Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Disturbingly visible

My brain is really cooking today. I can't do anything but paint, and think. While I wait for my last coat to dry on a triptych I am painting, I decided to bounce around my fave blogs. I just had to write that. A triptych: did I even spell it right?

I realize this is confusing so try to follow along. Lavenderchick turned me on to the Hill Country House blog, which I love and will now visit every single day. In her latest post, Hill Country House Girl laments that the homes featured in the latest issue of Veranda haven't blown her skirt up as usual because they seem to lack personality. They're beautifully designed, but does anyone actually live there? She mentions Habitually Chic's post about Rose Tarlow, a designer and author of "The Private House." I haven't read it yet but I'm going to order it as soon as possible.

In that book, Rose writes: "There are those who spend lifetimes in houses that have nothing to do with who they really are. They may be perfectly designed, yet if they fail to reflect the personalities of the people who live in them, the very essence of intimacy is missing, and this absence is disturbingly visible."

I could not agree with that more. But I say the lack of intimacy that is missing in the house is missing in the person. In fact, maybe the house does reflect who they are. It's obvious in beautifully designed homes in fancy magazines and it's obvious among normal people that you and I know. A very smart friend and I were talking about this same thing just yesterday.

The flashy McMansion looks good, every square inch is decorated from some dumb store, with some design element: the last sale at Hobby Lobby, a stop by Kirkland's, that trip to Laredo, a late night of shopping online. It doesn't matter how bad, how cheap, or how expensive and well thought out, you can spot the lack of imagination, lack of personality and yes, a lack of intimacy that is disturbingly obvious. These houses have that model home or Parade of Homes feel and you wonder how do real people live here?

Other homes have such great energy and it's because of the people who live there. Their homes reflect their passions, their tastes, their travels, even, shockingly, their kids.

And here's where my theory gets really interesting. When these smart women mention an absence of intimacy, I agree, but I would add we're also seeing an absence of God that is disturbingly visible both in the home and in the person. It's all connected.

The home lacks soul and the person lacks God.

Ultimately the McMansion and everything we fill it with doesn't satisfy. The husband (or wife) can't make us happy and meet all our needs. Nothing we search for fills the empty hole. There's really only one thing that can fill it and if it's disturbingly absent, it's disturbingly visible.

And that's my witnessing for today.


Boyz3Mommy said...

And what a good witnessing it was. Thanks for the reminder.

Hill Country House Girl said...

OHMYGOSH! WHO are you and where have you been in my life? Thank you so much for the comment - I headed straight over to read your blog and am so flattered to be referenced! I am always impressed and inspired by Joni of Cote de Texas, but cannot possibly keep up with the posting she does - both in quantity or quality. Your girls are precious, your perspective is wonderful and I am going back to read more - thank you for visiting me!