22 September 2013

a strange little while

I've been feeling a bit discombobulated for a while. It seemed to be a collection of a whole lot of reasons pulling me down, but logic told me that none of them was valid, and even collectively they didn't amount to a fraction of the obstacles I have overcome since moving here in April 2007.

Was it that my flatmate is returning to NZ? She goes back to family, a "real job", an exciting social time in her lovely new Italian shoes, to security. Could that be it? No, I analysed it up and down, inside out. I wouldn't swap places with her at all, no matter how much I wish I were closer to my family.

Was it financial insecurity? It shouldn't be. The only risks I have taken have been well calculated and there is always a plan B. I think I can discount that one.

I felt a downward spiral accelerating, so it was time for some positive action. I remember my father telling me that in times of stress the most important thing is to have your living conditions the best you can, so that you can recharge and deal with the apparent bigger problems. If there is a flood, fix the house before the cowshed even if you need to milk the cows. That kind of thing.

I looked about me. My downstairs apartment is "public". I have a never-ending stream of welcome (but sometimes demanding) guests. Downstairs was looking pretty good. The hot summer had not been kind to the garden but there were no major problems there. But my private space, my studio upstairs, had become a dumping ground. Too hot for sleeping or working when the summer hit 42-43 degrees, dropping only to 31 at night, I had abandoned it and moved downstairs. All the surplus paperwork, ironing, accumulation of objects between guests was waiting in the entrance upstairs. It was no longer my joy to open the door up there. I knew that something had to change, and I think I had worked out what it was.

I spent half a day sorting, tidying, putting things in order. Then I (mostly) moved upstairs again. Upstairs it is light. There are no curtains. I wake with the full moon. I wake as soon as the sun rises. But I wake feeling alive, feeling well, feeling sure that I am where I want to be.

I think that what had happened was that, in offering up my downstairs computer desk to my flatmate and moving myself with computer into the dark cantina, I was not getting enough real light for my health. There is only one window directly into the space (photo below), and another that allows a little light in at the darker, far end.

I don't go out in the sun, and I was accidentally "living" almost underground... in a wonderful space, but with inadequate lighting for my health.

Last night I hosted a dinner party in the central part of the long cantina. It was wonderful. It is a place to share, not to live in alone. The "restored" part of my home is for entertaining, not working, in.
(I momentarily wondered where the table had gone in the photo above. It is reflecting the stone wall!)

(Guests "blotted out" in the programme Paint as I didn't ask permission to share this photo). 

I love my apartments, and enjoy them fully. But as long as I live alone I choose to live in the light.

Today I am grateful for having a choice of places to call home.


Di said...

Love this, and yes to light ... always.

N xx said...

I'm so glad: the cantina IS a space for parties. And the food looks fantastic. And you know, I never even WENT upstairs when I was there a little while ago... I thought about how none of us went up there. Impressed that you worked out what it was and sorted it out. Kudos and love, N xx

Sarah said...

All of your friends have broken faces.