“We are fascinated, all of us, by the implacable otherness of others. And we wish to penetrate by hypothesis, by daydream, by scientific investigation those leaden walls that encase the human spirit, that define it and guard it and hold it forever inaccessible.” –Tim O’Brien
What’s on your walls? Floating bookshelves? Famous prints? Movie posters? Family photographs? Wallpaper or paint? I ask because I wonder, what exactly do you stare at day after day?
Most of the walls in our house are bare. The reason is simple: we’re renting. It just doesn’t make sense to put up a lot of decoration on other people’s walls. With the exception of the holidays, I only decorate the walls of my office. It’s the one room where I spend the majority of my time, and I like to have things that inspire me on the walls.
I haven’t painted the room so the ivory-colored walls you see in the background of these pictures came with the house. Given the choice, however, I’d probably go with black or a navy blue or even a deep red. Something dark and dramatic.
This is the tapestry that hangs above my desk. It’s called “Women of the Sacred Grove” by Emily Balivet and I picked it up last year on Gaelsong. To me, the 12 women represent the months of the year, and they’re heading into the woods to celebrate the full moon.
To my right is this metal butterfly sculpture. I’ve always been drawn to butterflies — they seem free and independent — and the colors on this piece of art beautifully matches my more autumnal nature. In the future I plan to get at least two butterfly tattoos, one will be obsidian and the other a Blue Morpho.
Behind me are very dark curtains whose sole purpose is to block out the evil morning sunlight. There are also blackout shades behind them and a full set of miniblinds. I am serious about keeping out Ra’s rays. But I do like a little illumination and these Christmas lights give the room a soft, golden glow.
Next to the door is this original painting by Jaime Best, one of my favorite artists, who describes her work as “fantasy art with a touch of whimsy and a hint of melancholy.” This particular piece, which I found on Etsy, had a different meaning for Best than it does for me, but isn’t that what makes art grand? To me, this image exemplifies what it feels like every time I send a new submission into the world. Will it be accepted? Rejected? Or completely ignored?
This painting, also by Best, hangs on the wall to my left and features one of the few things I like about summer: fireflies. Is there a more magical — and harmless — bug to keep you company in the dark? I doubt it.
Lastly, these are the images currently featured on my laptop’s desktop. The backgrounds, which change every 30 minutes, get pulled from a folder of nearly 1,000 images. Every time I look at my desktop to grab some code or to open a folder, I’m greeted with something new. The first one I like because it feels like spring. Also seems appropriate that it appeared today because it has a very St. Patrick’s Day feel. The second image is one of my favorites because it reminds me of how I feel just before I write an obit. The original, “Omnia Vanitas” by William Dyce, is stunning. Someday, I hope to own a framed print.
Life and death…so inspiring.