"Admiring houses from the outside is often about imagining entering them, living in them, having a calmer, more harmonious, deeper life. Buildings become theaters and fortresses for private life and inward thought, and buying and decorating is so much easier than living or thinking according to those ideals. Thus the dream of a house can be the eternally postponed preliminary step to taking up the lives we wish we were living. Houses are cluttered with wishes, the invisible furniture on which we keep bruising our shins. Until they become an end in themselves, as a new mansion did for the wealthy woman I watched fret over the right color of the infinity edge tiles of her new pool on the edge of the sea, as though this shade of blue could provide the serenity that would be dashed by that slightly more turquoise version, as though it could all come from the ceramic tile suppliers, as though it all lay in the colors and the getting."
I am somewhere between picking out tile and living with meaning. And I am keenly aware of how strongly I am influenced by my surroundings.
I am not happy in an ugly place. I am not calm amid a mess. I crave order, small touches of beauty. It doesn't have to be expensive, some of the most beautiful things are the simplest. A flower, a twig covered with lichen. A picture from a magazine, a tin that once held cocoa. A pencil drawing made by a child. A book with a beautiful cover. All these and more are on my night table.
What's next to your bed?
You can read more - and find more books that will have you drooling - and thinking - on Brain Pickings Weekly.
Happy Reading. Happy Thinking.