Thursday, February 5, 2009

More Messy/Beautiful

This morning a sweet customer just told me that she found me via one of my favorite blogs, Brocante Home. If you've never read it, you must. She is clever, hillarious and wise in a way that reminds me of my sisters and my best friends. I haven't visited in awhile and was curious...was I in her sidebar, or what? And I was pleasantly surprised to see THIS post from a few days ago. Of course I like that she likes something I made but I also love what she writes about it.

Her post really rang true with me. It made me think of my "messy philosophy" (I talked about it here) and that song that might be playing in my sidebar right this minute that I haven't been able to stop loving for a few months now ("Whatever You're Doing").

And of course, as you've probably gathered, I'm not talking about "Mess" and "Beauty" simply as adjectives to describe my crazy house full of embroidery thread clippings, tiny matchbox cars and Polly Pocket shoes, but also as a way I live after years of living in a totally different way that just plain didn't work. The Neat & Tidy way I lived for so long was about everyone else: what I thought they wanted to see, what I guessed they expected of me, what would cause them to nod in approval. And fear. A lot of fear.

Neat & Tidy is pretty miserable, as you know if you've ever lived there or perhaps visit there too often. It's not real life. It's as if the director points at you and that's your cue to step out on the stage and live one more day in the spotlight, playing the part of "The Girl You're Supposed to Be." It's black and white. Color sucked out.

But of course living there means life is about platitudes and roles, not experiencing or being. It means being perpetually afraid...afraid of being found out, disapproved of or even abandoned. The colors of life are muted, emotions are what your face does at the "right" time and relationships are just the interaction you have with another actor or actress on the stage you're acting upon. Faith becomes a religion. A place you keep going because you're afraid of what might happen if you leave. Like continuing to grocery shop at the mini mart because you think that's where you're "supposed to" shop, when all the while there is a freaking Winco right around the corner. Stale crackers from 2002 instead of steak.

Perhaps the saddest part is that if you think this way long enough, you start to think that's all there is. You mistake this crazy, stale production of a life for LIFE. I think the One who made my stomach with steak in mind might be saddest of all about this...just as I would be if I watched my kids choose stale bread over steak every day, thinking I wanted them to eat nothing but stale bread because some idiots told them so.

This is getting really philisophical. "Where's the pink and blue cupcakes, Cheryl???" you may be asking. Ha. Well that's what this is all about, I guess. I like pink and blue cupcakes but I also like hundred-year-old cabinet cards and combining words from crumbling, vintage love letters into something that is deep and true.



Maybe beautiful because it's messy.

So here it is again...still true after how many months? Maybe more true?

(my post, August 15th, 2008)
"So the Deep Truth About Messes has all of a sudden become very real to me. It's changing me. And it's not just about physical Messes that involve paint on the rug, gooey cake batter or cupcake-icing in crevices it should have been physically impossible for it to get in, although that would actually be a really great lesson in the particular phase of life I'm in.

Making Messes means facing feelings head-on, greeting them, finding a good spot for them to sit and entertaining them until they are ready to leave.

Making Messes means letting my old "stuff" resurface and gasp for air, throwing them a life-preserver and reeling them into the dock.

Sometimes it might even mean giving them CPR, handing them a warm, fluffy towel and sitting by the fire with them.

Sometimes it even means letting that rescued-"stuff" kick the crap out of me.

Making Messes means getting out a good pair of pruning shears, taking a good look at the thoughts, priorities and habits I've got growing and cutting the hell out of em', even some of the pretty ones, because I know this will leave room for something even better.

Making Messses means taking a risk. Climbing up that ladder to the highest of really high high-dives that I can't even look at without feeling like puking. Looking down through the air between the me that's standing here and the me I want to be...impossible amounts of air. Stepping forward, toes hanging off, knees shaking, stomach flip-flopping and...


These messes are....messy. I like to avoid them, pretend they're not there, hide them under that big rug no one looks under, dress them up in pretty clothes and generally just not deal. I'm a clean kinda' girl. Don't enjoy dirt. Hate to feel greasy and grimy. Like to be put together when I face the world. Know what I mean? So the prospect of all this mess is definitely not something I relish.
But there's a lot of work to be done. And the results are always so wonderful. So here I go.

Let's get messy."

Yup. Messy. Andrew is sitting at my studio table scribbling happily in large, sweeping circles. And he smells funny. Oh...that's a mess that does need to be cleaned up!
Hope you have a messy day.

10 comments: said...

I love Brocante blog, so much that I am a member of her Housekeepers Circle and I did read about you on her blog! She is great isn't she! I love this post of yours, good messages in it, be yourself , extend yourself, move out of your comfort zone, live, don't sweat the small stuff, be real!!! Thanks Cheryl! Rachaelxo

Alison Gibbs said...

Great post Chery. You saved the best til last. That sweet 'muddy cherub'!

RachaelEnsom said...

I like when you write deep stuff. I like when you show your gift for writing. I like reading your heart:) I love you oodles and noodles!

Suzanne MacCrone Rogers • Italian Girl in Georgia™ said...

Hi Cheryl,

Lovely work and lovely post. Your writing is very easy on the eyes ~ nice.

Ciao bella,


Just Between Us Girls said...

Dear Cheryl,\
Love this are missing your calling start writing a book and start today.
Three cheers for MESSY, CREATIVE,
COLORFUL AND CLUTTER and lots of love thrown that mix....your the BEST!!!
OOOMG...thank you for the incridible blog you left about me. I am blushing....
I cried when I read it. God Bless you.
Love and hugs,

Merci-Notes said...

Hi Cheryl,
Thank you Cheryl, absolutely beautiful and honest.
There are so many times in our lives when "messes" come up! Thank you for the beautiful music!!!


Unknown said...

I love messes. Embrace the mess!
Come see how much fun I am having with your fabrics.

Unknown said...

Hope you're having a grand weekend. I gave you an award!

scj said...

Hi Cheryl, this post is so pertinent to me right now for I feel that I am walking into a world of colour having been in a very grey and bland place for most of my life! Now it is about being who I have been made to be and there is a such a freedom in that.

You have a lovely way with words and some fabulous fabric and goodies. Thank you very much for the fabric book which arrived safely.


Heather ~Pretty Petals said...

CHeryl, this is a beautiful post... I love that you can put into words how you fell. I often struggle with that ability! lol

How awesome that Brocante home featured you...

have a great week! xo Heather