Friday, January 13, 2012

Housework as Art

We've been working around the house pretty hard and it's starting to pay off. It's really wonderful coming home to a place that's clean(er) and (more) organized and warm.

It makes me think about the art of home-making. For a long while it became almost derogatory--someone being a homemaker was a person who didn't have a life of their own. It still has that taint. I'm not sure how that happened. Maybe because of it's association with wives and women. That's a really awful idea, that something that becomes associated with the feminine is diminished and derided and considered irrelevant or even frivolous.

My DH has been putting in just as much work, if not more, into making this house a home and now that we're seeing serious progress there's just so much pride and satisfaction in it. It's not just pride and satisfaction, though. It's a form of creativity, with emphasis on the create part. Anyone who has finished writing a book or a painting or has watched a flower bed blossom after all the preparation and hard work understands. And yes, these things are never really completed. Projects aren't finished so much as they're abandoned, or revisited in another form at another time. Just as the cells in our bodies continuously divide and process and breathe, the environments we create are never static. They grow and change and breathe too. With effort, they flourish. With neglect, they decay and die.

Our house is very alive right now. It's beautiful, even with all the dust and ongoing battles with clutter that doesn't have a spot to settle into (yet.) Will we ever finish? I'm sure we'll have breaks from the wall painting and edging and organizing. But I won't sit still during those time periods. I'll have another way of putting my feet up--putting up outbuildings, relaxing while lazing about weeding in my garden beds, eating tomatoes fresh from the vine.

Yep, it's almost that time of year. Mid-February I'll be starting those earliest of seeds. Yikes! That's in about a month. That's all the time I have to polish the work indoors.

I'm already full of anticipation--the garden in our future, the livable house that soon will become present, the sawdust piles and scrap pieces of flooring that will be in the past.

It's a great way to begin 2012. I think it's going to be a fun year. The art of it will be all around us. We'll be living in it, eating from it, and resting within it. It's living as art, and art as life.

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