Monday, May 9, 2011

Fragility



I have retreated this past week. From blogging, the internet in general, much of the world. If I look back over the last year I can see a pattern. I take steps forward, I heal, I claim back my power, and then comes the backlash. Usually the threat is implicit. This time there is a directness that chills like ice. Each time, I am reminded of my vulnerability. Which is the point, I suppose.


I’ve continued to make changes around the house. I got rid of all the dishes that we shared, which I never really liked. Boxed them up. I’ve started buying individual pieces that I like. I’ve always had something of a pottery fetish. I collect odd pieces from places I travel to or art fairs I happen across. I especially love bowls. Nothing I have matches, but that is how I like it.
























(And yes, Wanderlust will never be a photo blog. I'm okay with that. But you get the idea.)

Every piece of pottery has a story behind it. Like the large bowl with a leaf pattern and a slightly irregular edge.  My late father bought it for me from an artist’s cooperative on Whidbey Island, off the coast of Washington, on a glorious September day, back when I only dreamed of living there. This is the bowl my husband held up and tilted precariously back and forth on the day he assaulted me.  “Do you want me to throw this against the wall? No? Then apologize!” 


There is the mug I bought from an artisan in Lawrence, back when I was a student at KU. It's the most perfect mug in the world. The sensuous shape, the deep cobalt hue, the weight of it in my hand. I'm in love with that mug.

There is the gravy boat I bought from the biker couple at the Renaissance Festival. Brown on brown on deeper brown.  It came with a miniature whisk with a hand-carved wooden handle.

The day after he was gone I packed up every piece of pottery I had in the house. I wrapped each one securely and tucked them in boxes and rented a storage locker and moved them, along with all the things I treasured, into the unit.

Even though he never returned to the house, I kept them packed up. I thought I would just save them until I moved into my own place.

My safe place.

But the weeks stretched into months and now the seasons are recycling, and still I am here. The other day I unpacked them. I bought a few new bowls and a mug. I filled the empty spaces in the cabinet where our old dishes used to be. It feels good to open the door and see them again.

I think sometimes you have to make a certain peace with where you're at, even if it means pausing  occasionally to press back against the darkness so you have room to breathe.

Today I went to Whole Foods to pick up something for lunch. They had huge Gerber Daises on display in the most beautiful colors. And handmade soaps. I love soaps. On impulse, I picked up an orange bunch of daisies. When I got to the checkout a woman looked at them and admired their vibrancy. Her tone was wistful. I put a hand on her arm and leaned in a bit. “I'm buying them for myself. You know, you can do the same thing.”

She laughed heartily. "Was I that transparent?"

Personally, I think transparency is a beautiful thing. As are fresh flowers in a borrowed vase on the corner of a desk. The sun reflecting off the Sound on a clear autumn day. Bowls that don't match. Healing and stretching the kinks out of one's soul.

I want more Gerber Daises. I want to put them on the nightstand in my bedroom next to a bowl that holds stones from the beach. This time, I want yellow.




33 comments:

  1. this whole post was beautiful. the priorities to have things the way you like them, buying flowers for yourself, the self care and healing are wonderful :)

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  2. I'm off to buy some flowers.

    I'm giving away the rest of my wedding present dinner set today, too.

    And I have a gorgeous new set of dishes!

    Whatever place you're at, you need to make it yours. Even if you're only there for a day...

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  3. Absolutely the thing to do! Wonderfully said and written.

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  4. Poignant and poetic. Wonderfully expressed. So nice to see you are embrasing the joy of the moment with both arms in a big hug to yourself :)

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  5. Can I just say how much I love reading your blog? Something so seemingly innocent - a post about pottery and flowers but really about so much more - self-care, acceptance, strength. Truly, you are an inspiration to us all.

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  6. Jenna & Wendy - thank you, xoxo

    Dorothy - I like that. Wherever we are, we need to make it ours. Agree. x

    Missing moments - thank you. nice to see a new face!

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  7. Angel - well, not every moment, but I try! x

    Jacki - what a beautiful thing to say, thank you. Yeah, not at all about pottery. x

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  8. Small pleasures in dark times are lifeboats and lifesavers. More power to your elbow, I say. ;-)

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  9. Hey Kristin,

    Glad you are doing stuff for you. Enjoy your flowers and pottery.

    Oh in case I haven't said it yet - Well done on your Inspiring Blog of 2011 win!

    You truly are inspirational!

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  10. Beautiful imagery, beautiful writing. Keep treating yourself well, K. x

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  11. <3 Beautiful stuff.
    It's sorta nice when you don't have to worry about what "they" will think, what "they" would like, what might upset "them". Now you can live your life for you. For you and your kids.

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  12. So simple, so honest, so good!!

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  13. I understand the cycles and retreating--for different reasons, but still. I get it. There are times when you have to pull in all the vulnerable bits and cradle them in safety until the threat is gone.

    Your pottery is lovely. I adore lovely, solid pieces like that. I think that one day I'll start collecting such things as well--preferably when my house is clear of short barbarians who would threaten their existence. We go for cheap and easily-replaced at the moment.

    I also have recently come to love gerbera daisies--in fact, they'll be the central flowers in my wedding bouquets. And I too have bought them for myself...

    Keep those beautiful things in your life. It's part of the healing.

    HUGS to you!

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  14. I have been fretting over your absence and hoping nothing bad was happening, I worry so much about you it is scary. I was going to email you if nothing was up here by the weekend. Please be safe, whatever it takes.

    Beautiful post from a beautiful woman. xxx

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  15. Ah Kristin, I am sorry that once again threats were made. I cannot imagine living with that hanging over me, smothering me.

    That being said, I love your pottery and I love what they respresent.

    Jenn

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  16. Bowls that don't match. There's a whole BLOG in that. Sending you love love love. And autumn leaves. XOXOX

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  17. "I think sometimes you have to make a certain peace with where you're at, even if it means pausing occasionally to press back against the darkness so you have room to breathe."

    That really touched me. It's something I'm still learning. Sometimes I find myself standing in the dark holding my breath waiting for another shoe to fall... and I wonder how much time I've wasted there. There's never a "good time" to get on with it, it's always tough to take a step forward when you are certain you are still on shaky ground... but it must be done. Bravery.

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  18. @ Here's a Gem - You always leave the most beautiful comments. I've spent so much of my life waiting for things to fall into place before I moved forward. I think maybe if we just start moving, perhaps things will start to fall into place.

    @ Kakka - xoxoxo. Everytime I hear from you or Toni, I am overcome with a desire to go to Western Australia. I think it would be a magical place. And you are both there, of course.

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  19. You WILL make it; one pottery bowl, one bunch of flowers, one step at a time. We are all rooting for you!

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  20. Honey, big, big healing takes place when you start to do things for the pleasure of them, for yourself and no other reason. savouring the heft and shape of a perfect cup or bowl, filling vases with flowers you bought 'just because'.

    For me, intense pleasure and an Aha! moment came when I started buying nice new underwear for myself.

    I'm so sad for the fear you still live with, but delight in the way you are meeting that fear, with guts and random acts of self-care. Big love. xx

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  21. @ Ruddygood - I have some kick-ass underwear. x

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  22. I'm always buying things for myself and I never feel selfish about it....flowers, soaps, clothes, a new car that I probably couldn't afford but love. I don't overdo it, but if I feel it's right and I like it, I go for it. Today I bought an orchid in a yellow vase with deep reddish pink flowers and a hint of yellow in the center. I actually think I might give that one to my husband today since it's our anniversary and he needs a nice potted plant in his yoga studio. I say, surround your life with things that are beautiful..what surrounds you is what you are or what your are becoming...love to you Kristin.

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  23. @ Katherine - if you have surrounded yourself with all those beautiful things then no wonder you are such a gorgeous soul. And happy anniversary.

    Today I bought more gerber daisies and some of that handmade soap I was eyeing! xx

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  24. The whole time I was reading this post, I was thinking of bubbles, and I couldn't think why.
    Then I realised that bubbles represent hope to me. And your post is filled with hope.
    Hope for a peaceful life, filled with beauty and safety.
    And oh, honey, how I hope that for you too!
    Wishing you all the sunshine and daisies (and bubbles) in the world.

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  25. Oh Toni, I love you babe. I still have your little box of hope on my nightstand. xoxo

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  26. Love your honesty and have enjoyed reading your journey. Thankyou for speaking out, what an inspiration!
    I love collecting different cups (weird LOL?) Even O-shops have great finds.

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  27. Beautiful writing as always k x

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  28. Out with the old in with the new, signs of a new beginning. btw, love your choice of pottery, always liked the chunky stuff myself; hate bone china, belongs in a museum.

    AV

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  29. The "appearance" of symmetry doesn't necessarily speak to perfection. I think there's something to be said for Not-quite-perfect-but-made-with-love.

    I love you, Kristin. And that pottery is miles better than anything that is anonymously mass-produced.

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  30. Reading your blog I could almost cut and paste it onto my own, I to love odd things, I only every buy two of anything, nothing matches, and that is how I like it. I too have been packing away the "things" belonging to the "ex" and with each, bag and box, felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. I have always bought myself flowers it is a gift to my self every week, always one colour, I hate mixed bunches. I know what you are going through, you have proved you can do it, just hang in there.

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  31. Can just visualise those flowers. Good on you for buying them. My teenage son bought be flowers for Mother's Day - yellow tulips and irises. Now that felt amazing - one day your son will do the same because you are creating the best possible life for him and his sister. x

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  32. Mismatched bowls - there's a metaphor in that I'm sure.
    I love the eclectic mismatched look. I'm not quite boho enough to pull it off though :)

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