It’s December… and I can already feel myself inhabiting my studio in a different way, one that speaks of hibernation, stewing, rediscovering my heart. I had the urge to rearrange the furniture, make a sunny spot for working, catty-corner my desk so that I can feel the warmth from my sweet little space heater/woodstove-wannabe while I write, create a cozy spot for journaling and dreaming and a wide open space for dancing, yoga and qi gong, and spreading out on the floor with the pups while ruminating on our future dream farm.
And now the rearranging bug has hit the rest of the household. I’m close to certain that if my honey has her way, she is going to instigate some sort of drastic swapping of rooms over this coming weekend, which might entail moving our little home-gym and a new paint-color in our sleeping space.
We’ve always been somewhat smitten with change, she and I. When we were younger, we would move to a different house every couple of years, savoring the process of unpacking boxes and setting up our home with fresh eyes. We’re getting older now, and moving is a pain in the ass. Rearranging the furniture and getting rid of stuff we no longer need is the next best thing. This urge surely comes from wanting and needing to stretch ourselves beyond what we consider normal, get out of our tired and boring routines and to gracefully meet the requirement of letting go of things that are familiar and snug to make room for whatever our hearts might be yearning for next.
It hasn’t escaped me that this propensity for switching things up might also be a way of trying to keep up with the shifts and adjustments and modifications that life throws at us on a daily basis. There’s SO. MUCH. There’s a son, living on his own, learning to drive a car and applying to colleges in Florida, and a daughter who I so rarely see these days because she is busy making a masterpiece of her own life. There are the aging parents, and the desire to be held and taken care of by them as if we were still children, alongside a sense of urgency to travel to Virginia and Indiana to take care of them by driving them to all of their doctor’s appointments and making them home-cooked meals. There’s that overwhelming midlife theme of not wanting to let go of the sweetness of the past, and yet, feeling like there’s not enough time left to do everything we want to do. There’s covid and all of its straggler variants that make life feel so very fragile, and the shit in the news, like school shootings and idiots trying to end the right to abortion, that make life feel so very broken. There’s just so friggin’ much to worry about these days, isn’t there?
However, worry is not sustainable. Focusing on how fragile it all feels is not sustainable. And so we shake things up. Make a stink. Challenge the status quo. Rearrange the furniture and paint the walls a different color. Not necessarily in avoidance of the worry, but to invite in the question of what might bring us a whisper (or a cacphony) of joy in this moment? What feels loving in this moment?What inspires hope?
I suppose I rearranged my studio because I wanted to rearrange everything, inside and out, from the state of the world to my own inner workings. I wanted to watch the garbage man drag away everything that is stagnant or harmful, and tuck the things I love into their rightful places, so that life itself is a sanctuary of meaning, of light and warmth pouring through the shadows and onto my feet, of space to dance and play with the dogs and celebrate all of our good fortune, despite how delicate things might appear on the surface.