Tuesday, April 28, 2009

~ out of focus ~

I feel madly out of focus these days and can't get my bearings.  I suppose this is normal when a couple of bombs go off in the middle of your life (a death, a transfer to a new job).
I am developing a garden obsession...

But I can't seem to get my head around this new reality. Things that meant a lot to me before (like decorating) seem suddenly meaningless.  I still adore the idea and the images of beautiful spaces, but the spark has gone out.  I look at the rooms and it's like two heads looking:  one is the old head that loved these rooms and the other head is new and declares everything pointless.  

I think that my senses are so dull that I'm looking for images I've never seen before, or a perspective that is crisp and fresh and new.  I can't even describe it, the decorating drug I seem to need.  When I hear Lauren (beautiful, deeply talented and passionate Lauren at Pure Style Home) talk about planning to decorate her new home and see all her passion and beautiful creativity, it makes me totally excited for a change!  Not when I see a horribly ubiquitous poster (Keep Calm...) in a magazine (maybe I am just anti-establishment all of a sudden?)  Or when I see a Domino photo I missed, it reminds me how fresh it all can be. But most of it just seems like a big pile of steaming sameness.  I know this is a rut and I apologize to anyone I've offended.  This is a spiritual rut masquerading as a decorating one.

Or maybe I have tipped from addict to decor junkie, seeking harder and harder drugs to satisfy my (increasingly) dull mind?

Anyway, besides this decorating numbness, I have developed a strange interest in new things (heaven forbid!).  Yoga, for example.  I know yoga is cliche, and I have explored it several times over the years, but in January I found a wonderful teacher whose style just resonates with me.  After 3 months of practice, I am starting to feel alive in my body again.  There is some type of journey starting, and I find myself feeling like yoga can provide some answers to rather deep-seated questions - I just feel so desperately hungry for something that it appears to satisfy.  But I think maybe it's just that the practice takes me out of my mind (my busy, busy mind) and gives me some much-needed mental rest.  I am doing two sessions a week and want more.  And I am reading yoga blogs.  God help me.

And besides yoga, I can't seem to get enough flowers.  It is like an eternal Valentine's parade in my head. I am obsessively planning my summer garden in my head.  It is still chilly here and about 3-4 weeks from planting time, but I already drive by the garden center wistfully.  It's like I am craving visual stimuli, and some kind of weird organic connection, to make me come alive again.  All day today I pondered whether a bed of herbs or Swiss chard would be better in a certain spot.  I mean...REALLY.  What happened to paint colours and fabric samples?  I still love them, but I am hungry for more. And reading...I have about 5 books on the go.  I am like a creative-consumption machine.  I have been thinking about starting painting (canvasses, not walls).

What's wrong with me?  Maybe it is just Spring...and my body's way of healing itself by connecting with the earth, with deeper meaning, with life itself.



  1. Go deep both into yourself and all that is earthy and grounded. Go boldly into the deep. I have found great healing for my life in this realm.

    Cling to that yoga. Anyone can down dog'it eventually. Not everyone learns to grow long roots from their feet and rise above in their mind's eye.

    Namaste my dear friend.

  2. Decorating can indeed feel very meaningless at times. I liken it though to creating a nest, your haven in the world, surrounded by things you love. But you are so right; when I am confronted by a crisis or bad situation, decor obsession goes out the window. I could walk away and never look back at my THINGS. What possessions do any of us really have beyond things with sentimental attachment that we would miss?

    I am thinking as I write that perhaps that is the allure of decor (no rhyme intended). Maybe it isn't necessary that we give it any meaning beyond the aesthetic pleasure it provides. And search for deeper meaning in life elsewhere.

  3. I love this post. Let it out girl! And I could not agree more re: the Keep Calm poster . . . carry on, people.

    Loss and grief just suck, through and through. But you are evolving in it. When you begin to emerge from this purgatory-place, you will know yourself better than ever before - and that kind of tough-won wisdom gives you a whole new kind of strength. Hang in there.

    In the meantime, here is a little lullaby for you:

  4. Hi Terri!

    Great thoughts! And I agree with you on every point I think. Yoga is great and I think I will start going to Yoga again this summer when I'm in Spain! I think this is your way of healing and I totally agree with what you wrote about decorating and some of those homes and magazines...

    Gotta study for my exam on Saturday, will reread and write more thoughts once it's done.

    Thinking of you Terri and many hugs!


  5. Oh...you are speaking my mind!!!!

  6. i LOVE this post and it resonnates so much with me too! I find myself oscillating throughout the year on various passions-- crafty things like knitting projects in the fall move towards decorating in the deep winter months and spring hits and i'm all about diggin' in the dirt. i've also gotten into yoga (after having dismissed it as chiche for years)... if there's something it's taught me is to just be in the moment, not to judge how well i'm doing, but to be fully present and kind of observe how my body/mind is doing. Applied to other parts of life-- this means to me to ride these various inspirations from fabric and paint samples to pourring over seed catalogs or reading sewing blogs (WAY worse than gardening or yoga blogs, I'll tell you!)
    Despite having gone through so much of late... your mind and heart seem to be pulling you INTO life with all these new found passions and that seems really healthy and good to me. The fabric samples, settees and tablescapes will be there when you come back from your gardening and yoga adventures and you'll bring a new, fresh eye to them when you return.
    .. and I will be happy to follow you on this journey through your blog ;)

  7. I can very much understand your comments and views on decorating!! especially after what you went through, it is pointless....and yes, sometimes everything looks the same and the prices are ridiculous.
    I also think, you are going to feel a whole lot better on many things, after you've have done more healing. It takes time to find your new reality.
    And you are right... the Carry on poster, enough is enough!!! :-)
    take care and surround yourself with flowers....

  8. Anonymous10:49 am

    I LOVE your hunger for more...more meaning, more substance, no longer sustained by just beauty. This is very healthy if not exhausting, a place where I too, live...This is your journey, be alive in it and feel!


  9. There is nothing wrong with you....you have a true perspective of what is really important. A perspective that changes only once you have lost what really matters.

  10. Terri,
    I don't think there's anything at all wrong with you, quite the contrary. It seems your inner-self just can't let you stay down! Your new interests are pulling you in new directions & helping you express that creative energy you usally reserve for decorating in new,healthy ways.

    Honestly, a lot of decorating is pointless. Sometimes I think "Am I really spending my life & energy decorating when ppl are starving/ dying, etc.?!" But in the end I feel like it does make people happy. Not everyone, but some people... I think then sometimes it can go beyond happiness into obsession... when a room should be finished but ppl keep spending to get the next best thing... I dio think we see a lot of that in magazines today... But, it does make some people happy: to get away from the world into their home that gives them good vibes... full of MEANINGFUL (as oppsed to merely pretty) things..

    Anyway, I think where you're at right now has put things in perspective for you... I think you'll eventually reach a good balance between it all... And I think yoga a gardening are going to be amazing for you... They say nothing's as therapeutic as gardening... (I always say to my husband: My goal is to finish the house & then spend my days gardening.)

    Sorry to ramble but I really feel what you're oging through. Huge hug to you and we'll be here with you on your journey.

  11. Thoughts? I'm thinking that you are feeling not so calm and also feeling the need to explore the place where you now find yourself hence your strong reaction to the "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster. Or, on the other hand, it's been around and enough already.

    Find something to kick. Noooo, not the cat; not the man either.

    (The last time I was grieving and found myself at the brink of either hitting someone or sobbing on the floor, I put on the saddest music I could find and just had at it. It worked every time. These emotions need a release.)


    I so hear ya, SO much is very samey samey - YAWN, its really nice to see something different it stands out. I really believe my tastes have changed and have become far more eclectic from my blogging adventure; I look now for things that have authenticity.

    All the best with your journey my dear


  13. Anonymous4:52 am

    oh la la, your post really resonates with me. I think this new quest for yoga, flowers, nature is in reality a deep quest for meaning. I was right there a few years ago and it is the best thing that can happen. It will establish itself and continue on a deep and tranquil way. And your title: you are totally the contrary of "out of focus"... you are zooming right at the core, the heart of meaningfullness and here is a title that seems to be working its way into you: Merci mon Dieu! Louise G.

  14. Hi Terri
    the fact that you are caring about something, whether that be yoga, or decorating or something else altogether is a sign that you are a strong person who is forging ahead despite your recent blows. It took me quite some time to get there after my father died. I remember sitting in a meeting a few weeks after he had died and I was listening to what everyone was saying and inside I was thinking "who really gives a shit!". I wanted to interupt the speaker, lay my hand on their arm and tell them 'my dad is dead'. I felt the need to stop people in the street and tell them the same thing. Of course, I didn't, I'm not that crazy, but for a while there, it was all that dominated my thoughts and everything else seemed so meaningless. It did get better, day by day. Go with the flow, do what takes your fancy and the decorating will always be there when you feel the urge again. For me, decorating is part of a bigger picture of creating a beautiful life - elevating the mundane, taking pleasure in little things, surrounding yourself with meaningful treasures that trigger happy memories, and creating a little piece of calm and creativity that is completely yours, for you and your family to enjoy, a haven from this world that we live in.
    Thinking of you,

  15. I do this every spring. I am trying to wrap up my kitchen remodel and suddenly I don't care--I have a garden to plant! I love my kitchen but every spring I can only think of gardening. . .and breathing fresh air. . . and feeling the sunshine on my face. It will help with the deeper healing, I am sure.

  16. Nothing is wrong with you. Maybe it's not the end result but the journey you're really interested in? So interior design and magazines took you so far on your journey and now you're ready for the next "ride" Go with it - I'll love to come visit your blog someday and see your swiss chard and painted canvases! XOX Michele

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  18. Anonymous3:54 pm

    I know how you feel. After the death of a loved one everything feels superficial and pointless. One day, not soon, but one day, you will begin to find pleasure again in the things that used to interest you. It will come.

    And yes - Style at Home is pretty awful: sterile/anonymous/stuffy, but maybe the new editor will shake things up the way Suzanne Dimma is doing at Canadian House and Home...

  19. Oh, Terri, you really need time to let yourself be out of focus. Your heart is still bleeding and your mind must be confused. Everything seems meaningsless when we come to life and dead but I am sure that your interest in home decorating will come back when you are ready for it. Yoga sounds like a great way to handle all the stress in your life.

    It is strange to think that you still have such cold weather.


  20. You said it yourself. You're just looking for a deeper meaning... a stronger drug to bring you to the next level. Have you tried exploring Japanese architecture and interior design? You can investigate oriental designs for a change. I am into digsdigs.com lately.