Saturday, July 24, 2010

My New Beach House, My Self

If you find yourself in this page, you are most likely a friend who's been here before, but not quite.

Welcome to my new blog-home. I have a new address and a completed renovated site, leaving the old one — with its leaks, cracks, broken appliances, bad choices in furniture, and even worse choices in long-staying guests — to some cyberspace archive, to be revisited by me only when absolutely necessary (really stretching a metaphor here, so please bear with me).

So I found this new home when the old one fell hopelessly apart (we are still in the metaphor, where we will be for quite some time :D). Thankfully, with the help of a lot of friends, family, real home-moving pros, and do-it-yourself books, I've learned to vacate that house that was no longer serving me well: windows and doors had become barred shut, leaving rooms to darkness and gloom, the garden untended, and the beach and the sea left out of sight. The rusty defenseless fence let all manner of barbarians through the gate to wreak more havoc on an already rickety structure. But thanks to them, it's become clear how truly inhospitable the old place was.

And so: no longer a good place to live happily, no longer a place in which to grow freely. The old blueprint, while it no longer works, will serve as a benchmark of the ways of building and being that are worth keeping, and of those that need to be thrown away.

This new house on the beach is still in the process of being built, and I do so with more care and mindfulness than ever before. It's a kind of eyes-wide-open construction project. Slower, more deliberate, lots of iced tea breaks along the way, and hopefully more soulful.

The windows are high and wide, offering perfect views of sand, sea and sky, and the doors are left open to the good elements. The airy rooms are bathed in light throughout the day, and in my favorite sitting room some moments are more golden than others. Here, on coffee tables and shelves, most of my handiwork will sit on display for me to see and celebrate. The house follows an open layout plan so that no room stays locked away from the other and the breeze can flow freely within. The deck is a place reserved for meaningful connections, with lounge chairs, mats and fluffy throw pillows, for carefully selected guests. It leads down to the fine-sand beach and the azure sea, perfect for dancing and skinny dipping.

As for what goes into the house and what stays out, the process of hitting and missing and learning along the way is the destination. Building and decorating are never-ending activities after all, and knowing what didn't work in the past might be a good starting point.

The gate, meanwhile, is fortified with a security system that will hopefully become more sophisticated with time. It has learned what it has in spotting unwanted visitors, but more improvements can be made. (The end of the metaphor is near).

So welcome to my new blog, a chronicle of my new adventures in happy beach house homemaking. This is where I'm supposed to be.