Sunday, January 1, 2012

Transactions with Beauty

And here it is, the cooler, calmer, cleaner version of my study.  What I love about painting a room is that all your old junk seems new again.  We've lived in this house for just about 13 years.  And we've done this one other time - take all the books out and move them back in again.  Truly, it should be done more often.  Books and dust, well, there's a natural attraction there.  I also have this knick-knack habit, which has a little something to do with being married to a (primarily) still life artist.  (If you click the link you can see that he's branched out a little lately - and I love this new direction - travel in my future, you see....) A lot of the potential still life knick-knacks ended up on my bookshelves and the clutter was becoming a distraction, so the paring down has been lovely.

The colour we used was Martha Stewart's Faded Ink.  So I've lived with this for a few days now, and love it more and more.  At different times of the day, it's greyer, and in the mid-day light there's a clarity to the blue that's very soothing and uplifting at once.  Plus, it's pretty much exactly what I expected.  We've had good luck with the Martha paints that way.

Above is my all-poetry shelf.  There's more poetry, of course.  I have a couple more rows across the way.  Even though I've worked (and do work) in many libraries, I don't have it in any real sort of order.  It's in broad categories - world poetry, American and Canadian.  As for the rest, it ends up being sorted into topics that pertain to books I've written or am in the process of writing. For example, I have a shelf full of art forgery books, one or two full of Venice books, a purse and handbag book shelf, women artists, etc.  

This splendid lamp was my Christmas present from R!  I'm pretty crazy about it : )  In the morning dark, it's quite magnificent and I can see that in the upcoming year I'm going to do a lot of writing in it's shiny, sparkly and very mod light.  The lampshade is made up of these really thin wiry things, so that the shadow cast on the wall is just magic.

The other cool new thing in my study is this little niche.  I took our birds' nest collection and separated it from the rest of the clutter : )  These two shelves were from Winner's - super cheap, but they kind of look neat I think.  I guess I've had this colour of blue in my head since we were in Amsterdam last February, and especially our visit at the Museum of Bags and Purses.  It's not quite the same, but this is a photo I took there that I love. It's not a super prevalent colour there, but it's something that has stuck with me, and that I have craved.  And now I have it.  Happiness.

So, my head has been FULL to the brim this past week.  I've been making New Year's resolutions upon resolutions.  Many of them have to do with getting healthier, svelter.  I guess in a lot of ways this past year has been stress-o-rama.  And I've let myself go.  My posture even sucks.  Honestly.  I think I've shrunk because I've felt so small and lacking in confidence and just generally on pins and needles.  Of course, a lot of great things have happened to us this year.  R's show went well especially given the economy in the spring, and I started working p/t at the Public Library which has been actually amazing and excellent and better than I could have hoped for.  I think/hope I generally try to keep my freaking out, stressed out self out of this blog.  But yah, it's there, that part of me, for sure.  Long story short, today I was reading Coleman Bark's book of Rumi's poems: Bridge to the Soul.  And I found a better new year's resolution for myself.  One I'm going to keep, one that I will be in training for. From the poem, "Secret Places":

"Lovers find secret places
inside this violent world
where they make transactions
with beauty."

And I've also started writing a poem-essay today about this.  Which is how I wanted to start the year.  Writing. Thinking about beauty.

And so:  I resolve to find those secret places and make delicate transactions with beauty.

I hope you had an excellent first day of 2012.  I am wishing you a year that is calm and full of beauty and that you too may find those secret places in this world of ours.


  1. Thank you dear Brenda! Happy New Year to you as well.

  2. I absolutely love your blog. It boosts me up while at the same time connects so amazingly in many ways. You send out such positive thoughts and beautiful serene photos. I do understand the struggle to capture things in words because it is hard to express how very much your writings have meant to me this past year. Thank you many times over. Best wishes for all you goals and resolutions and may more than what you need come to you.

  3. So beautiful to hear, Edna. Thank you so much.

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, pictures, vulnerability and songs of hope. Good luck with the rest of the transforming. The den looks great!

  5. thanks Lucy : ) i'm loving it so much.


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