Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Home Making, Travel Mentalities, and the Beauty of Hearth and Home

"Homemaking is surely in reality the most important work in the world. What do ships, railways, mines, cars, government, ect. exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes? ...The homemaker's job is one of which all other's exist."- C.S. Lewis.

If you are new to my blog, please know I am a feminist. The definition of 'feminist' means many things to many people. My definition is that men and women deserve equal chances at life, love and respect. Women get to contribute and write the history books now too. Little boys are just as important as little girls and both should be regarded with dignity. With that in mind, I don't believe home making is just for women. My husband gets a lot of satisfaction from making our home. He is a master carpenter whom has carved out a library out of two previously small rooms. He has renovated and designed. I am the master designer of our home because that is where my gifts lie but if I didn't have Dyspraxia (see side labels) and more strength I am sure our roles could be reversed. 

Our home is a place for us to gather in dark times, to find ourselves, and to BE. A house with love in it IS rich indeed. Anam Cara is a magical safe haven of hope. Mostly because of the creative souls that live inside. Our house used to be a standard box inside with taupe walls. Because of our infusion of creativity and handwork it has morphed into a colourful indoor garden and outside is shaping up to be full of life and plants too. It has taken time and stress but time and stress I would gladly sacrifice again because most of the process was a family event of time spent together. (See Anam Cara side label for more.)  I have lived in a house full of toxic mould and I do know that stepping into healthier places DOES matter, yet, even in that home we found ways to make it as beautiful as it could be. We are healthier now but it had moments and beauty that we still carry forth. A house, at it's core with love needs to reflect the personalities of the people involved. I know the ugliest house could eventually be made beautiful by us. It's about love. It's about perspective and the little souls inside. I love the life we have built. I don't need much and yet it is everything.

I know that many children do not get to experience safe, nurturing homes. First parents need to find home within themselves before they can provide a haven for children. There are many factors involved that sociologists have studied and personality and psych also come into play (see some book titles are in my library or discover some of these themes on your own:)  I am not going to cover that home can be a terrifying place. Instead, how we have made our home making part of our healing.

When I was a little girl I dreamed of having my own epic love story. I can honestly say that dream came true. Our love has been full of battles and gruelling journeys but it also had the elements of true love, falling back into the love, beautiful moments of celebration and adventurous excitement. It hasn't been easy but I think most epic love stories aren't too easy. There are delicious moments of ease mixed into the tiring steps of life. LIFE...What a word packed with paradox!

I have three children who spend almost all their time at home around me. A healthy way (I believe) to be. Of course they go out into the world at times but they flourish at home. Right now are the years I cherish. "So darling, though the years with all my love I'll pray, a house with love in it is where we'll stay."- Nat King Cole -A House With Love In It.

I have never been a personality that needs to find myself only through physical exploration or experience the world to be respectful of differences. Every place/country I had travelled, I felt like I had already "been there." I think I have in my imagination or through knowing other people and their stories. In the "Secret life of Walter Mitty" the cinematography was beautiful, the Himalayan line was well done and the ending (although expected) was beautiful but there was this underlying assumption that one has to travel to find meaning. Or that daydreaming needs to stop for one to "live their life." My guess is that the critics who enjoyed it immensely are the ones who have 9-5 jobs that do not suit their personalities, Type A's or Sensors. None of these are horrid things to be, but they do influence the story. To see the difference between a sensor and intuitive see the graph below:
See why most sensors need to travel more? There are certain types of Intuitives that need adventure too and those are the ones with adventure in one of their main driving seats (like an INFP or ENFP) but most of them COULD have the adventure of the mind and still feel satisfied. I have two friends who loved 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.' Both are more imaginative and interesting people. They were so touched with the ending that they really enjoyed the film. I can understand that.

Our culture has a bit of an obsession with travel. An element of education can happen through travel but I know many people who have travelled who have dis -ease with their lives, unfulfilled love,  and lack of rooted being. There is beauty in travel. There is beauty in rootedness. There are benefits and downsides to everything. To celebrate one over another or to think one is more educated is simple snobbery.

I am an Intuitive. I also have sensory overload and other limitations. Thus my travelling days are probably small in number. I don't believe rootedness is the only way to BE but rootedness has given me my best shot at life. Just like, I am sure, travel would for others. Even though I have been to many places  that DID shape me, I find I am most educated through my rich imagination, my books and the people I choose to love...along with loving myself. I am educated by being in nature and that does not mean having to travel to find certain nature scenes. The world is full of wondrous beauty but I don't need to own all of it or be in all of it- to feel it. All it takes for me is to sit outside on my deck and smell the wild roses, see the grasses sway, hear the bees buzz and the frogs in the marsh croak...and I KNOW I am connected to each creature in a beautiful way. The earth is often an equal partner in community as people are.
For my persona, I am the most delighted by the home fires. I used to feel so guilty for this. I am in the minority. But as we severed roots of conformity and began new roots of being and putting our blood into our very surroundings, I began to understand that it is just who I am (and we are right now.) As I have said before in other posts, your story SHOULD and WILL be different in many aspects. Find what works for you. Part of my story is influenced by a different brain wiring perspective, part of it is due to native and gypsy roots. (Ironic? Travelling in mind is similar to travelling in body. The spirit IS.) Many places have different energies/ sensory perceptions...and it is ok if I protect what is my space with energies I can handle.
In his early twenties my husband craved travel but then he discovered books, philosophy, gardening, carpentry, film and connecting with a variety of other people and beliefs through the Internet. Now he is similar to me regarding travel. He prefers day trips and coming back to our beautiful home and yard.
In "Eat Pray Love" the author went travelling to find herself. I understand that some people need a different place to displace them out of their self made boxes. Travelling pushes us out of our bodies and out of our time which triggers our brain waves into different thinking patterns. This is important but it's folly to have the expectation that only travel can achieve the same result. My brain does a similar process with one sensory trigger.
Like certain gifts, some people have the gift of being culturally transient. They need to use that. However, travel has been idealized in our movies as the only well informed education - probably a good tactic to boost economies and world trade. It's a myth that a well travelled person is a well balanced and sophisticated person. It solely depends on the person. Travel can be a tonic but at the end of the day each person is still the sum of their choices and their's like a car getting a new coat of paint. It's still the same car. It still has the same engine but it is just shinier for a few years longer. Perhaps people may be more drawn to the car for awhile because people are awed by shiny things but in the end it's still the same vessel. All vessels crave or benefit from a needed rest or change. That is beauty. It is to be respected. Paint is pretty. If travel is your beauty or your need to propel you to greater possibilities of self- go for it. Beauty is integral to BEING. There are many ways to incorporate beauty and meaning into life. Travel can bring beauty but so can staying rooted.
I am basking in the comforts of my home and our own little slice of heaven. It's good to be home. Home is like the Anne of Green Gables theme song. I have been healed by many people, circumstances and environments in life. Our home has been the largest part of our healing. My husband and I pour ourselves and the very fabric of ourselves into the spaces we live in. By breathing our life out we bring life back into our soul.
Upon walking into our home for the first time the most common phrase I get is, "I have never seen anything like's like comfort and magic." I had one lady tell me, "I have been to sophisticated homes and places enriched with wealth and I did not feel a sense of home or welcome. I walk into your house and I feel safe. Like I can say anything vulnerable and still be ok." Strangers have opened up. Friends feel welcome. People sense our persona that we otherwise keep closely guarded out in the world. A Lord of the Rings fan told me my favourite compliment once, "Your home is Rivendell or Lothlorien. You are lady Galadriel - terrifying and mysterious to most but to those whom are welcomed in- a healing presence. A magical stop in a crazy, busy world. It's almost otherwordly- your views and the way you take a normal home and change it.” My hope is that everything slows down once inside and the beauty around is infused with grace. (And yea, I got choked up with that compliment.) To be seen so clearly is one of the most beautiful human interactions. Even for a moment.
Our soul friend - Anam Cara- is our home. By home making we find our meaning, our main job, and the beauty in our existence. When one is lost- the heart leads one home. Home can be a person too and a feeling. I take our home with us when I go out. A home's literal, physical importance is underestimated in the busyness of life when people only spend minimal hours of sleep between four white washed walls. That is not home. It is a place to rest between the daily grind, and while that is important, it's no wonder so many feel that something crucial is missing from their lives. We all don't need magical places or amazingly designed homes, but a place that has parts of our personalities and reflections of ourselves, care of the earth, care of what we own, and the cultivation of the living beauty of life- is an important element of life.
Playing pretend when I was little was one of my favourite past times. I would play many scenarios in which I found my man or that I rescued him or he rescued me. I spent hours making up magical places, creating in my playhouse and dressing up. I role played, talked to the stars in the night sky and creatures in the moss. Daydreaming, listening to music or watching my 1940's 'friends' on film were some of my favourite pastimes. I wasn't a typical child. I was basically Sara Crewe. At times my dad was concerned I was living too much in fantasy or through someone like Judy Garland whose voice I could mimic down to perfection. Something my best friend would consistently request me to do and my mom constantly got me in trouble for ("Stop singing through your nose!") I almost thought I was meant to be in that 1940's timeline. Now I see that I was just very intuitive, imaginative and used my mind to escape conformity around me. I didn't fit in even though I could easily pretend to be normal. I also had sensory assaults that felt like trauma. Now I don't pretend anymore but I do still imagine (although yes I do play at being normal in situations where it is a necessary way to cope or be able to come home quicker.) I learned my limits, how to cope with the sensory, and how to sever ties with conformity happily.

I can honestly say I have lived a full life already and all my dreams have come true but I would not have said that ten years ago. I could die tomorrow happy with what I have. Not that I want to  leave yet as I would love to continue to live what I have and be with my husband and children. I DO still imagine, travel in books and film, and soak up the world in daydream like states. I fly to worlds on a whim or become a different character for awhile. I was excited the other day when I came home from one of my favourite stores with some new treasures. My daughter took one look at my pile of stuff and laughed, "You are so cute mom- so influenced by what we watch. All this stuff is Japanese -like design - home decor similar to stuff in the 'Avatar' or 'Legend of Korra'." (We are currently enjoying an anime series that is Asian in theme.) I didn't even see that my choices reflected that influence and I had a theme going but I love that I brought another piece of the world's beauty into our home reflection. My daughter was perceptive and once again the Rory to my Lorelei.

Heaven is waiting for me, my friend. Every moment of my life- it's waiting for me to take notice. Small moments of existence are heaven. Home surrounds with warmth, love, delight, peace, beauty, compassion and allowance of all expressions. I can be messy, crazy or any sort of negatively sanctioned action in our culture with acceptance in my home. I can weep, sing, dance and laugh. I can chant, pray or do whatever. I can lose myself and find myself. I can give the same gift to my children and husband. In small ways we also give that to those that are allowed to enter our haven. That freedom is a gift. It feels like home.

"Hold on to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble—it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Oo-oo-oo-oo [2x]
Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa [4x]

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home" Lyrics by Phillip Phillips Home. This song has a particularly special place in our family's hearts... a few stories for the future but for now- enjoy the listen! Louis Armstrong 's Home Fire is one of my favourites from childhood and it paints a beautiful picture. Dream describes my life in many ways:) 


S said...

Thank you for sharing this post and writing about your feelings and sentiments about your home. Just like you, I have always wanted a home of my own, not the grand,majestic type as visualized by some people but a warm,welcoming,cozy,peaceful and tranquil one, just like yours. And fortunately, I have been able to create one.
Unlike you, however, I do not have a permanent home. My husband's job forces us to travel to many places. So, we keep moving from one place to another.
I have read "Eat,Pray,Love" and I can relate to the sentiments of the writer. I was a travel-crazy person in my younger years, but Of late, I have been wanting to settle down ( which is not possible under the current circumstances though :))
Travel makes a person wise and one can learn many lessons from traveling. But there is a quote that I want to share with you.It goes something like this - " I have come closer to the truth by traveling to places and the truth is that This Universe is not too far, just below this blue sky ". It means that no matter how far we may travel, at the end of the day, the sense of belongingness, the feeling of love and bonding,can be found under THE SAME OLD BLUE SKY !!! In fact, sometimes, we need to travel only to discover that everywhere there is the same spirit, the same universal soul, in spite of the variations (in culture and geography ) ! Such an irony !! Going so far to find out that everywhere the same spirit is like searching for God everywhere, going for religious pilgrimages to international monasteries, yet , finally realizing that God is right inside our soul...every soul...
An Introverted Intuitive lives inside her much so that the lines between the outside world and inside world gets blurred often...For example, when I do a particular task at home (cooking,art,cleaning...) I forget that the outside world even exists at all !!! I forget to connect with others !!!
Both my hubby and I are introverts and for us the home is a special place. Our friends do not understand why we stay at home more often compared to them. Actually, our mind is very interesting and we spend time in our mind/ with our the outside world seems dull sometimes...
For me I love one thing about the outside world- NATURE and GREENERY- forest,mountains, trees, ...otherwise, the outside world (created by man ) does not fascinate me much.
I live in a high rise building disconnected from nature and earth's energy. Therefore, after I have started going for morning walks, I have found out that the earth's energy is entering my soul through nature ( that surrounds me) and through land/soil ( upon which I walk ) I feel more balanced between home and earth (mind and body).

Kmarie A. said...

Travelling def can make one wise:) and in it there is a different sort of beauty. I agree with that quote. Some people already have that wisdom without needing to experience it but it can enhance for sure. And some lifestyles thrive off of being nomadic:)
Lol yes the outside world can seem very dull...but I agree that the nature and greenery is crucial. even in little bits....the energy is so important.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't imagine enjoying my home that much or feeling that free in it, unless I knew nobody could see or hear me. (Although I have no burning desire to travel either.) It sounds wonderful to just enjoy being. I feel I can't. I always feel a sense of pressure. I know I need to make some changes...

Kmarie A. said...

Some changes are easy and physical ( I would check out my post and apply some of those things) I would also say that having a general disregard for what people may or may not think and just being you. I know easier said than done but over time you begin to just be your own vessel of self...and there is so much freedom in that. Some of it is perspective's, learning to let go of expectations of self and the world, and making changes in the home life to make it more peaceful, accepting and safe. This includes beliefs, mentalities and healthy emotional acceptance:) it takes time but I firmly believe anyone can get there. Its so nice to have one place that there is ultimate freedom. I love it. Life is hard and Its not like I don't have even now my ferritin dropped again...a lot. I am out of breath and barely making it through the day but I can say I still LOVE my life- what I have carved out...what we have...:) You can get there:)

Ashe said...

I like to tease my construction workers when they come into my office. "So, you're a homemaker, then?" Thankfully they've all had a good sense of humour.

I definitely need adventure. Not really to find meaning, worth, or other self-discovery of that persuasion. There is just so much cool stuff out there! All those accents, food, music, architecture, and philosophies to experience first-hand, not to mention new scenery and ecosystems. Very exciting! Especially the food. I can testify first hand how much better vine-ripened tomatoes and local produce tastes compared to what you get at the store, and just imagine what all those foreign fruits and vegetables are like in their prime state. I think that wanderlust may have to do with the "scientist" tagline us INTJs get. Gotta analyze it all! ;)
But I'd always have to come home to MY accents, food, music, architecture, philosophies, scenery, and ecosystem because that's where I'm happiest in the long run. Home is home and cannot be replaced by anything else.

Kmarie A. said...

Ashe;) lol love that;)! Yes all the intjs I know do like a certain level of discovery which comes out in various aspects and almost all of them are foodies in some way. It's amazing how personality influences so much❤️ Yea I'm def in the minority for not enjoying travel- I'm actually surprised though in regards to sensitivities that you enjoy it as much as u do although I know autism is diverse in sensitivities and preferences! How do u manage your love of adventure with sensory overload? I love adventure of the soul and mind but def not physically😂

Ashe said...

Very small doses when indoors! ;)
Most of my exploring these days has to be limited to new restaurants. I usually make sure it's on a day when I've got the reserves to deal with potential noise chaos. If I can get absorbed enough into the parts I enjoy it helps drown out the parts I don't. Manipulating hyper-focus is tricky though. Someday I hope to be able to venture off across the countryside again.

FlutistPride said...

I would travel more, but my food aversions get in the way. -_-