Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Il faut meubler l'interieur de soi-même

I don't care to know the hour
'Cause it's passing anyway
I don't have to see tomorrow 
'Cause I saw it yesterday 
Though I'm living and I'm singing
And although my hands still play
Soon enough it will be over
Cause tomorrow is today


Reading, as I was this morning, Derek Hill's eulogy of Roderick Cameron (my copy of Remembering Rory is dedicated to Natasha and Stephen) I came across a phrase "il faut meubler l'interieur de soi-même" that fit exactly with what I had been thinking recently – not that I think in French, of course, but am trying to do so in Italian and non è facile let me tell you.

I had been thinking was how impersonal our flat had become – neutral ground for the interaction of two very dissimilar personalities that have gently rubbed each other smooth over the last thirty-odd years – and smooth seemed to be the best thing I could say about the living room – an equivalent, in decorating terms, of an Aesthetic heroine, pale, wan and terribly, terribly tasteful.

"Someone ought to be able to enjoy these" said the neighbor, handing me a bunch of zinnias as I opened the door to him. "We're going away for a few days and wondered if you'd like them." And enjoy them we did, for the few days they lasted. I took a picture of the zinnias – their colors a lodestar in the grey morning light in the grey room and, idling away a second or two before my coffee was ready, took another of their reflection in the tabletop. Just like that, the lens having focussed on the layer of dust, I had myself an image somewhat emblematic of my mood of the past few months - seeing, with all the attendant obscurities, through a glass darkly.

This grey morning, ceilinged as I am – embower'd going too far, perhaps – in morning glories and enchanted by chuckling hummingbirds, I feel it's time to write again and perhaps, equally importantly, it being as much a milestone as beginning to write, to redecorate the living room.

I know ikat is faddish and everyone has it, and it really sucks to admit this, but we have two ikat-look brocade pillows in both of our newly–favorite colors, Schiaparelli pink and orange – zinnia colors if ever there were any – on the newish sofa. Much as with the zinnias, the new pillows light up the doldrums the living room and have suggested a solution to a problem we've been discussing seemingly forever – new curtains. A decision, finally, was made and the fabric  ordered and is on its way to the workroom and will return to hang at the windows as curtains of a glowing fuchsia linen - emblematic, if curtains can be said to be, of new paths, if only neural ones.

Il faut meubler l'interieur de soi-même, indeed.



Those of you who recognize the quotation beginning this post as being from Billy Joel's Tomorrow is Today will understand where I have been over the summer and if you do not, it doesn't matter. I shall return, amongst other things, to my Circles within Circles theme over the coming weeks.

23 comments:

  1. Faddish? Hardly. It sounds quite beautiful. More color, more life. If words are hugs, please allow me to welcome you back.

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    1. Daniel, words are hugs indeed and I'm glad of 'em. Thank you.

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  2. It's nice to have you back in the ring, and I'm glad that coincides with some decoration, (not that I in anyway disapprove of your current endeavours; far from it), but to get a peek at what you have decided.

    I rather enjoy going away and coming back and loving being at this place we call home - both for the obvious reasons of having one's own things to hand, and enjoying the specific design elements that we installed, (layout lighting etc), but also because 9 years later I still love it, (the decoration).

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    1. Columnist, thank you. I too enjoy going away and coming back home and settling in again to all that is familiar. I've wrestled with every possible shade of blue for this room and none has ever worked and I must say fuchsia came as a big surprise both to me and to the Celt.

      I can appreciate why you might still love your place after nine years of living there - it has a modern grace and an awareness of space that is lacking in a lot I see published.

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  3. Blue, those cheerful curtains will surely brighten things up; highrise apartments with big windows call for different considerations than a suburban house. Reflective, rather than light absorbing, surfaces and fabrics make a big difference as well. And full-color-spectrum light bulbs (now available in energy efficient models too) help in clearing away the doldrums brought on by all that gray sky. As always, it's good to hear from you.

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    1. The Devoted Classicist, thank you. High-rise apartments with big windows - in our case whole walls in each room except one - have such an inflood of light that it can be intimidating. Our building was designed in such a way that in summer the balcony above shades the windows and in winter the opposite is true. It's in winter, though the light is filtered by sheers, that I look at our wool and silk carpet and wonder how long is going to last.

      Next week all fourteen windows are scheduled to be replaced with e-rated glass.

      The architect of these twin buildings, Ted Levi, died only two weeks ago.

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  4. Welcome Blue and glowing fuchsia linen.

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    1. Thank you, Terry. I didn't see you around this summer but I'm sure with Fall coming in we'll run into each other. I saw your blog on Curbed.Com so congratulations - you've worked hard for that recognition.

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  5. Glad to have you back AND redecorating the living room! Fuschia certainly doesn't sound very doldrums, I hope we're treated to a sneak peak when they're installed.

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    1. ArtchitectDesign, thank you. If I'm not floored by the enormity of what I've done you'll probably get to see them. I kept an eye on your blog over the summer and enjoyed it very much - as I normally do.

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  6. It's nice to have you back in the blogosphere. You have been sorely missed. I expect to see the unveiling of the new curtains soon.

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    1. I must own that Cameron remembrance, even if my copy will not be inscribed to the Spenders. So off in search I go ...

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    2. Mr Owens, thank you. I bought my copy from AbeBooks earlier this year and I must admit I was tickled to see the dedication. "Remembering Rory" is a slim volume with a leather spine, hand-marbled boards and a slip case - beautifully made.

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    3. The Peak of Chic, thank you. You can help with a champagne launch! New curtains and new windows - exciting ... I think.

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  7. How nice to find you back here. Your soi-même is well represented with ikat (fads be hanged) and fuchsia - good vibrations are assured for this new beginning. I look forward to your next posts.

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    1. gésbi, thank you. I so owe you a letter or at least a reply to your email of months ago. I hope you are doing well.

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  8. sign me up for valuing your way with the neural paths

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    1. Laurent, I bought tickets for us both.

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  9. Oh good. You're back. I was about to send out a search party.

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    1. Dilettante, good to hear from you and thank you. I nearly ran up to Maine at one point but your luck was in. I think I might wait until the weather is really bad given my predilection for grey days and heavy downpours.

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  10. Lovely post & lovely to see you back:)

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  11. Loved gésbi's "good vibrations" comment about your going bold. As a child of the 60s I remember when the colors of India were the colors we wore. I turn 63 next week and I have said for decades that I am too old for beige. Also loved your comment about how of the two of you have gently rubbed each other smooth in the 30 odd years you have loved each other. Looking forward to seeing your new neural paths putting new shadows on the walls.

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  12. Welcome back Blue! Here's to life, color and edges worn smooth! Will it be morning or afternoon light filtering through your linen fuchsia curtains? Sigh...It's going to be wonderful.

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