For a few days now I’ve been trying to remember the times in my life when I was happy. They’re few and far between, it turns out, or at least the ones that I can remember. But I kept thinking about it, and just now remembered how happy I have always been during the first months or years of my loving relationships. It’s the nesting—the building of a safe, warm, and happy home for the two of us. That’s a pattern—nesting does make me happy, more than any other prolonged activity. (There are other happy times, of course—being with horses, for example—but those have been, for the most part, single events and not of any duration.)
So that’s the first insight.
I’ve also been thinking and puzzling over why I am SO passionate over these book nooks. (A book nook, in the broadest sense, is a small, enclosed diorama that takes up approximately the space of a book on one’s bookshelf.) And mine are not just any scene from a movie or a dollhouse miniature—mine all have the theme of being outdoors in a safe and beautiful place. It makes sense on the surface: Since childhood I have loved being outdoors and pretty much always feel safe and peaceful there. But my fascination with them feels like more than that—and a psychologist friend and I have been talking about their similarity to Jungian sand-tray work. So I kept feeling into the question….
Down in the kitchen just now I was washing a drinking glass that dates from the early 1970s—my first husband and I purchased a set of these at a kind of “dollar store” before we were married. This glass is the only one I have left from the set, and I wondered why I keep it—that’s when the “nesting” thing hit me.
At the same time, I’m involved in a fascinating discussion about book nook lighting issues in my group on Facebook, and specifically thinking about how to light my current work in progress, entitled “Paths of the Dead.” Inspired by a scene in Lord of the Rings but set in the time and location of my ancient ancestors, this nook will portray a scene in which a young couple (with their infant in arms) is fleeing SOMETHING down a narrow gorge in the mountains through which they must pass, despite their terror. I’ve been trying to understand why they’re doing it—what are they fleeing, and why? And where are they going?—and have been asking Grandmother Taz (in whose time and place the scene is set) to help me listen in closely so that I can understand it better. So far, no dreams or conversations have happened, and I’ve been disappointed….
But this morning, a “flash of light”: Putting the “nesting” thing and the “terror” thing together, it occurs to me that my nesting is about creating the safe space that I never experienced as a child. And so are the first two of my nooks. “Sanctuary,” the first one, is about a quiet and lovely space in the woods where I can go and be alone or with my horse. “Midnight’s Paddock” (“Old Friends”) is about a dreamy location where Midnight the Horse (and I, hiding in the trees) can experience the love of a human family but also run free in the woods.
As a logical, psychological extension or next step in this story line, “Paths of the Dead” represents fleeing from some deadly terror into a wilderness where even Nature doesn’t feel safe. Wow…no wonder it frightens me and draws me in at the same time! It likely mirrors something, or some feeling, from my childhood experience…and something that carries over into the present time in some fashion.
Thank you, Grandmother Taz and my other Guides, for your help. That help doesn’t always come in the way that I expect or want, but it’s always there if I’m open and listening.
Onwards, now, to see what’s down that frightening path….