My parents taught us to prize solitude and self-direction. Every weekend day and summer afternoon, we enjoyed (or endured, as the mood might have been) “Quiet Time” from 1-3 P.M. My four siblings and I were sent to our bedrooms to read, draw, nap, doodle, play on our own. Sometimes this felt like torture, the minutes dripping by like honey. My sisters and I would occasionally scamper from bedroom to bedroom, down the carpeted hush of the hallway, mice at play. But I also remember well the afternoons I’d repose in my cave until dinnertime, my nose in a Nancy Drew, called back to company only by the ringing of my mother’s dinner bell. I now see the imprint of their ways in my near-constant hunger for time alone, the fact that my vocation is a shrine to seclusion.
C.S. Lewis wrote: “I am a product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences, attics explored in solitude.”
I recently transcribed this musing onto a wafer of paper on my desk. His words both parade and parry, reminding me to celebrate the crooked path — the long corridor — that brought me all the way to the little white desk at which I sit in my studio, thinking. And they also nudge me, with some rebuke, to unclasp myself from the noise and clutter in which I so frequently nestle.
There is treasure in the tranquil.
The other day, I thought how beautiful Lewis’s words were as an aspiration for my own children. I wish them long corridors and upstairs indoor silences into which they can pour their imaginations.
Wishing you, too, long corridors and empty sunlit rooms.
+I also wish you kinder seas. (Magpies often ask me for the exact wording of that quote – a great phrase to have in your pocket when someone needs some empathy in a tough time.)
+A great gift for a budding artist. I bought this, along with Faber Castell pencils, for mini this holiday! Oso and Me also makes really adorable colored pencil rolls that you can monogram. Sweet gift.
+These pearl boots were really popular in a combat style that is now sold out, but I love them in the knee-high shaft length. Chic chic!
+One of my girlfriends has one of these mini Hermes-inspired bags and I swear it looks like a million bucks on her.
+This ribbed metallic dress is SO chic and only $29.
+Wish this striped and embellished sweater weren’t already sold out in my size! Missed it!
+STILL not over this gown. Wow wow wow.
+Obsessed with the color and fit of this mohair sweater.
+Love these acid-wash joggers.
+This affordable boucle jacket would look fab with jeans and a white tee.
+OK now this cookie jar is beyond adorable.
+These tumblers are so sophisticated. I want to pour some sort of cranberry cocktail in one immediately.
+Dream winter mule.