A House is Not a Home…

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Shortly after the first of the year I began attending a class, a women artist’s support group really, based on Julia Cameron’s brilliant book, The Artist’s Way. When the twelve week program came to an end none of us wanted to stop, so we continue to study with the sequel, Walking In This World.

Any of us women – along with millions worldwide who have studied and worked through these lessons – will tell you, it is life-changing. In my case, it has been life saving.

We meet once a week. We discuss the chapter and our experiences as we work through the tasks, how we are effected by the insights. We offer ideas, support. And although we are careful not to problem solve for each other, problems do seem to resolve themselves mysteriously throughout the following week…it’s uncanny.

Of course, what we are really doing is showing up, being present, learning how to relate differently than the ways that let us down in the past. Somehow we know this is a great privilege, to be here together at this time, and that growing up is a lifelong process.

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Susan Steadman, oil on canvas by Lisa Perrine Brown

As we gathered for class last night I complimented Lisa – extraordinary woman and artist – on her choice to paint the living room ceiling of her Victorian home a luscious peacock blue. “Ceilings should always be a color”, I said…and then realized that most of mine are white. It is the first of my homes where I have not painted the ceilings. It is the first home I have never really made my own. My name is on the mortgage, but I’ve never “taken ownership”…it is a house to me. It has never really been my home.

Yesterday, cleaning out a basement shelf, I came upon a box I had never UNpacked since moving in 9 years ago. It was labeled “studio” and contained art supplies. What a metaphor! I had unwittingly packed up my own heart, taped it securely shut, and stored it neatly away on a faraway shelf…

Lucky for me, the heart waits through our slumber to awaken again like a child on Christmas morning. Every morning, Christmas, in our true home, our true heart…where the ceilings glow and the walls shine like diamonds.

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