Secret Pop

Jan 19, 2014


I'm pleased to report that I'm not beginning this post by referencing a Radiolab episode or a TED Radio Hour segment. It seems like a lot of my recent inspiration has happened while driving back to my parents' house from Beulah's, and it's usually a weekend, and I'm usually listening to NPR. It's not a big mystery. But I've managed to not go anywhere this weekend, so my inspirations have by necessity had to be a bit more internal. And by internal, I guess I mean I have to find inspiration in the routine of keeping my dog appeased and usually putting together some kind of furniture.

I've been on a sprawling home reset jag in recent months. And little by little, I'm beginning to feel like I can be proud of my home. There's something still to be done in nearly every room. And there are ideas I'd like to undertake when time and finances and energy allow. But I turned the workshop in the garage into a workout room, with a very fancy treadmill and a TV and floor mats and everything. And, for the first time since I moved in, I completely emptied out the little Harry Potter closet (that's what realtors now call these impractical spaces beneath a staircase to make you feel like your awkward closet is fanciful and great) downstairs and completely cleaned it and reorganized everything. The guest bedroom downstairs really looks like a proper guest bedroom. There's even a headboard. And I have a proper art room now, with a bunch of excruciating-to-assemble Martha Stewart craft furniture, and it gets wonderful light and has a lovely view of the fountain and the front yard and the family of deer that often galivants in the creek across the street. So once I unpack all those boxes of art supplies and implements and the crates of paper ephemera that I love to sift through and cut up and incorporate into rather slapdash little art projects, maybe I can recapture something of the feeling I had when I would make art every day in my dining room on Alcott Street.

It's stupid that I would want to recapture any of that, except for its past-ness, since I began my art journaling in what turned out to be a very sad and defeating and painful summer in the middle of a sad and defeating and painful year. But our resplendent human nature enables us to just filter all the shit out and zero in on a feeling, and occasionally I opt for the feeling that isn't a persona-dismembering crapfest. Not everything is a choice. I don't believe, for instance, that being gay is a choice. Or being organized. But I often suspect that being miserable is. Of course, for me being miserable can also be incredibly productive-making, so I'm reluctant to shut it down altogether. Feeling a little lost is how I have almost always gotten from place to place.

You probably know that the term "remodeling," while commonly used to refer to renovations people make in a living or working space, also refers to the natural process that happens when a broken bone heals. Broken bones heal, but the remodeling is visible. It tells the forensic scientist trying to identify your murdered remains that you once broke your arm, and that helps them figure out whether you mattered to anyone. I just didn't want you to think that my thoughts today were without layers.

Anyway, I'm sorry if you wish that had been about something I heard on NPR.

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