Sure, I live in a bubble. Why? Don’t you?
Think about the inner world you’ve created inside the world at large. What fills your home, your bedroom, your office? Not the paperwork and laundry that haunt us all. I’m talking about the things you’ve deliberately chosen to surround you. What do they say about who you are?
Image via Unsplash/kazuend
I was thinking this morning, I have a lot. Just the other day, I wrote a post about minimalism (and I intend to keep that as my goal), yet I look around my home and see how much I have.
I’m okay with this, to some extent. The clutter can go, but I can’t imagine living in austere surroundings. I need soft, comfortable seating. I need pillows for sofas and warm blankets for huddling down inside all winter long. It turns out I have a couple of collections, too, even though I claim not to like collecting. More accurately, I don’t like collecting things just for the sake of collecting them. For me, collections have to fulfill another purpose.
These are the things I collect: books, milk glass.
The books because …they’re books. They’re beautiful, though, aren’t they? With their different colored spines? The old books–which are generally my favorites–sometimes have raised designs on their covers, plus they have that old book scent. The pages have that certain feel under your fingertips. Books, they all stand there so quietly on your shelves, like these silent friends who are always ready to open up their arms, to welcome you in with a good story just when you need it most. So, yes, I collect books.
Milk glass is a newer thing for me to collect. I think I like it because my grandmom always had some (and I now have some of her pieces). I especially like the white on white patterns–the ones with the raised hobnails or grape vines. I enjoy milk glass for its simplicity and functionality. I love pottery for the same reasons–the beauty and function tied together. I guess you could say I have a pottery collection, too, but I don’t have many pieces. One bowl came from a local crafter (I requested it as my birthday present one year), and the rest are priceless, made by my children’s hands.
So, books and milk glass and pottery. Photographs, too, because I treasure my photos. Oh, and also the handmade pieces–the crocheted blankets I’ve made for each of us, the plates my grandmother painted. Those things are all part of my bubble world.
Along with the creativity inherent in these things–the books and pottery and plates–there are also paintings and music. Some of the paintings we have created; others have been made by professional artists. I love the thought of gathering local art, especially, though I only have a few such prints. What a wonderful thing, to have the story and the beautiful painting. We have music, too–lots of different kinds of music–for listening, for singing, for dancing. Art of all kinds fills my bubble.
Yet, the best parts of my bubble world are the living things. The people go without saying, because I don’t think my husband or I could imagine a world without our children–they’re the center. I’m talking about the non-necessities, which still feel very necessary to me: the animals, the plants. You might say I collect them as well, because we have so many, but I wouldn’t use the word collect. I’d use the word welcome.
Not my houseplant, not my cat, but I already love them both
(mine wouldn’t pose)
Image via Unsplash/Linnea Sandbakk
I welcome these living beings and these little treasures into my home because they are the kinds of things I want to have surrounding me and my family.
I want, for us, the living energy of plants, the love and companionship of animals. I want the stories of other worlds, other times, other lives. I want poetry to show us meaning where we might have missed it. I want photographs to bring memories back to life–memories of times past and, sometimes, people past. I want pottery and plates that still carry the energy of the hands that made them. I want music to open up our spirits, and artwork to remind us of the beauty all around us.
These are the things I choose to welcome into our bubble world. What about you? What fills your bubble? Have you consciously sought those things or, like me, have many of them simply arrived?