I’m sitting on my old couch looking at the chipboard floors of my new house.
We had the carpet removed as soon as we took possession. The previous owners had two large black dogs and it has taken weeks to subdue the fur, tufted under baseboards, stuck to walls and consequently on the tip of my paint brush. No amount of vacuuming seems to get it all. The green seams of resin and wood preserver on view for the first time in 20 years crack and echo in the great room largely empty, but for a few stark pieces of furniture and some boxes not yet unpacked. I can hear the building flex when the whispers of winter become insistent, amplified by those naked boards. It is beautiful.
After months of instability, it affected all of this family’s health, but most of all, our sweet kitty. At 18 with kidney issues, we cherish every moment. I’m struggling with the unfinished state; the floors, my bathroom and many other things which got started and stopped for a plethora of reasons and their finish dates remain elusive. So close to the end of months of chaos and yet…
The studio is still a long way off and the weather has removed the possibility of outdoor painting. There is no time for anything but sleep and work anyway. Reading is stealing a few moments for poems found in books I rediscover unpacking after 16 months in storage.
There is little time for art and creativity yet. The costs of multiple moves and renovation are astronomical and so there is much work we have been doing ourselves. I found muscles I didn’t know I had to save money. When I attended the Art of the Carolinas conference (booked long before I knew what was coming), all my fine muscles had been obliterated by heavy work and simple drawing was a challenge. I had no finesse and I got hand cramps! It was three days of creativity, however.
For all my small and larger complaints, it truly is a small piece of heaven. One I’m anxious to enjoy and to heal in.
So my iPhone has become the closest thing I have to my easel. Creativity is through the lens again. This place is so stunning. It’s hard not to paint it. I’m full of ideas even if I can’t get them down yet. Even if I can only pause for a few seconds to admire the light here, and I must, this is the place we have worked so hard to find – will work so hard to make home.