(Written 04/17/06, 8:43 p.m., but I am so in denial.)
One of those house/decor magazines entertained Hidi and me for a while at a bookshop today. I have never seen so many ugly kitchens in my entire life. Too many blank, polished places ordained with a single ancient artifact. Furniture with sharp, uninviting edges. Hidi said something in the parking lot about how she'd much rather look at (let alone sit on) my couch than anything we saw in the glossy, captioned pages.
You have to understand how in love I am with my couch. (I'm so smitten that I really wasn't going to write about it, but here I am.) It's gold with pink and green and white oriental scenes on it: trees and flowers, people hauling wood, digging in the dirt, uscythesythes. It is especially worn in the left-most cushion as you look at it, because that is the best place to sit. The matching material pillows are tube-like and there seems to be one more than one really needs. Those are kept company by the green and brocadecaide pillows my mom made when she was in high school for her mother (plus two unmatched green, velveteen garage sale pillows for accent).
And it is true that thinking you might be losing something makes it more precious. The couch quite literally just made the cut into this apartment. And the dimensionallysionly gifted friends who forced it in the front door immediately informed me that I will either have to 1.) convince my landlords to rent the couch with the apartment when I leave, 2.) chop it into little pieces, maybe keeping a wallet-sized portionmementoomento, or 3.) lower it out the third story patio window. So I'm on the lookout for rope in anticipation of this June's move.
Oddly, this $35-couch has become a symbol of my adult life, having nursed me through colds, given rest to my visiting familycommonalitymonality to deep spiritual conversations, cushioned my grief at my grandfather's passing, and been the center piece of my finding a decorating style.
I realize now that I appear rather materialistic. Going on and on about toothbrushes and couches. I think the truth is that Iinterestedintersted by the impact our surroundings have on us. Would I be a happy person if I absolutely had to sell my couch, could never find another toothbrush like Glen again and was forced to live in a house with a stainless steel buffet/sideboard? Okay. I am convinced other small, temporary gifts in this temporary world would come to the fore and captivate my gratefulness. That's part of the secret of this world's beauty, I believe we're riveted most by things that cannot last. A sunset. The first moments of a baby's life. The calm in a storm. Memories of moments already past. Even huge canyons and ocean waves are constantly changing, and we soak the view in, knowing we will have to walk away.