Sunday, August 4, 2019

Hidden History

It all started out with small spot on the ceiling in the bathroom. It was a leak. The leak was fixed  but the ceiling needed re-painting. I ignored it. I had work to do, right?

And work I did: throwing bowls, vases, cups, mugs; building jars, vases, dishes; sculpting faces and bodies and masks. It all came together just in time for a spring show and my first featured gallery show in many years. 

I was happy, energized and relieved. And yet, I knew there was more to do. 

Staring at the ceiling. 

I woke up one morning and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I knew it was time to paint the bathroom ceiling. As we all know, one small step leads to big change. That small spot lead to painting the walls and replacing the light fixtures. 

And then, there was the walk-in closet. The black hole that has never been repainted since we built the house back in the 90’s. I’ve dusted in there and re-arranged and organized over the years, but I’ve never taken everything out. Yeah. 

Oh, but it didn’t stop there. 

Nope. In between painting the bathroom and closet, cleaning all the shelves and cupboards inside and out, trashing and donating unwanted items, I tackled the kitchen pantry. But still did I say, enough? No.

I looked over from the pantry into my utility room and was shocked to realize that room has not been repainted since my daughter was in high school. Hint: she’s married, pregnant and has a master’s degree.

I confess, I’m a candle hoarder. Inside those cupboards, I found stacks and stashes of used votives, tapers, pillars and jars. I found stacks of empty jars without candles waiting in case I needed them. A reformed basket hoarder, I was shocked to find in the back yet another stack of unused baskets. 

Time to recycle. And remember.

My utility room got a new coat of paint. I picked almost the same shade of yellow that’s been on the walls for years. Yellow is not my favorite color. I justified it then because I hate laundry and yellow is a happy, bright color for a small, dark room. 

But after I finished painting yesterday and began putting the room back together I saw what this yellow room really means to me. 

The primary color palette was used originally in both my children’s baby rooms. On the wall hangs their tiny primary colored handprints. Across are framed cards with encouraging words I received from my husband when I was trying to find my way from full time mom to artist. Above is a line up of my favorite tins gathered over the years, some gifts from my favorite Gram. And on each side of the sink sit hand-built vases with paw prints of my dear departed dog and cat. 

Rooms, cupboards, and closets hide and hold our history. Our memories of good times and bad. Happiness and fear. Like a time capsule or treasure chest, these covered dark places keep our lives preserved for a time when, if we are brave, we can open up, clear out, let in new light and smile at the memories. 

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