The other day I had a spontaneous tea-party with my lovely friends Sharon (an amazing fine art photographer who's just finished her MA at Uni. Westminster: go look at her beautiful work here), Mary (who really needs to start a blog, addressing the topics of this post) and Michelle (who now is back in Louisville).
Our conversation entered the realm of images (Yes we live in Oxford and are therefore inherently geeky - which shows in our topics of conversation...).
Everyday we are bombarded with so many images of how our homes and our bodies should look - What clothes we should wear and how we ought to decorate our living spaces. And yes I must admit, I really enjoy looking at stunning interiors and well dressed people - taking every bit of inspiration from them that I can.
When our resources such as time, money, space are limited such inspiration can make me thrifty and creative. However, a lot of the time such images give me false aspirations of what I think my life should be like.
Let's be honest - my house is going to look lived in, there will be dust in the corners and on the bookshelves, the laundry pile will probably never completely disappear - neither will my stretchmarks and cellulite, bills will continue coming through the door and I might never be a size 10...
There will never be enough hours in one day to: make everything in the house from scratch - be an amazing creative mum - do my PhD - be a caring friend - a loving wife - have flawless make-up - have a little business selling stuff I make - and change the world - ect... (randomized order of course...*smile*)
But I can do a lot, if I don't try to do all at once and most importantly if I stop trying to shape my life after the edited and perfectly styled images that surround me.
So to sum up my rather long rant-
YES to appreciating what we have and where we are, rather than wanting to be somewhere else.
YES to seeing the heavenliness in the unedited, mundane and messy lives that we actually live in.
Bring out and nurture forth the beauty and potential in our surroundings, without editing away the messy and broken.
As an exercise in this, and hopefully an encouragement to you, I want to regularly post a photo from my life - no tidying, styling or editing (apart from light and contrast after the photo is taken) as a different kind of inspiration from the images we normally are bombarded with.
Here is the first one:
The table the day we talked about these things.