Sunday, June 24, 2012
Today there is no visual posting other than the text. I hope that will suffice in the interim, as this was a day that wine in a terra cotta cup thrown in a perfect cylinder by a Quaker friend brought inspiration to me. That and a visit by two miraculous women I didn't know before today.
This is a journaling of priorities. Something that in this time of our culture usually involves little more than what brings money to us. However, we can starve physically and die happy in a resolve of appropriateness. Perhaps in these times, what we need to refocus on is what our deepest priorities are. Let me give an example from my own history, a story of a man I didn't think much of at the time, but who ended up having a huge impact on my worldview in later years:
My first husband, Bob, and I moved to the Pacific Northwest in the late 1970s, after Bob had been honorably discharged from the Navy. We found ourselves renting a small cottage on 14 acres in Federal Way, Washington, on the edge of Lake Geneva. This was acreage that had been a resort in the late 1930s, and had a few of the buildings left of that era in various states of disrepair. The forest was ancient between the buildings, the sun on the lake dominated the light and the atmosphere. It was a fairy land between the growing town of Federal Way and Auburn. The houses on the property were dilapidated, and subject to sudden invasions of large mushrooms and giant slugs you could hear sliding across your bathroom walls in the middle of the night. The human inhabitants of the property were equally unique. But the only other neighbor I want to focus on today is the man who referred to himself as "Dallas".
Dallas was a quiet man. He had long blond hair, drove a Volkswagen "Thing", and had a Doberman Pinscher named Cher. She was a delicate dog, diminutive for a Doberman, and gentle. But what I remember the most of our light friendship with Dallas, was his living conditions. He had taken up residence in the old garage of the resort property, and, as the hands-off landlord allowed with no questions asked, he had remade that building into a very intriguing living space. Very spartan, concrete floor. Stark white walls. However, the ceiling was punctuated with numerous skylights, each bathed a unique sculpture beneath it with hard daylight. There was little of furnishing, Dallas had invested almost nothing in comfort other than a soft place to plop down as you focused on the islands of sculptural interest throughout the residential gallery that he lived in. He existed for the sculpture he had spent the majority of his income on.
Dallas's quiet, uncluttered lifestyle honed my worldview of priorities. Looking at Jim's and my current house, one would wonder how Dallas's life influenced our living space, but we are also unique individuals with our own priorities. I see in my present day life definite traces of Dallas's influence braided with my own, however. Those islands of sculpture and visual art Jim and I have nurtured are to us like the cat's eye band of light that moves and glows on the surface of a gemstone, like a Tiger Eye. Ever in transit, but always the highlight over our background life of normalcy. Our colorful living foundation basks in the opulent glow of the chatoyance of art.