I know, we have all read the cliché articles or stories about the difference between a "House" and a "Home." I will not bore you with the basic distinctions, but I started a new section to my blog to write down some of my non-adventure experiences and subsequent thoughts.
This winter I was walking home after working a 12 hour shift at the hospital. I stopped to help a lady knock off some icicles from her gutters because she was scared they would fall on her kitty Sprinkles.
That night, after having just met me she invited me into her house and I was exposed to the brilliant colors and artifacts that united to form her cozy living room. This living room had no chairs, not couches, no TVs, absolutely no self-assembly furniture from IKEA. It was populated by spools and spools of yarn, ornate necklaces, and various Victorian era devices.
I soon learned that she was a foreigner, which explained her friendly nature. She walked me through the house, showing me beads from Bali, earrings from Pakistan and fabric from India
What was amazing about each of the objects in her home, was not only their natural beauty, but the story behind each and every one. If it was a necklace, not only had she assembled it, but each bead or jewel was from a different region of the world. For example, a particular earring had what is termed a "Bali Ball" because it is the only place in the world where the artist knows how to construct the wire in such ornate fashion.
I felt as if I had walked through the wardrobe into a magical world of stories and adventure. She proceeded to cook me some fish and promised to knit me a winter hat stitched of Peruvian Yarn.
She called to me a few days later to present the hat. It fit perfectly, and although it would not be something I would have picked out, I was suddenly infatuated with it as I know it was an extension of her, a garment with its story to tell that would not be duplicated by every other trend-setter on the corner.
The winter was long and cold, and it was not until the first days of Spring that I again saw her as I walked home from the hospital. We sat and talked in the yarn room for a while and I promised to return with a camera to take pictures, share food and stories.
I came back and took the pictures that you see here, ate homemade custard and watched a classic movie "The White Countess" while relaxing in her bed (the only place to watch a movie).
I told other people that I went over to this lady's house, took pictures of her, ate desert, and watched a movie with her in bed and when she fell asleep I let myself out...well they were like what?
My male friends asked me if I hooked up with her and my girlfriends were insisting this was not normal and that I should be more careful. Maybe I should be more careful (separate issue) but it was only by being open that I was able to experience such events. I had a hard time explaining that it was not awkward at all, but rather very relaxing and stimulating to be surrounded by such a creative spirit.
I walk into houses all the time and some are messy, some are luxurious, and some are simple, but very seldom do I walk in somewhere and get the feeling that I was at home in a place I had never stepped foot in before.
It is only by being open and honest with our hearts that we can create such an environment. Not buying things to impress others, but buying, or better yet, making things to bring true joy to oneself. In a world where every town in America has a Starbucks and a Costco instead of a "Bean and Leaf Cafe" and "Vic's Vege-Mart" and every neighborhood is filled with cookie-cutter houses, with cookie-cutter families and cookie-cutter furniture; it is a breath of fresh air to experience something unique.
So it ends up being the same old story of the difference between a "house" and a "home", but with my personal dematerialization twist.