Thursday, January 10, 2019

Hometending and Creativity: Thursday's Reflection

We have restored the house to non-holiday order. As much as I love 
all the Christmas decorations, how good it feels to put them away and discover a bit of space in the house. Arranging new vignettes and filling in shelves in a new way is a form of creativity for me, and I love shopping the house for a new look. 

I often start with the table in the entry way.

And then fill the shelves of the old painted cupboard in the living room. 

I wander from room to room, picking up a book here, a vase there. I test them, turn them, stand back and look. Nope, not quite right, and continue the process. Yes, I know it takes time--time when I could be sitting at my desk writing, but creating a atmosphere that is pleasing and interesting and unique to our home, the ways we live and open ourselves to others in this home is important to me.

Elizabeth Gilbert says, "...creative living is where Big Magic will always abide." 

I suppose I could blame this on my mother, but, instead, I thank her. She liked to create change in her home, too. In fact, I remember her commenting once, and not in complementary way, about a neighbor whose kitchen table had the same centerpiece season after season, year after year. That didn't happen in our house. I loved seeing what was new on the family room mantel or coffee table when I returned home after an absence. 

We moved frequently when I was growing up, and she and my Dad quickly created home for us each time we moved, unpacking boxes even before the moving van had shut its big doors and pulled away from the street. Just because a piece of furniture was in the living room in the previous house didn't mean that's where it would be in the new house. She looked at her possessions with fresh eyes and matched them to each new space. 

I try to do that too.

Unlike my sister, I am not good with my hands. You won't find me at a sewing machine whipping up new curtains, and Bruce is the painter in the family. But I am an arranger. Re-arranger. (In a way that's what I do on the page, too.) I have a good sense of space and color, and our home is my playground. 

Some may say this is a form of distraction, but this process doesn't take away from my writing or teaching time, but instead it feeds it, nurtures it, and along the way, energizes me.

Again, Elizabeth Gilbert in Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear: 

              Go walk the dog, go pick up every bit of trash on the
              street outside your home, go walk the dog again, go 
              bake a peach cobbler, go paint some pebbles with
              brightly colored nail polish and put them in a pile.
              You might think it's procrastination but--with the
               right intention--it isn't; it's motion. And any motion
               whatsoever beats inertia, because inspiration will
               always be drawn to motion. 

For now everything has a place and I like the way the house looks and feels, but that may not be true by this time next week. In the meantime, however, I will be at work at my desk, playing with words and ideas. 

An Invitation
Where does your creativity live and thrive? I would love to know. 


  1. I am much the same way you are, Nancy. I love to putter and arrange and rearrange. I'm also loving the cleaner look of having all the Christmas things put away and the chance to start all over with a clean slate.


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