And this is my picture for the day... a picture that I hope explicitly and starkly conveys that my home is cluttered, dusty, worn, mismatched, and beloved, that I keep trying, and living, and moving forward, that visiting friends, sharing time with loved ones, reading long books aloud, or painting stones to put in the garden means more to me than pushing myself to exist as though in the pages of a glossy magazine. I remember holidays, and any day, in homes of friends, family, when everything I recall is pure happiness and comfort, and it amuses me to see old photographs, and to realize that the "perfect" memory I have of the very best moments of my childhood were beautifully imperfect, humanly flawed. Worn furniture, not stylish rooms, unbrushed hair, any number of indications and clues that we were living... as active and dynamic as a verb can be, with all of the parts in motion, out of order. I come from open doors, and family tables, from crafts and glitter, from do-it-yourself. I come from picnics, patched clothes, yard sales, and doing without. I come from there's room for one more, and we have enough to share, come in, stay, you are welcome.
These messages are for me, honestly, because I forget, and I need reminding that, I am ok, as I am. Trying to be very convincing. Because I would like to be a better homemaker, and also not feel utter disgrace and regret, and shame that I am not a better homemaker. It must not be so impossible as I imagine, because I see it done, and admire the families I know that do it... order, organization, tidiness, beautiful homes, thoughtfully, artfully, lovely. I want to take care to not give up trying, or believe too firmly in that defiant voice, "I do not care." I do care. I do get embarrassed, but I'm also untrained, get distracted, and tired, discouraged. I wish I were a better person, with a cleaner home, but not as much as I wish for the next party we will host, for the next time friends will linger over dinner at our dining table, with the smily face scrawled into the wood. I wish I kept papers, spices, yarn, and car repairs in order, had a firm handle on how to make the wifi reboot, but not as much as I wish there were more campouts in the backyard, movie nights, cooking lessons, and hours of laughter, with loved ones. And I wish my friends, too, knew that I don't want to visit them to see whether their laundry is on the sofa, or under a table, or to be served something from a gourmet recipe on designer plates, but to visit, to hang out, to share time and ideas, to help one another, to talk. I do not want a Pinterest Life... I want to laugh, to create moments that will last a lifetime and be recalled as pure happiness and comfort, amidst everything, messy, shiny, good, hard, broken, repaired, in use, lived in.
With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.