I have a love hate relationship with our living room.
I dream of having one those living rooms on a Pinterest board, where the furniture is not old, but vintage. Couches beautifully restored, scattered with colour co-ordinated cushions with no tufts of stuffing escaping from the seams.
Instead I live here amongst a messy eclectic collection of second hand or hand-me down furniture, kids toys and artwork and the general mess of lives lived.
Each piece of furniture tells a story; they have been a part of other lives, and now those stories live in our midst, and become a part of our story, just as we become a part of theirs.
The divan couch in our lounge had a previous life in the home of my grandparents. The fabric is now old and stained and grimy, a shadow of its former self. But some days when I look at it, I don't see its imperfections, instead I am drawn into the story of its former life. I remember the place where it resided in the hallway of Nana and Pops house, I remember stretching out on it in that sunny hallway. I remember Nana in the final months she spent at home choosing that spot, close enough to the sunny windows to feel warmth without being consumed by it. Within reach of the phone, at the heart of the hustle and bustle of the house. I remember sitting with her there talking.
Now it is finding new life as a couch, a bed, a hut, a castle, a canvas.
It's not going to find its way on to a Pinterest board any time soon.
It bothers me that I find myself so drawn in to our cultures obsession with the appearance of perfection, even when achieving it renders the function and purpose of a space, object or person obsolete. Just do a search for 'Mud Rooms' on Pinterest and you'll know what I'm talking about.
But the life that we live in this room is not an interruption. It's what this room is all about – living.We of chipped and broken pieces, we of peeling paint.
In this space we live and move and have our being.
And it is beautiful.