Sunday, August 21, 2011
In researching all the things I could do to that frame to make it better or fix it I visited quite a few different do-it-yourself blogs. I started thinking that maybe I should this blog in a DIY direction. Then I realized I would never have enough stuff to write about. I would get my house the way that I wanted and stop. No more glazing, no more spray painting, no more re-upholstering, just done. And I wouldn't change it for five years.
I also had an epiphany while I was squatting and spray painting some shelves aqua, 'what a privilege that it is that I can do this. What a privilege that all I have to worry about right now is what color to paint something.' I thought of all the mud brick houses that I had been in Tanzania that had newspapers hanging on the walls as decoration. No paint, no sconces, no framed pictures, just papers. I thought of the houses in Nairobi that had stuff spilling into halls because there were really no closets. I thought of all the women I had met that had to work and didn't have the luxury that I have now to sit in Emma's room and feel satisfied that all the walls have cute pictures on them, and that the sheets match the ribbon that holds up the letters (that spell out her name) that I made. Women who don't have the five dollars that it takes to buy a can of spray paint.
Then I felt silly.
Then I felt guilty.
Silly because how ridiculous am I in spending all this time on decorating my home?
Guilty because I should be helping people, rather than spray painting wicker shelving.
Tonight I sat in Emma's room for a few minutes after she had toddled to get her father to play baby with her. Everything in that room matches. For the most part. It's the only room in the house that is done at this moment. Because of our time in Kenya we are quite behind in all the purchasing of furniture. The living room is couchless and has boxes piled up in one corner. Our bed is currently two twin beds pushed together, which makes a king size bed. We don't have king size bedding so my mother-in-law, knowing that we would end up this way, pushed a set of king size sheets into my hands as we left. I am completely thankful for her foresight. Of course they don't match anything I own. Our queen size comforter is stretched over the top of the beds, leaving gaps on the sides. Our bed is never made, because, 'what's the point?' Shoved into the corner of the room are two boxes that currently have nowhere to go and our printer, still in it's box. (Our stuff doesn't really fit in this apartment.) I sit in Emma's room because it honestly relaxes me to have it all done. All the colors flowing together, everything in it's place, done.
This is why I feel so split. In one breath I know how silly it is to obssess over all this and spend money on it, any money at all. In the next breath I am an artist and beauty is important to me.
Then I saw this photojournalist display on children's rooms. That's why I posted pictures of Emma's room, obviously my pictures aren't as well done as his. My not quite two year old daughter has a room to her own. We are, by income level, middle class and her room looks palatial compared to the rooms of some of these kids. I just never know what to do with this sort of knowledge. I know that there are millions of children livig in abject poverty. I also know that we are not poor, I am thrilled that I can provide a nice room for my daughter. We will go on to purchase a three or four bedroom home later in our life and it will be gigantic and luxurious compared to the homes of most other people in the world. What am I to do? We tithe, we lived overseas, but what are my actions now?