In the slow process of walking this grief out (and it has been a walk, a very slow paced walk) I have been surprised by one thing that kept catching my eye, then immediately resting my soul:
Well appointed rooms.
Well appointed rooms are very meaningful to me, even just the pictures of them.
Somehow this year I was given a subscription to a women’s magazine and I would look forward to each issue for this reason alone.
How strange… in fact it was most often the rooms of strangers, not my own pretty rooms that I live in, but rather the representation of other places, places I don’t know about, but that invited me in…
It was as if the lovely rooms pictured on glossy paper gave me a metaphor toward the reality that this place I inhabit is NOT my home, that there is another place I do not yet know and these images are signs of it for me.
I am not a material girl. I love beauty and pretty things to be sure, but I have learned not to place my aims there. I don’t have to have, or possess pretty things to glean sublime enjoyment from them; I do not need these things, thankfully, to be content. But during this time therefore it has startled me how much I have thirsted for this specific kind of beauty. It is a beauty of place, and of welcome, and of particular taste. It is a beauty of a resting place where clutter is gone and someone knew I was coming.
It occurred to me this morning that this better explains to me why Jesus said to his disciples on that sad last night on earth with them that He is “going to prepare a place” for them. This is almost an obscure promise between the important foot washing and then the important Passover… but it is ALL packed with meaning and this too now makes deep sense to me. In grief I need a picture of another place. AND, I need to know this other place is a real place, not just an ethereal hope. He is a carpenter, he is making a real place. I will be welcomed there and the chairs will be comfortable, and the colors will sing, and we will sit together and marvel at all the tears (real tears, not metaphors) that were spilled before we got there.