I wish I'd taken a "before" photo of my office before I was forced to move everything out so it could be painted after wallpaper was removed.
Just believe me when I say that while some people might consider that I have too much stuff in it now, the post-painting makeover is an astounding de-clutterization.
Which makes my wife happy.
You can marvel at the New Look via a post on my HinesSight blog, "My office looks more Zen after painting forced it on me."
Very clean. Very beautiful, both elegant and in some ways spare.
A close Architect friend from China I knew a few years ago built a house for herself with huge 17 foot ceilings. There are no paintings on the walls, though both of her daughters are famous painters, and except for the huge room that is her kitchen and office, the shelves only contain books. She has windows at the very top of the walls, letting light from above illuminate the larger rooms, and only on the walls on the side of her house facing her treed back yard are there windows to look out of.
When she helped me move into my new apartment in Andover she took a day and we went through my two large storage rooms at the end of a dark hall in the third floor of a large warehouse. I'd kept all sorts of memories. And I couldn't let them go. I'd stored them. She offered to help me go through them. By the end of the day we were covered in dust and grime and most items, furniture, rugs, photo albums, were now off to donation, or in the large trash bins behind the building.
These all held bittersweet memories of hopes not fully realized. Dreams that ended, one by one.
Ava insisted that the walls of my new apartment remain white with no pictures, at least for a while. I used to think of that as empty and sad. Now I understand from Ava, that they are limitless, filled with potential. The empty walls do not distract, and, in Ava's philosophy, all that matters is what we create from within. Nothing, no emotions, no relations, no other entertainments, must distract from the utility and purpose of the mind.
Ava was a determined philosopher and atheist. "What does it matter if you were here before? You don't remember. That life is gone. And you won't remember this one. What are you leaving here? What are you creating now? Don't let your attachments, even to your Master, hold you back from who you are."
I did cover one wall with large flip chart pages of plans for a new company I'd envisioned one day. And now, five years later, years after Ava and I parted ways, I'm actually building that, the first consulting co-op for healthcare I know of, and so those pages are getting out of date. Still they remind me of my friendship with Ava, because I dreamed of that when we were together, so I'm reluctant to let them go.
In two months I'll be moving to Dallas with my son, who has lived with his mom for so many years, so I guess I'll have to make a decision about them, and so many other things I've collected over the last five years I've been here.
Perhaps I should give Ava a call about that.
Posted by: Spence Tepper | April 11, 2021 at 06:40 AM