Colour Your World
Every time I think about blogging, I have to ask myself, what the hell am I doing? Why do I consistently find ways to avoid something that's really good for me, something that I do fairly well, something that I can literally do sitting on my ass in my kitchen, something that can easily take under half an hour?
The preceding question could fairly equally be applied to playing the piano (big piece of furniture one room over, somehow turns invisible when I walk past) and exercising (not the sitting on my ass part, but you get me.). I would almost certainly feel better if I did these things far more regularly. Why do I not do them? Do I hate myself?
Anyways. To just lay out a little of the stuff whirling around in my mind lately. Painting the main floor walls. When we moved in here, I was determined that we weren't going to have walls that were builder's white. I wanted colour, deeply saturated, more than one. We painted the family room a medium blue, the kitchen a sunny yellow, the living room an orangey terra cotta, and the entrance a deep green. I wished slightly that the family room blue was darker and the entrance green was more sage than kelly, but on the whole I was happy (it turns out, sort of weirdly, that the entrance was the exact green of East Nepean Little League, which launched Angus on a few fairly amazing adventures, so that's kind of neat). A few years later we repainted the family room a sort of café au lait. I wished we had extended that colour into the kitchen (in my mind we did, and I'm shocked every time I rediscover that the kitchen is still yellow), but again, I was happy.
Lately, I suddenly feel a strong need to have fewer and calmer colours. I go and visit Zarah, who gets to make all the decorating decisions for herself since her cheating-ass husband left, and I sit reading among the soothing neutrals and the understated decor that flows naturally from room to room and feel a kind of tranquillity I almost never do at home. I think of a blogger I used to read who was pregnant after the stillbirth of her first baby, and she was repainting her kitchen and living room from a gorgeous range of saffron and honey and amber - like a Middle Eastern spice market - to white and off-white. I thought she was nuts. I loved the old colours. I didn't understand how different experiences and states of mind can result in just really wanting to be surrounded by different colours.
I followed Rachel Held Evans on Twitter. I own one of her books, haven't yet read it, but she seemed like a really remarkable person (her Twitter bio begins with "Doubt-filled believer", which really resonates with me). Fairly soon before she died far too young, she was tweeting about painting a new house, or maybe repainting her house. She said she loved warm, rich colours like yellow, orange and red, that she "hated every sad, gray page of the Pottery Barn catalog". I smiled, because I remembered thinking the exact same thing. That she never got to redecorate her house, or reach the age when she would long for soothing neutrals, if she ever would, is absolutely in the minutest of minutiae in the vast tragedy of her death for her family and friends and followers. But I still think of it, and it makes looking at paint chips and trying out simulation programs seem freighted with privilege and implications, and makes it seem both less and more important than it actually is.
Is this rather a lot to lay on a few buckets of Kendall Charcoal, Balboa Mist or Metropolitan Gray? Why yes, it well may be. I'm at a time in my life, and in the life of the world, where almost everything sets off a cascade of thoughts about privilege and mortality. Our days are not unlimited. So I'm going to do my best to write more - here at least once a week, and if I fall off the wagon, feel free to call me on it. And I will drag my recalcitrant ass to the gym (buckle up, Pammy, we're going back in). And I will play my stupid piano. And I will try very hard not to procrastinate too much on clearing out some junk and painting my house some happy colours that are perfect for this point in my journey.