My eyes are always wide open to the beauty in nature all around me but last Friday was overload after my eye exam and dilated eyes! Oh my, even with sunglasses, the bright sunshine & colors brightened my spirits and made me squint. Talk about eyes wide open. In the mirror, there was only a thin line of blue around that wide-open center! I decided to take a walk since the blurriness prevented other focus.
I am lucky to live in a historic district of Denver, Alamo Placita; adjacent to Denver Country Club homes, and 7th Avenue Parkway mansions. Walking nearby blocks this Fall of 2021 has been joyous with overwhelming beauty and supreme color. The huge, towering old trees glow with color combos not often enjoyed this late in the season. What a gift after our surprising too-hot, too smoky, high temp, dry heat Denver Summers of recent past! Though bittersweet because of the causal drought and fires, I find some balance from both extremes.
Stopped in my tracks by it, I admire a tree trunk so big both arms stretched out would not reach even half around it. Deep layers of golden leaves pooled at its base are so bright yellow my dilated eyes still need the sunglasses. As I continue my pace, the sidewalks are spread with reds and oranges and yellow leaves, dotting and bordering my path ahead, beckoning me to go forth and enjoy. Borders present such pleasure by marking territory with defined beauty. (I have enjoyed recent fashion shoots of gorgeous bordered fabrics in long jackets lately, too!) The 100-year-old trees lining the avenue mansions seem to flaunt their fine branches in this glorious weather, while also ready to provide strength and comfort in cold & darkness soon come.
I’m such a “Place” nerd. Each home has its own unique architecture with windows of certain eras and other enclaves, tucked away dormers, carriage house backlots. They beckon me to imagine sitting inside with a project, a book and a beverage…. or dreaming with a design magazine full of photos is more likely for me. How would I decorate that room and enhance those window panes?
I almost laugh out loud as I pick back up to my way along. My little house already has many pretty sitting scenes that beckon me, yet I rarely allow myself to sit and enjoy them! So that is not the need. I wonder, as I lust after these elaborate castles of wealth and luxury, what to do with envisioning those spectacular spots. Now at my age, such places can only remain for my next life, a dream not realized, compared to earlier years of possibility.
I walk on. I know it is my creativity urging and teasing me. It just always wants more. More to play with, more to enjoy, more to savor, more than I can ever devour completely. My creative life seems to be more a lust, and a fulfilling overwhelm of input rather than the actual doing and completion. I love to curate and savor and appreciate. This worked well as a retail store owner…. not so much with no place and no audience. And so, I lust and dream, step and savor onward, imagining more places.
I don’t know where I got this craving for the seasoned, aged, proven, survived, historic, and patina’d sensibility. My parents had enough of so little that they couldn’t wait for the brand new, the clean, the crisp, the not in need of repair, new architecture. Who could blame them, having come from the raw existence of homestead farms, with only recent electricity & plumbing? Wallpaper to them was the sign of patching over hard times. Creaky windows and charming window panes leak & let cold wind and winter in. Not for me. A wood floor and a cottage window need only a plush down pillow in exquisite fabric and an old wool rug to give warmth and secure joy. I’m sure my crusty 1912 bungalow was an insurmountable repair pressure to my modern mom. Things skip generations. I guess that happened with us. Though she sewed and happily passed (relinquished) that skill and love on to me.
Moving along…in leaves and luxury…. I see several mansions emptied with curbed dumpsters full of history, being transformed to new beginnings. Someone else gets to decorate that front door, that little bedroom above the chimney, next to the eve, with the sloping roof, and little window panes and window boxes for seasonal nature décor. Maybe next time I’ll see the warm glow of a little lamp in the window when I walk by on a cold winter day…the Fall leaves I kick through now…long gone.
Coming up my little steps of home, my scattering of red leaves greets me on my approach. My content is beyond measure to enjoy such adventure close to home. How I enjoyed my tour of design, color, borders and leaves with my (very) opened eyes.
Do I need that studio I just “saw” at that carriage house garage 2nd floor.…or is it just my imagination at play? Perhaps my imagination IS the completion, and not lust at all. Or, is it an inner voice prodding more self expression? Should I build it or find it? No, not today anyway. I don’t need to fill a dumpster and gut my little mansion. It is fabulous and Home, just the way I have created it.
A couple of days after my walk, we turned the clocks back; the sunshine of that same hour is no more. One week later as I do the final edit to post this, the wind has ushered in the delayed change of weather. The leaves are mostly gone from above, the air is chilled. The bright colors may be gone but my imagination is still alive.
Do any of you have the lust, joy, doubt and delight of seeming incomplete creativity? I’m still working on what is enough; what needs fixing or what just needs to be celebrated for what it is. (i.e. my fabric stash–and my studio “place” come to think of it–most certainly represent my extensive imagination!) Boundless opportunity, boundless stories still to be told.
November is my birthday month so one gift to myself is spending time with you. Thanks for listening. My other self-gift you likely can relate to, is something small I could afford from Peruvian Connection. I’m not opening it until my actual day, but I can’t wait! Hint: it involves beautiful fabrics. …and wool (see my March 2021 past essay.) Borders and patterns abound at https://www.peruvianconnection.com/category/womens+sweaters.do