Saturday, November 7, 2009

Places of Solace: My Grandmother's Table

For the last post on this subject, I was trying to figure out where I gravitate to in my home when I need some mental "space." My office? Nope. It's too overwhelmed with piles of paper and books and disorganized (at present) for that kind of contemplation. When I'm in my office, I have to be focused and working or I'm constantly fighting the urge to leap to my feet and start cleaning.

Comfy chairs? We have them, but I don't spend my time in them these days.

Then, I figured it out. My "place of solace" at home is my grandmother's table. This dining table is probably close to a century old now, and has any number of family stories attached to it. My mother used to relate how she would sit beneath it and play "pretend" or with paper dolls. Then, when I was but a toddler and the table newly refinished, I apparently toddled up to it—the table edge being at mouth level—and bit on the edge. Teething? I guess so! My mother was horrified by the sharp set of teeth marks and offered to have it refinished yet again. My grandmother refused, saying she'd treasure those bite marks forever. They are still in the wood, but very faint.

In any case, when I need a space to myself, I pull back the table cloth, sit in one of the cane-backed chairs, and place my hands, palms down, on the scarred and worn tabletop. Something about sitting at the table, touching the surface that has witnessed so much usage, so many years, is very calming to me.

So, places can be places, objects, even intangible "places of the mind."

After this week of inward looking, I'm ready to look outward again.

Next week, I'm planning to feature blog sites that I find interesting ... hopefully some will be off the beaten track and new to you. In turn, I hope to hear of sites you-all find interesting, funny, thought-provoking.

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