What’s shakin’, bongo players.
I’m not done with Secular Holiday yet, though I will be working on it this week.
I got a bit distracted last week.
I wanted to add some 70s inspired shagadelicness to my living space. So that’s what I did, and I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am about it.
For the past three years now, I’ve been making some major changes to my personal refuge. When I moved into this house with Mr P lo these many years ago—twelve years ago, to be exact—my office was entirely dedicated to Professor Snape. I more or less recreated his office. It was fun. Bugs and jars and books everywhere.
There was also a big part of the room that was my “Orthodox church at home”—a wall of icons, with areas for incense and everything else. Prostration center.
Them Orthodox days are over and long gone, thank Mai Tai.
After I walked away from religion and faith altogether approximately three years ago, I slowly began collecting and accumulating toys, an activity I soon found to be phenomenally therapeutic. It’s no coincidence that this was when my living space really started to change. It was becoming my space.
Eventually, the religious stuff completely disappeared (for a while, I kept some icons as “art” then decided I wanted much better art than that), and, one after the other, my shelves became filled with cheerful toys that had great meaning and significance to me.
I’d always used the glass cabinet for Professor Snape collectibles, and said cabinet is now the main place where I display such items. Because my room is no longer a tribute to someone else (and, simultaneously, to religious self-effacement); it’s a place for me and all that I love, all that makes me smile, all that delights me and gives me comfort.
A place where I celebrate my humanity, and where I nurture and honor it.
Last winter, another big change: I replaced my two large work desks with a comfy chair and footstool, and a smaller work desk. This indicated that my life was no longer all about work. No more crushing and eradicating myself; that was over. I was making yet more room for my humanity. For me.
I deserve room. I’ve given myself room, at last.
This past year, I’ve developed another intense interest: a love for 70s kitsch, 70s everything. Tiki was just the start.
It happened as I grew increasingly selective about what I was willing to devote my time to; specifically, the internet, fandom… Things of that nature.
I was making room for me time-wise, as well. Giving myself my time, my need for solitude and tranquility back. I was giving me back to me. I would not treat myself like a second-thought anymore.
No more arduous trips. No more trying to be available around the clock. No more draining myself online, or offline for that matter.
Like Professor Snape, I threw the jar of cockroaches on the wall, smashing it, and declared, “Enough.”
And you know, lately I’ve been feeling better than I have in, well… ever.
This week, I wanted to add some 70s awesome to my room, like I said, and that’s what I did.
New bedspread, new pillows, new sheets. I put in some fabulous, thick, fluffy shag carpets. And most significantly of all: new curtains.
I hadn’t changed the curtains since I first decorated the room over a decade ago.
The changes gave me such joy, it was almost like I was on some kind of bliss-inducing drug.
When I removed the heavy, “Victorian parlor” old curtains and hung the new ones with their groovy cat pattern, it was like shaking off years and years of dust (and it literally was).
It was my call. My life.
It was about time.
So, without further ado: new stuff.
I love the color scheme of the bed. Black, red, white, weird patterns: very 70s.
May I say that Potion loves it too, as you’ll see. And he adores the shag as much as I do.
The day after I got the new bedspread and everything, I moved my stuffed friends around a bit because the new fuzzy white pillows are thinner and taller than the old pillows, and stuffed friends kept falling off the new pillows while I slept.
Furry fabrics: 70s love. The pillows are so incredibly soft, too.
The thick grey pile carpet is fantastic. And both it and the white fluffy shag are so much easier to vacuum than the purple rug I had before (the rug that first replaced my Oriental “church” carpet).
Right now, Potion is under the comforter again, like this:
New curtains. Note that they match one of the pillows in the big chair.
I’m ecstatically happy with all of this. No words, truly.
I also managed to unearth an original postcard of a picture that hung above my bed when I was a kid. I loved that picture. When the vintage postcard arrives (from France), I’ll scan it, print an enlargement, and put it on the wall above my bed in here.
I didn’t have much to go on: I remembered a girl with large eyes and blonde hair. She was standing on a beach. I thought my chances of finding this image were close to nil, but soon enough I discovered who the artist might be, and then lo and behold, there she was. The artist was Michel Thomas, and the piece entitled Protection de la Nature.
The water, the sky… Something about this picture had always entranced me. Perhaps it was the freedom it represented.
Many things that are ocurring on this planet at the moment are exhausting me. And thankfully, these days I’m quite aware of the role PTSD plays in the reactions I’m having to it all.
My Nouveau 70s state of mind and lifestyle are, I think, my way of giving all this shit the proverbial finger. I’m like, why don’t you go ahead and work out your fucking crap, and in the meantime I’ll be over here with Columbo and Kojak and Rosemary’s Baby and Monty Python and cream cheese covered sandwich loaves (want to get an excellent book this holiday season? Get 70s Dinner Party by Anna Pallai).
And wouldn’t you know it, the less you’re online, the less a whole lotta shit matters.
Yesterday, I finally ordered something I’d wanted for a while now.
A small, simple, beautiful record player.
And I got this record. A classic. Smooth. The kind of music I want to play on my turntable.
You’ll note that the record player doesn’t have any MP3 converting thingamajigs or whatever. It plays records, and it has an AM/FM dial; that’s it.
That’s what I wanted.
It doesn’t need to be upgraded. It just plays records and the radio. It’s not “wireless”. It has a needle that you gently put on the record.
I’m amused by some of the reviews I’ve read of record players. Complaints because of “cracks” and “pops”—are you kidding me? That’s part of the appeal.
Or complaints about the sound. Not “rich” enough. Also very amusing. Clearly these people never listened to cassette tapes on a Walkman. I remember when I had my first cassette-playing Walkman (my first portable music device was a radio with headphones) and I thought it was the most fabulous fucking thing ever. I also remember the small record players I had when I was a kid: they were great. They weren’t perfect, but they were great.
Last night, I was thinking that I hadn’t felt this relaxed in years. In fact, I’d never felt this relaxed in my whole life.
I’m going to do my quiet stuff. Look after the daily things. I won’t create unnecessary problems for myself. I’m going to look after myself.
I’m going to write my books and whoever reads them, reads them. I’m just not going to worry. What’s the point of that, anyway?
I’m going to write what I want, how I want, when I want. I’m going to do what I can. I’m going to respect who I am, what I am.
I love my cracks and pops.
Oh, and apart from the record player, I got a macramé book.