning on the everlasting arms" to trying to carry the world and its cares in my own breakable hands!
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And then the eating disorder chimes in, a seductive voice whispering in my ear,
Promising to give control,
To restore order,
To grant perfection.
It tells me that every single one of my fears can be averted,
That the standards of those around me,
Standards that are truly just my own, impossible to be reached,
can be met.
All I need to do is stop eating.
I've followed this voice before, letting it man the helm of my ship in hopes that it would navigate me through the stormy seas that surround.
Instead, I found myself thrown against the rocks and broken in a hundred different ways.
So why do I continually find myself trying to run back to the hollow voice and its empty promises? 
A voice with standards even higher and more ridiculous than my own?
There is only one Voice that can steer me safely to shore, and that the voice of Christ.
Perhaps this coming week will be a good reprieve.
Perhaps the new schedule, hours temporarily cut, represents a chance to breathe and readjust,
Sit by the duck pond some more,
Rewrite some stories,
And re-examine the one I'm living,
A moment to expand my horizons,
Breathe,
And pray.
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Here's to a new week, full of new hope.