Each week, I've been trying to clear a corner here and a surface there in my home. And in doing so, I keep running in to little bits of myself that I forgot I had.
For years, it was a miracle if I managed to vacuum each week, much less clear clutter or even decorate. So things got dusty and cluttery. I can't entirely blame it on being sick, because it was already on its way before I got sick, but it just got worse.
So since I've been better, I've taken on a small clearing project each week to keep the momentum going and also to accommodate my general laziness and lack of desire to clean. It might be clearing a corner where stuff got piled up, going through papers, cleaning a cabinet in the kitchen or whatever. I'm moving slowly, but I'm making progress I can see and appreciate and that fuels more progress.
A couple of months back, I went through all the artwork I'd accumulated over the years. I have nice art on my walls. Most everything is an original work, but some things are limited edition prints. I like to support artists I enjoy, so long as I can afford it. And as I went through the stuff I got, I took out a few pieces to get framed. I wasn't really sure how I'd use the art, but I knew it had go up somewhere.
Finally I chose the wall at the top of my stairs. I'm one of those people who uses my bedroom only for sleeping. I don't have a TV up there. I do have an iPad, but I rarely use it at night. I tend to lay my head down and not wake up until morning. I didn't used to be that way. I used to have insomnia. And when I read about how to avoid that, I learned the trick about using the bedroom only for sleep.
So I only go upstairs at night. I've always had something hanging on that focal wall, but it was always something I only kinda liked or something I thought might look interesting from the bottom of the stairs. But now I've decided to make a wall that just embodies me. It's similar to how people hang pictures of family members in their hallways. It's my private space and should have private things. So I started this wall.
So far I have a Patrick Valenza print, which is a little on the odd side, but I like it. There's a Joanna Powell Colbert print of one of her tarot cards. The original artwork for The Star card for Dana Driscoll's Tarot of Trees. A custom switch plate I had made on etsy. And a little painting I found many years ago that used to hang in my office, but now hangs here. I also have two pieces I've commissioned that will take a while to arrive—whimsical tiles depicting each of my dogs and a tile of "me" with cardinals and robins, birds I feel are symbolic of my deceased loved ones.
When I'm finished, a good portion of this wall will be covered in things that have meaning for me. I'm being careful not to make any one piece so bright or commanding that it draws attention away from the others. I want for each time I look at it, at all the many angles I see it from, to remind me I'm more than what I am the bulk of the time...the time spent at the bottom of the stairs, working.
It's all mixed media and mixed frames. If it looked too uniform, it just wouldn't be me. And while most of it is very peaceful, there's the juxtaposition of "The queen responds with an obscene gesture." In a way, I'm creating art from art—a collage of things that speak to me and of me.
It had been such a long time since I'd infused new energy into my home. So changing that spot has been meaningful. I can't count the number of times I have caught a glimpse of it from downstairs and thought, "hey that looks really good". And every night I climb the stairs with it in my sights. It makes me feel good, not just about my home, but about what the wall says to me about who I am and the artists and things I like. It will be all that much more meaningful when I get my dogs on the wall and the one with me and the birds. And for those who don't like my tarot art or my choice in artists, I can always refer them to the queen. :D
I have lost so many parts of me for so long to illness, depression and illness-induced depression, that's it's nice to be able to get back to feeling like me again. I have a lot of physical and life things to reengage with now that I'm feeling better. And even now, months later, I'm still peeling off layers of the spiritual ick that covered me for so long. I'm experience happiness—and even just general everyday-ness—that was unimaginable six months ago. It's amazing how you don't even see parts of you falling away. They just do. And so there's a lot to rediscover...hobbies and things I take pride in. I've had some help from my brother, but I'm so far ahead of where I usually am with things in the yard, which bodes well for my herbs and flowers this year. I'm feeling good and better almost every day.
There's an opening up happening for me and I feel like I'm still only just scratching the surface. The clearing is part of it. This wall is part of that. There was a time long ago that I built walls of fear and anger and hate within me. And now I'm building a wall of self love. I'm looking forward to seeing where it all goes from here.