As I have gotten older, I have become the very thing that I used to others for. I have become….sentimental (gasp!). Yes, I, the notoriously hardcore , there-must-be-onions-in-the-room-if-you-see-me-sniffling scion of un-sentimental has gotten a bit soft. Ok. Who am I fooling? Those who know me, know that I have long been a lover of sweetness. I have pictures my oldest daughter drew in kindergarten…16 years ago. What I have learned to do, however, is blend in the sentimental stuff in a seamless way so that it has a place of significance without things getting too kitschy. I call this design movement Sentimental Infusion. Sounds intentional, doesn’t it? For example, my son’s declaration of environmental stewardship written on a discarded brown bag is now… a framed and prized manifesto. Andre Breton, author of the Surrealist Manifesto, can kick rocks in this biased momma’s eyes. Here are some other examples of my sentimental infusion: Note the beautiful art in the blue frame? My oldest daughter did that in the 8th grade. Here it is close up: A piece of bark my youngest daughter found becomes the perfect anchor piece for art: and driftwood found while beachcombing with the kids becomes the center of my tablescape, Pull out those boxes of your kids’ artwork and frame them. Decoupage a garage store find with some of those greeting cards that you are holding on to because of the memories that are attached to them. Be sentimental, dammit. Join the movement.
Sometimes, there are things in life that you just cannot control. No matter how much you try-divine interventions, others’ intentions, luck, serendipity, fate, coincidence- something plays a role in things turning out different than you planned or desired. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. I am not one who is able to always handle things graciously when they have the audacity to act in defiance of my instruction. How dare something have the nerve to be rebellious enough to not comply with my wishes? But I have improved with rolling with the punches (key word: improved). And I think that design has a lot to do with that. Lawd knows that things have not always gone according to plan when I have attempted to implement some artistic fete. I need not mention the streaked red walls; crooked stenciling; popcorn ceiling fiascos; etc. etc. But then there are those moments of simple, pure genius that make up for all the mishaps. A tablescape that finally works. A poem that finally feels. And it is those moments when I am able to lose myself in a creative outlet that better prepares me for those uncontrollable moments that can leave me feeling lost. I am grateful for my artistic anchors. I hope whoever reads this has found theirs and it provides you some sense of stability when things are simply beyond your control. Sometimes, its all about control. Then again, sometimes, its not:)
And I am admitting it which is a big thing for me because I was always the kid in the back yelling “I didn’t do it!” I was recently visiting the site of my beloved Apartment Therapy and noted that they were hiring (gasp!) tour contributors (double gasp!) from all over. Now, if you know me, you know I love me some design. I also love my chosen career of nonprofit fundraising so this opportunity would prove the perfect marriage of both. I could take pictures of folks’ homes while asking for money. Win win situation. Or I could take pictures of spaces where I’m planning an event. The possibilities are endless since I come across a lot of interesting spaces in my job. Now the glitch was that I found out about it in the eleventh hour – well, more like the tenth hour but I wasted an hour with the “you can’t do that-sies”. Oh, Ms. Negative Self-Talk is a beeyotch. And she was PMS’ing that day. She was brutal with my poor psyche. So I had to call my best cheerleader who will remain unnamed for now (that’s a whole ‘nother blog, folks) to get my design mojo back. Then I had to call in my darlin’ friend and phenomenal photog John Riddick of 421 Studios to bail my arse out. See, I needed at least 20 high-quality pictures and I was nervous. Sweaty palms do not make for a good shot, my friends. I was doubting myself, OK? Plus, I had to clean up while the pictures were being taken. What??? I got three kids (count ’em – 1, 2, 3) and a dog. And it was on a Thursday. So the house was tore up from the floor up.
Anywho, John came to the rescue and what resulted was pure genius. At least I think so. Even Chewie got in on the shoot. Actually, he was trying to convince someone to play with his dog spit drenched chew toy. I had fun. I completed a House Tour for submission. And I submitted it. So I did it. And whether they want me or not (PLEASE WANT ME!!!), I feel good knowing that I stepped out on a limb to pursue my passion. And that is why I am the C-Shizzle.
I can’t post some of the pics from the shoot since I submitted them for the tour but I will share some of the ones we didn’t use with you. I have hopes of having one of those extremely organized blogs that have tours to all the rooms in the house one day…but not today. Smooches!
Awww snap! Quills and papyrus, beware. C-Shizzle is coming for you. Seriously, my poetry left for a year. A year! I have begged, pleaded, threatened, and then begged again and nothing. No rhymes. No lyrical word play. Nothing. So I delved headfirst into other creative outlets – discovering a few new ones. I actually like to paint (who would’ve thunk?). I can’t say I am any good at it but I sure do enjoy it. I began this blog. I took some chances with my interior design and DIY skills. Looking back, I guess it was a positive thing after all since, when I was actively writing poetry and participating in spoken word, that was my main creative outlet. Now I have a more balanced menu.
So you wanna read my latest piece? Of course you do – so without further ado…here it is.
These Blasted Butterflies (Meant to be felt, not read)
These blasted butterflies are back besieging my belly
With the fervor of the unhurt
Making my hopes flit around like the weight of heartbreak
Never had them down
How easily love makes us forget
The heart leaves little room for regret
Mine hasn’t learned to respect the fact that you left me
It’s my loyal mind that recorded and faithfully reminds my love container
Of all those times
When all I wanted was for the pain to subside and extend just a little mercy
And my life to regain some semblance of normalcy
(I mean, with normal being relative)
But that heart o’mine; she is so quick to forgive
Forever breeding larvae of yesterday in hopes that
Today The One comes back and metamorphosis commences
She pushes me aside. Who am I to stand in the way of nature?
Of the written?
These blasted butterflies are back besieging my belly
And my heart once again convinces my mind
To let them fly
Poetry, I missed you. I surely did.