There is long-standing stand-off in the household. The kitchen needs ripping out and we need to start again. From scratch. The thought fills me with horror. Three or four months of living with builders and chaos at the centre of my home is not a prospect that I relish. I have jumped into denial with both feet and I’m not coming out.
I wondered why I am resisting this project so vehemently. And then remembered reading the following paragraph in a fascinating book called “House as a mirror of self” by Clare Cooper Marcus:
If you are not sure what it is that brings you delight, notice what you observe – that is who you are. If you pay close attention to your houseplants and ignore the cobwebs catching dust in the corner of the ceiling, don’t judge yourself, just notice it. When the rooms dedicated to the body’s needs – kitchen, bathroom – are kept ordered and beautiful, but the room where you file your papers is a mess, could you be telling yourself something? If the housework seems a chore but gardening is a joy, pay close attention. Rather than chastise yourself for ignoring the house, ask yourself – what is this joy I feel in the garden? Be aware of your state of mind when you are there; spend more time in the garden! What you pay attention to is who you are – and who you are yearning to be more fully.”
I have a feeling that Ms Cooper Marcus may have hit the nail on the head. After a couple of decades of metaphorically and literally feeding the family, my attention is firmly fixed on my office and my tiny loft room where I paint.
What is does home mean to you? What is it telling you?