May 02, 2005

Domestic Dreams. (i.e. Oops, I lied!)

I know I said yesterday that I would not be writing again for two weeks, but that was with the assumption that I would be busy drowning in a sea of finals and other course work until this weekend when I move out, graduate, and leave for my luxurious week-long cruise vacation with my boyfriend (we've been dating more than two years and have never gone on so much as a weekend get-away together, so this will be a treat). Much to my happy surprise, it seems I have less school work than I expected! So, I thought I would take the time to share some of my thoughts on certain domestic dreams I have been idly entertaining recently, and how they relate to my religious Craft. Forgive me if this post is too colloquial and even *gasp!* feminine, and not theological or analytical enough.

Stay tuned, as I intend for the first post upon my return to be regarding the concept of "divine justice" and how it relates to worldly politics and personal life choices. It will be delightfully heady, for sure.

I am still struggling to realize that this weekend, I will be moving away from home for good. Though I've been in college for four years, dormitory life is hardly home-like. Rather than feeling like campus was a home-away-from-home, it felt much more temporary, what with the packing and moving at the beginning and end of every summer and the month long winter break. All the conveniences of home were still... at home. Conveniences like making breakfast while still in your pajamas; sleeping in a room without a television or computer, but still being able to access those things if need be; having window sills wide enough to hold potted plants... Little things, really. Dorm life was dorm life. Now, I am moving into an apartment--with my long-term boyfriend, no less. We will have multiple bureaus in the bedroom, and a full-length mirror. We will have a dining room table and a table cloth. We will have a dishwasher in the kitchen. We will have a couch with a pull-out bed. And we will have a whole second bedroom packed full of bookshelves and a desk with a beautiful new iMac. It will be a real home. And when family or friends come to visit, they will not simply pop in to see how messy the dorm room is and then take us out to dinner as a change from cafeteria food. They will come in, relax in the living room for a while, eat a home-cooked meal, and then maybe stay the night on the pull-out sofa bed. It will be amazing.

What does any of this have to do with religion and spirituality? The question has been bouncing around in my brain recently: what exactly makes a residence into a home, and by extension, what makes a space into a "sacred space"? The more traditionally Catholic side of me longs for towering cathedrals and stained glass windows that arch high against the sunlight, dancing across cool stone floors and a delicately carved altar. That part of me longs for a home with echoes of this kind of holy art and architecture, in glass crystal chimes and elegant furniture, matching lamps and window treatments, colorful pillows and fresh flowers on every end table. But then the wilder, emptier side of me insists that this sacred sense of home is not in material objects and that investing in them is a waste a money. This side of me is part earth-lover, who wants to see rows of herbs and container gardens, housepets in every corner--a few finches here, a puppy there, a fish drifting in an aquarium in the dining room. And it is part Zen, who demands emptiness and space, an impractical lack of seating and storage, entire rooms clear of everything but a small altar in the corner with a floor cushion and a singing bowl.

I have a feeling my boyfriend, Ray, doesn't think nearly as much about these types of things. He'll be happy to come home to an apartment where our pet rats aren't right at the foot of our bed, wrestling and squeaking all night and keeping us awake (they'll be in the second bedroom, where we can let them out to play every day, and muffle their noises at night when they're being too roudy). He'll be happy to have pasta every night of the week, as long as it's easy to cook and at least a little better than meals in the college dining hall. I, on the other hand, see our new apartment as the very first opportunity ever in my life to direct every aspect of my surroundings towards spiritual awareness. I have been given a clean slate, an empty page, and from it I can create a real home for us. A home that, when you enter the front door, you feel you have entered a sanctuary of art and music, a place where silence is as welcome as the noise of the television. A restful dwelling for the tired spirit as well as the weary body and mind. It will be marvelous.

And, of course, it will be a chance to try out some new spells and charms for protection, cleansing and blessing. Since I am sewing the pillows and blankets for the bedroom and living room, and choosing (or making) home decor and accents according to color energies, it will provide me with some very hands-on crafty opportunities to bring my Craft into my mundane work. Bless this mess!


At 3.5.05, Blogger Clublint said...

Hey it's always nice to know that what you thought was going to be a crap two weeks filled with study and tests is going to be not so bad after all.

We should all be so lucky.



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