Nesting and Making Space for the Miraculous: Sundays With Sharon
I’ve been perusing a couple of little books lately. An old standby for me is Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Moving On, which is no longer in print, but you can buy here for .01 in hard bound. I literally highlighted every other page in this book after the devastating fire that took our house and many of our valuables in 2008. Miraculously, because I had hired someone (Connie) to help me sort and archive things, all my family photographs were spared. Several boxes I’d recently inherited from my mother weren’t yet unpacked and were also spared. But all my old family jewelry, the doll my great great grandmother came over with from Scotland and her box, and a braid of my other great grandmother’s hair perished.
The house we had lived in before the fire was one of those I “settled” for and never should have. It was all we could afford, since we were raising 4 kids. The unfinished projects and the Mystery House effect didn’t bother me because we were warm and safe. And we were saving for college educations.
Luckily, my kids either got partial scholarships, or went into the military. After they were all gone, my husband and I were left with literally this empty shell of a monstrosity. And then the fire took it all away.
I was grateful in a way. I got to spend time designing a house I would be happy living in. So Moving On was a great book for me. After a messy divorce, she was literally starting her writing career and her life all over again. I did something similar. Gave up my once successful life as a Realtor, for the life of a romance writer. We weathered a couple of very rough years financially and emotionally as well. We were attempting to heal.
Until I started planning my new house, I didn’t realize what a toll those 23 years of living in that unfinished and quirky house had taken on me. I began to read about making spaces I would love, things that inspired me, like when SBB found “Newton’s Cottage”.
When I read this comment, I was stopped in my tracks. It changed the direction of my life forever, as I pondered writing romance in a new house:
“Rosemary Sullivan (SBB had written about her treatise on falling obsessively in love) is meditating on the emotion women feel when they fall in love at first sight with men; I’m the one making the leap to house fever because I’ve succumbed to both. Suddenly, without warning (or so it seems) the trajectory of a woman’s life changes, becoming “a vicarious route to some essential part of herself that she does not yet fully recognize or understand.” The Beloved becomes “the heroic territory she longs to occupy.”
She thinks she’s found him–or home. (We say we feel “at home” with our true love). Interestingly, the name of the greatest lover of all time, Casanova, means ‘new house.'”
My professional organizer, Connie, came back to my house this week, and she mapped out some ideas for me to ponder and work on until she comes back on Tuesday and we spend a couple of hours getting my writing area, which includes the writing computer and the packaging and blogging area, organized. “You’re going to have to decide what Sharon lives here,” she said as she walked around my space. Oddly enough, the office I once had, was given to my husband, who wanted to spend more time working from home. So, I was given the “bridge” – the walkway outside our bedrooms, but overlooking the gardens below and the living and dining areas below. And a “bridge” is what it’s been. A place between two parts of me not yet put together properly. I have my gardens, and I have my bedroom. Between those two, is my writing. It’s been growing faster than the garden and is less calm than the bedroom. The pad is unfinished to accept my Glider, so this bridge I’m finally making peace with. Instead of being temporary, I’m making it permanent. For now.
So, I’m throwing out things, moving things, clearing a space, a landing space so I can work on my projects. And as I’m doing so, I’m thinking about all those Sharons I am. Wife, mother, grandmother, writer, inspired and magical being.
I don’t yet have a space of my own belonging, as Sara BanBreathnach writes about. But I have a place I can create from. It isn’t an end game, I realize as I clean out, purge and choose. It’s just the beginning of the Sharon I am becoming.
And that excites me totally!
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The book has been in my TBR pile for years, next to my bed. I've read hundreds of other books, and there it sits waiting. Maybe I'm ready to read it now. I'm so excited for you.
Thanks Judy. It's a wonderful book for a writer or a wandering soul looking for a home. I never thought about the connection between the soul and home, and love before I read her. I told my husband, she's the type of writer I'd love to be if I wrote – that was before I started. I love her flow and use of language.
Funny enough I'm sorting through the room under the stairs. What a hoarder I've become. Now that I read off kindle or iPad, or phone I've sorted books out I've had for years and know I'll not read again. So I'm donating them to the British heart foundation. Cleansing is good for the soul, so they say. My poor little house is going to look tidier. When you said your many Sharon's it reminded my of my friend Sharon, years ago said to me you know I'm 3 different mothers to my children. They all need me in different way, then I'm a wife and lover and we laughed then as I said and today we are Mrs mops. Enjoy your new area for writing, I'm sure we will all benefit, no matter what hat you've got on.
Thanks, Julie. Yes, cleaning and purging is very good for the soul. We need to make the space around us beautiful. Every garden needs tending, every house needs fixing up. Every soul needs inspiration. It's all the same thing, in the end.
Hadn't heard of the book, but I think it's the one I need now!. Thank you for your meditation today.
You are most welcome, Rise! Have a wonderful evening!
This reminds me I'm due for a house purge again. I do this every so often just to get rid of extra stuff we don't really need. Always love reading your Sunday blog
Thanks, Karen. Yes, purging and cleaning is inspiring. Never thought I'd be one to say this!! How we age. Thank God we age well, right?
You are mostly a magical being. I, like you am a work in progress. We are becoming and we will settle for nothing less than perfection! Thank you for the wonderful blog my angel. You always inspire me to be better.
Well the feeling is totally and completely mutual, my handsome prince! Miracles keep happening to us every day, don't they? It's a real joy to be on this journey with you…