Sometimes I have thoughts I would never admit to anyone. Not necessarily because I'm afraid or they're horrible thoughts--just that they are so out of character for me, so far from who the world knows me to be.
This week I was headed for work. (I've picked up something a few days a week as my studio is as frigid as a witch's t....ah yes, you can fill in the blank there. Needless to say, no painting is possible.) And on that journey downtown, I pass several piles of blankets-o-homeless. The carefully assembled, mindfully arranged mountain of cloth indicating a slumbering soul beneath the overpass. This week....I envied them.
From a distance, perhaps even from right next door, everything is fine. And in truth--it is. Honestly, if you read here regularly, I have an amazing husband and three marvelous boys and a dog that can drive me mad but still waits on the bathroom rug while I shower, she loves me so. We purchased our home two years ago--from the same place we bought our washing machine. (chuckle) Imagine that. Craig's list is quite handy, and this huge hulk of a century old house had the bones that I've dreamt about. Eleven foot ceilings, three fireplaces, stained glass and a front porch we dance and eat, play chess and linger on long into the summer evenings. Of course, the months of me wearing drywall dust as an accessory, sporting the fragrance of primer and wood stain, sawdust in my hair and paint on my cheek as I made dinner have taken a toll. But we've made a home quite lovely through sweat and tears and occasional swearing.
However, every once in a while, amidst the scheduling and juggling and arranging and cleaning and disciplining and chasing and stocking....and cleaning again. I just get tired a bit...inside. I think we all do. Life can be heavy. I'm quite religious about clearing out the clutter, passing on what we don't need; (especially if irked, my husband comes home to a missing coffee table and empty shelves and immediately inquires, "Is something amiss?") but at times I wonder if I have possessions.....or if I am possessed.
The human dilemma....how much is enough? The years I spent in Guatemala and Mexico, I lived out of two boxes. One of clothing--all dresses, of course; (thus began my love affair with the sundresses I now live in during the sultry months of summer) and the other filled with books. I also carried a camera in my bag and a set of water colors. That was it. I am slightly stunned by that.
I'm writing this with my laptop resting in the antique secretarial desk I received for mother's day some years ago. Atop of it is a potted rosemary plant I brought in for the winter, several of the aged hardbound books I adore, a bronzed lamp with an amethyst trumpet flower shade, various stationary and journals...there are more objects within my reach as I sit here, than I owned then. Of course children come with their own apparatus--the tackle box it takes to raise three boys is crammed with pocket knives, band aids, and footballs. Add a husband and a pup and my world is overflowing. Creating a sanctuary they can all run to is a mother's job, I know this.....so am I insane that once in a while, for a moment....I wish to just keep driving? Dear Lord, not forever....but for a day? A week?
Perhaps I need a vacation. Or more sleep. I do take comfort in the fact that most of what we own we have rescued from curbs and garages, spending weeks breathing new life into the broken. Most of it is wood, which I love, I'm not much into the gleaming plastic and glitter that seems so abundant. However, I cannot seem to escape this twig of a thought in the back of my mind...the shadow that hovers behind the crowd.
Am I possessed?
Joy is not in things;
it is within us.
- Richard Wagner
it is within us.
- Richard Wagner