Maybe part of the problem is that there is so much– so much to see, so much to taste, so much to smell, so much to feel, it’s overwhelming. Maybe not so much a problem as a condition– of stepping into life, of actually being awake and tuning in to all that is around us.
I see it in my dogs. They are exhausted after our walkabouts– not physically, but on the level (dare I say emotionally?) where they store the thousands of smells that they catalogue each and every step along the sidewalk, across the fields, down the streets– the thousands of sights, the hundreds of people– the many dozens of hands that reach down to stroke their heads and say hello– they are trying to take it all in, but man– it’s a lot.
For me? Pretty much the same although I don’t store it all through my nose, bien entendu. Choices and choices and options and options — even if I focus on just one thing– like say, let’s go to the Farmer’s Market (which we did and my god, was it good). But then, we get there– and where to begin? With the booths and stands of fresh flowers and if yes, how do I choose? Fat bunches of tall sunflowers– orange, yellow and almost reddish, dahlias in every shade of deep burgundy, buckets upon buckets of daisies white daisies bobbing their heads (maybe they’re grooving to the live folk music on the green behind me?)
We walk over toward the music– six guys, young, grinning, singing– fiddles, washboards, guitars, straw hats— dogs are being so good, now and again I let them off lead as we wander– there’s a booth of fresh oysters, scallops on ice– and let’s not even talk about the vegetables– I came here for the veggies and now I can’t decide– it’s too overwhelming.
What do I need? What do I want?
The dogs lead me away where I breathe and turn slowly in a circle under the great oak shading my bare head from the sun, where I can get some perspective on the small half moon of people practicing tai chi in the open grass. I see another set of white canvas booths and we stroll over there– oh man, this is the art and hand made goods side— and you realize, this is the town with RISD in it, yes?
So I lose myself into a booth of the most fabulous clothes and come out with two tank dresses one of which may stand as the greatest tank dress I have ever found. Earrings I cannot leave on the stand that simply must come home with me, two pairs, actually (funny how I don’t seem to have trouble making a commitment here, funny how questions like do I need it, will I eat it– don’t seem to figure into the equation of — must have. They are mine).
Belgian chocolate gelato, apples I’ve never tasted before, wild cherries by the basket– meeting people, one wonderful woman I am going to visit in her studio today.
It’s a lot– and that was just one morning excursion–
I cannot even possibly extrapolate this to the concept of being in Rome or Stockholm or Delhi, Iowa City, Vancouver, etc. All these worlds going on– worlds upon worlds upon worlds of beauty and sensory overload— this is how it feels to me right now as I send out tendrils of exploration around the block of this new neighborhood, in this new town, this new city, this new life.
We come home and sink into our space. Resting. Processing. Absorbing.
In a few hours, always ready for more.
Before I go– can I just ask you– did YOU know about 8-tracks? Did you? Cause I just found it from Brian and oh man– you guys! People make mixes and I can just listen to them– are you kidding me?
Oh sweet life, I am just one eensy human being– your pleasures, they are infinite and yes, at times, overwhelming. But, give it awhile, right? — surely I’ll be jaded and cool, indifferent and difficult to please in just a matter of time.*
Ha– can’t happen. Am a five-year old, now and forever.
Isn't it exciting, and yes exhausting, exploring the inside of a new place, a new city? Your home is taking shape and will soon reflect your new journey in life. I have a favorite saying from Winston Churchill that I put up on my frig when I bought my house. This house, for all intense and purposes, was a fixer-upper. When I began working on the restoration I I thought it applicable to my situation. I was curious about the saying but didn't think much beyond the literal meaning. Little did I know that twenty years later I would clearly see and experience the deeper meaning it has. He says, ” WE SHAPE OUR DWELLINGS, AND THEN OUR DWELLINGS SHAPE US. I take dwelling to mean our home, but also the city, town or country we live in. It's a simple statement but if you think about how we impact or create our new space and once done how that space continues to impact us. I think it profound. Maybe a bit deep for the 4th of July but just thought I'd share it with you.
I'm headed to Boston tomorrow to visit family and I am so thrilled to be headed east for a while. For me coming home to see family, the old neighborhoods, hear seagulls, smell the ocean and low tide, for just a week will infuse me with new energy and make my heart happy. I will think of you exploring and experiencing your new place with new eyes and the excitement of a five year old. God bless the nature of a five year old!
Happy 4th of July E.
Oh E….first of all I am totally madly in love with your new place. I cannot wait to come visit! I am excited for your explorations and great finds and fresh veggies and flowers and handmade goodies and music on the green. Loving it all! xoxo
Wow, you have things up on your walls already. I haven't even thought of doing that. I still have clothes in garbage bags to unpack. And now it's hot hot hot and all I feel like doing is sitting on the porch sipping a margarita.
It's so fun exploring your new digs with you! It all sounds too marvelous! And it was Christina (of course) who introduced me to 8tracks some time ago 🙂
And my spam-catcher word was “retro” which just seems so fitting. And also like something Henry might say if he was feeling talkative.
I don't even know you, only a tad from meeting you at Squam..but reading this, I am almost brought to tears- I am so happy for you and your dogs and I totally know that feeling of overwhelm of the beauty of life and good fortune. I'm almost glad I don't have that feeling all the time because I might literally burst! I have it today and am just truly loving all you have said in this post. Happy 4th. Diane
Claire * Lola Is Beauty says
There's such a lot to take in! Everything is perfect. ♡
Claire * Lola Is Beauty says
There's such a lot to take in! Everything is perfect. ♡
I love having you as my tour guide in how to live a full life. Love the image of your farmer's market and the analogy of the dog-smells and all your new surroundings. Your new place looks beautiful, and like you have lived there for a long while, how do you do that? Such a talent to make your home so welcoming. I can't wait to read what you are up to next…xo
Christina Rosalie says
Someday when my small underfoot boys are bigger I want you to come apply your gorgeous aesthetic to my house. God I love that room. You have the beauty touch.
As for the overwhelm: totally get it. I live this way too–like a sponge. It's exhausting, but it's also the source of immense creativity. Can't wait to see what this year unfolds for you!
oooh. oooh. oooh. i want to be there. dancing in the sun and smearing cherry juice all over my chin at the same time i am here snuggled under a quilt with my flower man and firebird girl*
i save your blog every day cause i know i will leave here feeling HAPPY 🙂
Your apartment is beautiful!! What a terrific job you have done making yourself at home already in your new Rhode Island apartment! I would love to catch up with you.
YOU (<-- yes YOU!!!!) are incredible. And your house (well, the tiny glimpses into it) looks fabulous. Will you come to London and do the interior decoration for my place? I shall entice you with wine and Jeanine (oh and me of course). 😀
E- the shots of your house alone make me so happy for you. It looks so happy and peaceful and soothing. Perfection.
And the words…oh, the WORDS! I'm so happy that things are going well for you. So happy indeed.
i want to come visit too and wow, does the place look awesome and your adventures too! wow – wow – wow!
love you and so excited for you!
oh my love your place is divine! Of course it is…hee hee. I am basking in all of your experiences. So delightful and full of goodness. hmmm.delightful.