I found a pinterest board titled “Someday”.
It had pictures of tropical beaches; of rocking chairs on lazy porches; of a luxury bath with a mountain view. Ahh, places to dream of. A life to long for.
pic by Loretta Humble
Someday, when you’ve got enough money. When you’ve got enough free time. Someday…
No sooner find I myself thinking: “Oh, yes, so beautiful, I wish I was there!” or I’m reminded of the gushing comments people make when I show pictures of life in my cabin in the woods:
“So romantic! So much tranquil nature! I wish I was there!”
But I know the truth. I know these pictures are lies.
(hint: there’s no such thing as tranquil nature.)
The facts of these pictures are that my lovely cabin has clammy air and noisy mice. It’s always dark and cold inside because it sits under trees. The trees attract mosquitos and where there are no trees there are horse flies. Sitting outside there’s always traffic noise and the smell of some decaying animal. The neighbour is a farmer who spreads manure on his fields every other week. My other neighbour needs to mow his lawn every weekend and has a wood sawing obsession.
The pictures in the pinterest board “Someday” lie just as much.
pic Bert van ‘t Hul
Palm beaches are riddled with noise and people hassling you and uncomfortable endless winds. There are bugs in the sea and bugs in the sand and bugs in your hair and bugs in the air. There’s no such thing as paradise. It’s always everyday life with everyday nuisances.
But I completely understand why beautiful pictures of places make us (me) long for a different life, somewhere else, somehow tranquil.
It’s because we are eye-creatures and it’s because we like to live in the future.
It’s amazing how fond we are of our sight. I keep marvelling at this fact of life.
Colours, patterns, movement. We humans adore them and we’ll change our surroundings to have more of them.
It’s why we love random patterns and designer cats.
So pleasing to the eye.
LIVING IN THE FUTURE
Pictures of a dream life often thrum up a list of conditions that First have to be met before you can start living the dream.
first you’ve got to get enough money. Then you’ve got to find the right place. Then you’ve got to build or decorate the place just right. Then you need the right clothes and the right partner. Oh, and you’ve got to get the right weight and body because the one you’re using now to haul around your eyes, it’s pathetic and you know it.
But once you meet al the conditions then… then! Then you can sit back in the designer chair with beach bleached surroundings. Then you can finally take a deep breath and enjoy your understanding and appreciation of life.
“Ahh…. one with nature… one with life.”
We do not need to wait until “someday” to enjoy leisure time on the porch. Or to enjoy the feel and smell of wind dried linens.
We do not need a new interior to appreciate a harmonious arrangement of furniture and furnishings. And we can forget about that body. (Oh how we’ve been conditioned to hate our bodies, no matter what shape or condition it has!)
All we have to do is lay back on the couch and take a deep breath. It’s all right here. All the appreciation and divinity of life we ever wanted.
No need to meet requisitive conditions first. It’s all right here already. In a different shape than your brain was conditioned to believe you needed, that’s true. But it’s already here.
Anything will make a pleasing composition:
pic by Julia Freeman-Woolpert
Any cat is a cuddly companion that delights the eyes:
pic by Wrhoana R.
The fresh air of the beach is just a train ride away. Go take a walk there. Walk somewhere else and smell something else.
Any trow can make your chair into a designer experience. Use your bed blanket. Or a woolen coat. Just be inventive and present yourself with a new experience.
pic by Sanya Obsivac
It’s amazing how valuable a minute is. This minute right now?
How long it lasts! For me to just sit back and do nothing but stare a bit around me for a minute is pure luxury. I might even get bored.
As I lay back resting, forced to take all the minutes I need for my condition, I like to wander my eyes over my regular Joe surroundings and feast them on patterns, colours and compositions that are already here. In my cluttered, non-designer-approved home.
Feeling guilty for not cleaning the house? Nope, it’s just another composition to please my eyes:
pic by Thomas Bedenk
… I’m an artist in my own mind….
And that’s the thing. I, and neither you, cannot afford to post phone life until we win that lottery, get to that dream place and start living that dream. The chances of getting it are pretty slim.
It’s the now and here that we’ve got. And it’s all we can handle, probably.
The only thing you have to spend is time. Time to sit back. Live through a minute of “nothingness”. No to-do list. No chores. No ambitions. No guilt.
It’s pretty hard to do, actually. Our minds are alway buzzing. Our eyes always catch the thing that is not right yet, that needs a better job.
But there is not enough time. There’s not enough time to do all the chores. To do better jobs.
Frankly, you don’t have the luxury of post phoning however you were going to spend your minute once you’d have that beach house or that dreamy porch.
You’ve got to spend your minutes right now, as if you’re living the dream. Waste them now!
Relax and enjoy your life, amidst the clutter and the rubble and the things not right. The minute right now, that’s all the luxury you get. And my, it is a treasure.
pic by David Butler
I love how in this picture some small things have elevated this living space to a dream space: blue railing; tulips; lucky moss on the bucket. And a cat. Now go sit near it for just a minute and enjoy what you’ve already got.