In less than 300 square feet, decorating becomes both challenge and true art form. Collections are pared to a few favorites. Memories are stored in the mind, rather than on shelves. Books are borrowed from the library – and read on a Kindle.
Through such culling, we determine our special totems. I use the term for any object that I’ve imbued with sacred properties; objects that, when I see or hold them, convey meaning far beyond their simple appearance.
Dream catchers come from Native American culture; they catch the bad dreams but let good dreams slip through the center. My mother gave me my first dream catcher as a little girl, and I have had one ever since. My current red and turquoise version brings me safety, comfort, and my mother’s presence.
My mother had a dream that I was a red rose in a silver vase. A few years later she gave me this milk bottle and metal flower, to remind me of my strength, beauty, and – via the unusual form she chose – uniqueness.
I have four laughing Buddhas. We should always remember to laugh. And be fat. Fat and happy.
My daughter gave me her Lego self, complete with jet pack. She is even letting me keep it! I’m sure the Buddha keeps her entertained when I’m not home.
In the 20 years since I left home for my first apartment, I’ve donated, tossed or sold thousands of books. All that remains are those written by family or friends or authors I’ve met, favorite childhood tomes, and go-to parenting books.
The summer I was 18, my mother took me to a yoga center for a week. In the store were Angel Cards: you draw one each day, and that’s your theme for the day. I can’t tell you how frequently I turn over “play”! (When I was pregnant, I usually got “expectancy”…..)
My mother made the leather book and the middle bear. She says she’s not artistic, but then she gives me these creative gems. They remind me that we are all more than we think we are.
The two other bears are from New Mexico, where my parents lived for ten years. Bears are protectors. So is my landlord, whose car you see in the distance by his front door. He’s my real bear.