There are days when being creative at writing fails me. I think its resistance. I am determined to tell the story in my head, the one that’s going to make a novel, but my brain refuses to cooperate. If perseverance doesn’t break down the barrier, I leave the writing and find a project. I get into my stuff, my home stuff, and I play. I add to my nest. I am like a bird bringing the new new bit of straw, or a dried flower, or a tuft of lint from the drier that caught on the grass, into my little place. I’m weaving a different sort of story, but for me it’s a story all the same. It’s as if my muse appreciates a different venue, another way to find expression. Often the resistance dissolves in the happy light of doing this, of making new art.
The other day, a very dear friend of mine, knowing our shared love of making a home, recommended a magazine, Romantic Prairie Style, and in it I found a tiny poem that perfectly expresses the way I feel, and in such an economy of words, I am in awe. It is called My Home and it’s by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
This is the place that I love best,
A little brown house, like a ground-birds nest,
Hid among grasses, and vines, and trees,
Summer retreat of the birds and bees.
Far from the city’s dust and heat,
I get but sounds and odors sweet.
Who can wonder I love to stay,
Week after week, here hidden away,
In this sly nook that I love the best—
This little brown house like a ground-bird’s nest?
|James Prosek's creative nest|
“It's my little room,” he says. “All of my stuff is here and no one can get at me.” He goes on to say, “I try to make it sound smaller than it is. There’s a small space where I work because I want it to be a humble space. Humility is a big part of being open and receptive to everything you see. Part of being a good observer is to know you don’t know anything.”
Like Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s poem, this says so eloquently in just a few words how making a home is so much more than the stuff. It’s the receptacle that contains the sense of yourself, your essence. It describes us and defines us. It informs us and others of who we are. “Artists need a story,” Prosek says. “This space is my story.”
I couldn’t put it better myself. My home/work space is my story too.