I grew up in Grandma’s kitchen next door, still eating pablum at 10 years old and listening to Peter Gzowski on the CBC in the morning with her. After Grandma passed away that same kitchen was our kitchen, then Dad’s alone after Mom died, and now it is the domain of my Lil Sis’ and if those old walls could talk, as so many of my memories, the good and the bad, involve a kitchen.
“We owe much to the fruitful meditation of our sages, but a sane view of life is, after all, elaborated mainly in the kitchen.”Joseph Conrad
Today a kitchen is where I read, chitchat with friends, where I spend quite a bit of my time, and where I write, and this is a tour of that.
I think here, dream here, cry here, listen here, in the west corner looking in. With my back to the west I face east sitting there in that old wicker chair I inherited from Tim. The Egyptians believed the west represented death, the east life, you know, the sun rises, and where it eventually shall set, I have my back now to death looking east towards a new day.
This space has evolved over the 5 years since I’ve been here. Couple years ago the end that now is my little parlour was once a place for all the shite I hadn’t dealt with yet, that west corner, all that junk I had dragged along for the ride and I couldn’t remember why – so out ya go, and here I am now.
The colour on the walls, in contrast to the other room, is a very pale forest green, and as such has a softer, more zen-like feel. It is calming, soothing, refreshing, inspiring. The paint chip itself I’ve carried with me over almost 2 decades, but have never found just the right space for it, until I saw this little galley kitchen and I knew this colour was exactly the thing.
It’s a lighter room, bringing the outside in, where the divine wild energy of nature is captured a little bit.
A place where I often find myself gazing out the window up into that Black Walnut Tree that sits just outside, with zigzagging leaves all summer, now yellow and almost all gone. In the winter that absence brings more light streaming in, so welcome in those dark months.
I have started thinking of that tree as my thinking tree, it helps me to focus, to sort, to quiet my mind, like magic, or light, or something.
So when I read of all the horrible things people think and say and do to one another, and I need a distraction from the awfulness, the worst of us, the least of us, the inhumanity, the amorality, the careless thinking, the ignorance I so often see now even within my own circle, of close and old friends alike, and family. In this place I have learned the art of turning all of that off, gazing out the window, up into the trees, at its beauty alone I become lost in something other than all that, it is my grounding zone.
So this is that.