Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Parabola: Modern Times in Romanticized Spaces

There is a nook in my home that we use for talking on the telephone.  It seems that our mobile carrier does not provide service in most of the downstairs of our two-story home.  We find the service best in the north east corner, so we have created a nook.  This nook is special to me because is hearkens back to those movies you watch where there is a specific place in ones home (usually somewhere between the foot of the main staircase and near the kitchen door) where one would have a would-be private location to hold a conversation on the telephone.  That is, except for the household members (your mother or your little brother) who may be lurking in the kitchen door or at the top of the stairs.  Ours is nestled between our patio doors and my daughters antique Wurlitzer piano.

Our nook is not a resultant feature of our home but a created space - an assembly of two parts vintage 1970's rusty orange eight-piece couch, one part glass and steel coffee table, one part Home Depot lamp and one part patio door.  The lamp suffices for night time illumination while the patio doors offer an amazing morning glow for our talking pleasure.  These moments of speak occur every Sunday morning when I receive a call from my father back on the farm in South Dakota, or when my husband is talking business that requires a focused attention.

And while this area has been created for a specific purpose, I embrace it none-the-less.  It is, for me, a parabola.  Now, I have never been one for math (it took me five attempts to accomplish basic algebra and I certainly never made it through geometry) but there is something about the intersection of a surface and a parallel which create a line that just somehow get me in the heart.  See, in my heart lies a hopeless romantic, and romantics like me usually possess a passion for the past - the romanticized past anyway.  While I presently cannot afford a beautifully sculpted and well-maintained Victorian home, I can certainly embrace one in imagined spaces of my current dwelling.  Our nook is an intersection of those nooks of the past with the parallel of now that creates a space in the present - my space, our space.

This space I use to yap yap away, be it on the phone or on my keyboard.  I sit snuggly cushioned in my couch-with-a-questionable-history and type away while gulping my cappuccino and appreciating the noise that assaults my space from the buses, motorcycles and down-shifting fire trucks that bumble by on Manchester Avenue.  For inspiration, I can glance up to see kids on the street skateboarding or back-packed teens racing to the city bus.  Or, I can simply look ahead to the bottom dwellers in my fresh-water tank searching for tasty algae.  Family pictures and beautiful paintings line the walls amidst the dust and the house plants.  All of these serve to inspire this writer I know as "Me."

Some writers collect vintage typewriters.  This writer creates vintage space - a nook, a parabola - and, hopefully, a worthwhile communication.


  1. I've been to your house more times than I can count and while I'll admit I haven't had the chance to fully experience "the nook", the creative energy it projects is undeniable. Of course it has a lot to do with your design but I believe it also has something to do with "the couch-with-a-questionable-history". That couch is filled with the creative energy left behind by some of the phenomenal artists of the 70's and 80's who have camped out in its comfortable cushions. Peaches & Herb spent many a day lounging on it. Pat Boone found himself drawn to it. The guys who wrote and produced the Jackson 5's "ABC" (yes, Michael Jackson's Jackson 5) often laughed, drank and ate while sitting on it. And even the man who wrote "It's so Hard to say Goodbye to Yesterday", from the classic movie Cooley High made even more famous by Boyz II Men, had been known to make that couch his home. Trust me, that couch's history is not questionable, it's definite and it's ELECTRIC! And now it's found a new home with you. The tradition of excellence continues...

  2. J.B., I am speechless. I knew there were details, but not THESE details! I guess I won't complain so much. Ha! But, er, I'm still getting it reupholstered. For certain!