Welcome to Stream of Consciousness Saturday – Linda G. Hill‘s weekly prompt to encourage stream-of consciousness writing. This week’s prompt is “The Five Senses”.
Here’s my entry for today:
I’m sitting in my study – a hodgepodge little cubby that we made several years ago by bolting three tall bookcases together to divide off a small section at the end of our long, narrow living room. This space has served a few different purposes, since, but, mostly, it’s been a cluttered and unusable mess more useful to felines than humans.
But two years or so ago, I decided to claim it. It’s been a stuttering, stop-and-go process, and my vision keeps changing as I learn more about myself and my creative process. Today, there is progress, and I am sitting, half-uncomfortably, on my new upholstered chair, my long legs precariously perched on the spinning office chair, which is a little too high for the job. I have plans to add a footstool, because writing here seems to tap into my creativity more than sitting at a desk does.
I’ve got my new laptop on my lap – but a table to set it on might be a good idea, too, even if I don’t always use it. It’s a different perspective, sitting here, and I like it. I can survey the space (okay, still too much clutter to really enjoy the right-now of it, but I have a vision of what it will be, and I can hang onto that. There’s a lot of dust in here, and I have plans.
But there are also grace notes – more and more of them as I go along, as I embrace my affinity for turquoise with a lampshade and a partially-decorated bulletin board. I’m learning that, for me, creative flow is deeply tied to the sensual. So there’s a little turquoise coffeepot, flavored honey straws, and a basket for snacks, coffee and tea. I can feed my hunger, quench my thirst – and engage my taste buds…
From the other side of my bookcase wall, the local news is talking to itself, or maybe to the spinning ceiling fan. I can hear a lawn mower off somewhere. I couldn’t get ours started today, so I weeded around a raised garden bed instead…
Today’s treasure….the wafting of the sweetly potent scent of lilacs. It was a harsh and persistent winter, and spring woke slowly and lazily this year. But then we had warmth and sun, followed by cool and rain, and three days back, Annalise was prematurely planting wildflower seeds in the as-yet unweeded front flower bed, because when you’re nine, sometimes you just can’t wait. I was gathering laundry, and puttering my way through the beginnings of what promises to be an intensive cleaning project to clear out and repurpose our enclosed front porch. She looked out across the yard, and said, “Mommy, the lilac trees are saying, ‘I love you’ all over the place.”
Our lilac trees aren’t really trees – they’re large shrubs. But our house is a mobile home with an addition, so it’s low, and the “trees” reach higher than the roof. And there they were – resplendant in lavender blooms, when, a week before, the leaf buds were just beginning to open. It always takes me by surprise, their swiftness and splendor, that delicate and powerful aroma carried on the air.
Why did she think they were saying, “I love you?” Because years before our children were born, when my husband and I lived a different, vagabond life, working in assorted national parks, he would sometimes stop our big old Dodge truck along the road in Oregon or Montana or Florida, and pick me purple wildflowers, because, for our wedding, we gathered vividly purple wildflowers from a swampy area, and used these rather than expensive arrangements. We came up with a catchphrase, “Purple flowers mean I love you.”
And so, over a decade later, and well into another, they still do.
Today, I breathed in that lavender- colored, lilac-scented love, and knew I wanted to bring it inside – to my study, so they will waft into the words that I write, the worlds that I weave, and, from here, to the rest of the living room…I took my time in selecting and arranging, and I was certain to keep some of the green leaves, for contrast, and because they’re shaped like hearts to add to the love. I have deeper purples and lighter, for variety, and I placed them in my blue ceramic pitcher.
I set them on a dusty high shelf, where they can be seen as I enter the room. Nope, I didn’t dust. I will, eventually, but I have other things going on today. I’m looking at them now, as the baby robins nesting in the eaves set up a ruckus that means that the parents have brought food…the children are yelling happily from the trampoline; I can hear them as an undercurrent to the house noises.
And they are lovely, there on that shelf that holds both treasures and dust. It’s beauty and decay, in one place.
To me, it a perfect demonstration of the Lovely Chaos that is my muddled and magical life.
Have you engaged your senses lately? How?
The Lovely Chaos of a Study Shelf. =)