Tuesday, July 12, 2011


"[He] caught a strange sad feeling of 
happiness and longing and regret 
to be where everything was familiar 
and owned and no world to rush at." 

—Deirdre Dore

I lifted that exquisite sentence above from Deirdre's blog. She captures so much in such a few words. As soon as I read them, I quit trying to understand what I had been feeling because, my God, there it was, said for me.

The photograph of the overgrown house on the Langley Property in Jamaica is by my cousin Ian, who posts a single image taken somewhere on the island for his "Good Morning" series each day. He posts these pictures for family and friends who reside overseas, to give us a taste of home. I looked at this house and I could imagine at once wresting it back to habitation, the loving work of making its rooms look again as they once were. It felt like a metaphor, really, for the internal work of making our lives, overgrown with the flora of years, a place where air and light and peace can once again reside within the comfort of a well-tended place.

As I do in Deirdre's words, I see beauty in that waiting house, and in the verdant green that encroaches against its walls. All it needs is quiet patience and a loving hand to clear and plant and paint and spruce and restore. I imagine the interior looking much as the red-and-white room at right, with paintings by Jamaican artist Judy Ann McMillan, the whole scene so vibrant, alive and tropical, inviting one to sit, pause, share sustenance. It is a great work, this imagined undertaking, especially when applied to a life. 



  1. My sleeping dreams are filled with houses like that. Just waiting, they are, for me to find the treasures within them, fit my life within them.
    Such yearning these dreams portray.
    I understand.

  2. Lord, that's beautiful. What prolific talents your family has... and yes, what an undertaking when applied to a life. Yes.

  3. Ms. Moon, if I recall, you posted pictures of similar houses, once. didn't you?

    A, it must seem that i have a lot of cousins. That's because i do. My mom was one of nine and my dad one of five, and they all married and have multiple kids, and they have many cousins, too, and in our family we don't distinguish between first second and third cousins, they are all just cousins, and indeed, the children of cousins to whom we are particularly close are called nieces and nephews. I do enjoy the sprawling nature of my family of origin. it is a real gift to one who is by nature somewhat reclusive, as i am. thank you, as always, for your generous reading here. xo

  4. We've restored two homes already and although it's tons of work, nothing gives me more pleasure than to bring a house back to life.
    Your Friend, m.

  5. Darling, so beautiful and to be connected to that, thank you.

  6. eh gads here it is july 13 - i can't remember when i last dropped in! yikes, summertime and the living is BUSY!

    oh i love that red room! is that your home?

    i've long been partial to red walls - when we lived in connecticut i painted one wall in my kitchen painted that same firehouse red. today, my red room is toned down a bit an is what i call smoked paprika - which works better in the living room than a firehouse red, but i'm toying with putting some of that hot red back up in the kitchen as accent color.

    i recently painted the stairwell up to the second floor a color i call turmeric so joke around that the first floor is the spicy floor with smoked paprika l.r., sage and curry d.r. and mustard kitchen and turmeric up!

  7. I'd be inclined to restore the inside a tad and leave the outside just as it is.....mysterious and full of nature's secrets

  8. Mark, i would love to before and after pictures of your restorations! was that before or after kids?

    Deirdre, thank you, lovely woman, for the words. For being here and being my friend.

    mouse, i wish that red room were my home. no, it is someone else's home in jamaica. but like you, i love spicy rooms!

    Kathleen, yes! i could see that. it would be perfect.