May 6th - Aesthetic Movement

Saturday, May 6, 2017

"When friends enter a home,
they sense its personality and character, 
the family's style of living-
these elements make a house come alive 
with a sense of identity, 
a sense of energy, enthusiasm, and warmth, 
declaring 'This is who we are;
this is how we live.'"

Today Sarah tells us a story of how her mother gave her some furniture that was ancient, and handed down from her grandmother. Among the furniture were a pair of china lamps.

Start Quote
The lamps were hideous. 
But it took me years to open my eyes and realize it.

This authentic awareness came as I was 
attempting to bring order...into our lives. 

I began to do this by wandering through the rooms of our house
dispassionately observing our patterns of living;

how we stored things (or didn't),
what areas became catchalls,
where we succumbed to the tendency to take things out
 but NOT put them back because it wasn't convenient.

During the course of this investigation I turned my examining decorative objects that surrounded me daily, especially noting their presence and validity. 

'Who lives here?'
I asked as I began searching for myself. 

Every time I came into the living room, 
I found myself recoiling from those lamps.

'God, they're horrible,'
I would mutter under my breath and move on. 

Finally one day,
God's interior decorator said in desperation,
'Well, get rid of the damn things and stop whining.'

'What are you doing?'
my husband asked as I was removing the objects of revulsion.

'I hate these lamps 
and can't stand living with them for another moment,' I told him. 

'I've hated these lamps for fifteen years 
but never said anything because I thought you loved them.'

'I thought I had to 
because I grew up with them and my mother gave them to me.
But I don't and I won't.'...

During the 1870s and 1880s, 
a philosophy known as the Aesthetic Movement 
sprang up on both sides of the Atlantic 
and began to focus on beautifying every aspect of Victorian life. 

The heart of the movement was realizing the importance of 
nurturing the soul through beautiful surroundings. 

This week I'd like you to wander slowly through your home
and glance at the objects that surround you daily.

Are you really comfortable with them
and what they whisper about you?

Do you love them or just live with them?

It doesn't matter how you acquired these objects.

No immediate decisions need to be made 
as to whether or not you should keep them.

Awareness is all we're seeking.

Above all, don't be embarrassed by how long you may have waited to start searching for our authenticity. 

'To one who waits, all things reveal themselves,
the nineteenth-century English poet Coventry Patmore reassures us,
'so long as you have the courage not to deny in the darkness 
what you have seen in the light.'"
End Quote

Just one example of when I did this, 
when I finally admitted I didn't love my house.

We were living on Delbert, a house that Robbie loved, and so I tried to love it too. We did so much to make it work, put tile in the kitchen and dining area, put in a pantry,  made the attic accessible and useable, had the smallest furniture we could find to fit our small home...

But then the value of our home increased so much we realized we could buy something that suited us more and in an area we really wanted to be in. 

I fought it for awhile, because I had done so much to make this work! But then Robbie said we could have a craft room, and a dinning area big enough for a table that fits more than four people...

And then I accepted what I knew, 
that I did not love this house, 
even though I was willing to make it work. 

Now of course this is an extreme example, 
and not an everyday type of a decision, 
more like once or twice in a lifetime. 

I just wanted you to know this works for big and small things in your life. 

Good luck, 
and have fun!

Gratitude Journal

1) Fun with Jacob. He and I did the trail fest, and while it was slow, and not as kid friendly as promised, it was fun to spend time with him.

2) Avatar Korra. Woohoo!

3) Polish dogs at Costco. Yum.

4) Robbie and I. We have been working on our communication, and sometimes it really sucks, but other times we see the results of our work. I was mad, he was mad, but we got through it without saying anything nasty to each other, and getting through it with love and forgiveness. It's pretty awesome.

5) Dog house grill, and a date night with a tag along. Also, seeing newly weds. They are so cute.