Saturday, October 10, 2009

Where is your space?

Duffy in his space. Sophie not happy about it, as usual.

I was reading Michelle's blog this morning, and she was talking about creating a special place to curl up on a comfy chair, read a book and sip tea, a NOOK.

Most of us like the idea of a special place, just ours where we can think about things. We could call it our thinking place or our safe place. A place to be reflective or meditative.

Whether we live in a big place or a small place most of us need some time to ourselves. We need to have that "down" time for our bodies or our minds and spirits to heal or refresh ourselves.

Some of us prefer to spend that time outside in the environment, walking or doing something more physical. Some need to touch base with nature to feel centered again.

My husband has always understood my need for a space of my own. THANK YOU, ZEUS.

When we first came to Madison, we rented a old house next door to our landlord. It had three bedroom upstairs and John turned one of them into my then first "studio". We had no money but when we had saved enough we painted that room bright yellow. Next came a rug from one of those big warehouse rug stores, it was cheap and bright orange. The only piece of furniture came from our landlords storage garage, an old brown horsehair sofa. The most uncomfortable piece of furniture I ever tried to sit on, Sarah, the dog loved it and slept on it whenever possible.

I did my yoga on the orange rug and eventually we saved enough money for me to buy my first sewing machine. It had no fancy stitches but it could sew through leather if I had asked it to.

Our landlord was blind but he still operated a woodworking shop behind his house. He and his wife seemed to be very happy to have this young couple with a dog, living next door to them. Clarence could often be seen outside, sitting on his back steps with Sarah, our dog, sitting next to him.

His arm draped around her shoulders.

We had no money to spare so John often worked in the workshop. He learned a lot about woodworking from Carl, who ran the shop. Our weekend nights were spent with John working in the shop and me, outside with Sarah, fending off Clarence, who's favorite line was "Here, let me get a feel of you".

He was talking about reading my face, right? Well, I told him to listen to my voice.

We lived there for five years before we bought our first home. A real "starter" home. A "fix it up a little" home. Over the years John gutted every single room of that old farm house and rebuilt it. We replaced siding, re-roofed, built a upper porch, tore off the upper porch and built out, we extended the back of the house a few feet much to the neighbors enjoyment. It wasn't much but it gave the back bedroom a more room like appearance instead of a closet.

Bottom line is we worked on that house 24/7.

I think it was two children and two dogs later that John created my second private place. It certainly wouldn't win any awards on a Creating Special Spaces show on cable but I loved it.
Over the years the house had lost it's original wrap around porch. We tore off the ugly, sinking enclosed porch and replaced it with a beautiful, wrap around porch. What had once been a side entrance into the kitchen had been closed off with the kitchen remodel.
John created a little potting shed there. Our neighbors joked that it should have a half moon on the door because it did look like an old fashion attached outhouse. He built shelves, a counter, pegboard for my tools and put a stool in there. He made his own Master Gardner certificate for me, framed it and hung it on the pegboard. He knew I had no extra time to take the classes.

It was a nook and that wonderful man had built it just for me.

It was a place where I could just sit and think about things, listening to the noise, in the house of two healthy, happy, lively little boys, playing with two loud, barking dogs. Where I could have a couple minutes of peace, sip my beer and/or study my notes, for my evening classes at the community college.

Sometimes all we need to do is to honor that need within us to daydream, to stare out the window, to just quiet the thoughts zooming through our minds. We have so much external noise coming at us daily that we become overwhelmed.

Anytime we can still ourselves, quiet the chatter, we allow room, space to connect up with that universal flow.

When we create we lose ourselves in the moment. We allow that window of opportunity for our soul to connect directly with us. Some call it prayer, reflection, meditation it doesn't matter what name you give to that space and connection. What is important is that we need it as human beings. Somewhere in our modern society we have forgotten this need, this connection and how important it is that our children learn to be still.

Some have forgotten how to achieve that quiet space. Some are uncomfortable with silence.

A small plaque hung in my little potting shed it said:

"Sometimes I likes to sit and think and

Sometimes I likes to sit."

:)Bea. Create, it's good for your soul.


  1. Thank you for this elaboration on my space ponderings...puts things in perspective! I'm pretty lucky to have the physical space I do have and must make more time for the internal space...btw, tried out that overstuffed chair I was coveting at the furniture store and it was hard as stone...more for perching than snuggling! xo - Michelle

  2. It got me thinking, this morning, Michelle. Yesterday, everywhere I went there was NOISE. Your post reminded me how much I value my personal spaces. Sorry about the chair.......there is one out there just right for you. Kinda like the three bears, huh? lol :)Bea

  3. Yep, it's all about the slow dance to me. Very nice post Bea, I enjoyed it.

  4. For the looooooooongest time, I really had no space to call my own, when it came to writing (and much later, blogging). I would set up shop in the bedroom, the kitchen, even the backyard deck (in the summertime).

    It was only very recently that I was able to get a space of my own, and even then, the original plan was to clean out the junk room where the furnace and gas heater was located in the spring time.

    However, my wife and mother spent one Friday a couple of weeks ago, clearing out a space in the junk room for me.

    I now have a little den in which houses all my writing related schtuff: laptop, printer, shelving for my various writings, even a toy bench in which to store my self-pubbed books and shipping materials.

    I couldn't be happier.

  5. Yes, Yvonne, it is the slow dance, what a beautiful way to put it. :)Bea

  6. Oh, G, how wonderful that they did that for you. It is so nice when family values your needs as well as theirs. So, does it qualify as a "man cave"? :)Bea

  7. What a lovely post Bea. Jim and I both like our own space, luckily and now I am in my new room. Only temporarily, as it hasn't got its wooden floor yet, but it's still wonderful to be in here. It's so quiet, I just love it. Now I must go to bed and I'll catch up on the rest of your posts tomorrow.