I hope you have been well in your part of the world.
Writing a newsletter every month makes me realise how quickly days skip and scuttle. We are in the middle of July and looking skywards for the first sign of monsoon clouds
This edition of Beanbag Musings took shape from my corner at home that is surrounded by books and plants. It is small and cosy. With a swivel of my chair I can reach my books or paints or simply look out into the balcony to be entertained by the bird and animal world. There is a constancy to my routine, yet underneath it, I feel the move of time as another leaf unfurls.
The rootedness of the plant in the soil that nurtures it is heartening to see.
‘A real home is always at once a particular place and the entire world.’ – Thomas Moore
I’ve lived in a number of interesting homes, thanks to dad’s postings to various parts of India.
Each one was different in unique ways. There was this childhood home that had a wooden trellis and a creeper of purple passion flowers that meandered all over it, unchecked and wild. When it bloomed, the quality of the home changed. It became a magical place. The flowers were delicate like Chantilly lace and had a nuanced fragrance. Their multiple layers always fascinated me. I could count them for hours and always come up with a different number. This was also the place where I remember seeing my first snowfall and collecting snow in steel glasses to make mounds of different sizes. It was here that the monsoon rain changed a small stream into a raging river that broke all bounds and became ‘melted chocolate’ to my childish mind.
Other homes are in my memory for different reasons. It could be the multi-colored intricately designed flooring of one. Or the immense height of the ceiling of another. I still remember that. I remember how cool the stone felt to my bare feet in summer and how clean it looked after the morning mopping had been done. The phenyl in the water…What a smell! Most of all, I remember how I felt inside these homes.
I have started thinking about home and shelter more now than I had ever done in the past. I’ve never known my home more intimately than I do now. Every crack, every aberration, every neat corner where the walls meet or don’t… I have mapped it all in my mind. It has been a safety net in these uncertain times. It’s reliable embrace of familiarity and comfort hold a new meaning after spending months within its folds almost without break.
This phase in our collective lives will be remembered by all of us for different reasons. They might have been challenging and downright unbearable for some and pushing many out of their comfort zone completely.
Quite like the lines we underline in a sea of words in an entire novel, there are small pockets of insight in a seemingly endless list of normal happenings in life that give a sudden spurt of growth to our way of thinking. For me, though, this phase of many months was one about adjusting spaces to fulfil new needs that were emerging.
I repaired things around me and within myself. One step at a time. I was somehow more centered. I carried more of myself everywhere as opposed to leaving pieces of me all over the place. I was more present. Removing things from a cluttered schedule had made space for fewer but more important things to come into life and stay there. I had no more excuses to not do them and I was grateful for this choice being made for me at home.
“The home is more than a box in which to live; it is a soul activity to be retrieved from the numbness of the world of modern objects. Each place of the house, each room, hallway closet, stair and alcove is a distinct structure that animates different aspects of soul.”
– Robert Sardello
I found these beautiful lines in a book I took to reading after it surfaced rather dramatically during a bout of cleaning. It is titled ‘Spirit of the Home’ and written by Jane Alexander. It delves into psychology and Feng Shui of homes, it takes one down memory lane through interesting questionnaires wanting to help reach our real feelings regarding the spaces we inhabit or have lived in previously. It also talks about what it means to leave home or make one and what emotional baggage we bring to these processes and how to get rid of them.
I had thought that when we left a house, it left us too. The answer to some questions in the book made me realize how wrong I was.
The book urges us to sit quietly in the heart of our home and seek out what it wants from us … In our mind we have always been the homemakers, never looking at it from the other angle that our home makes us too… It might have certain desires and needs too…a windchime, perhaps? Or more music, less arguments….more laughter and sunlight?
It would feel awkward to many to do this, I felt odd as well. But then I figured, if I can talk to my plants and have discussions with my pet and feel a definite energy exchange, the same feeling must apply to my home. This place that gives so much and absorbs so many different vibes…I want to make it feel important and special, safe and pampered, because this is what it does for me.
I think every member living in a home is a ‘homemaker’ in some way or another…
I would love to be a ‘Home Whisperer’ having subtle conversations with this place that gives me so much more than it ever takes…
“At its most profound level, a house is always going to be more than a mere structure…it is far more than just a shelter.
The ancients venerated their homes; a touch of this awe and wonder is the first step to putting the spirit back into your home.”
It would be interesting to read your thoughts about the topic of this months Musings, do share
We are working towards a Gouache Workshop scheduled for Saturday, 17th July. It is an interesting medium to explore and I do hope everyone enjoys it! If you’re interested, check out The Beehive’s Facebook page for more information.
On a different note…
I have created a slim and slick space, ruled and plain, with original cover designs for writing, scribbling, ideating and well, musing.
Write back to me if you’d like to order one at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next month!