Friday, February 11, 2011
SPACE OF YOUR OWN, REFUGE FROM A HECTIC LIFE ©
By Polly Guerin
Creating a refuge of your own, a private, intimate place to call your own is a highly coveted desire for most women. While multi-tasking at home or fulfilling the demands of a career women often find they need a place to escape to where they can meditate, write, daydream, set up a home office or simply meditate and pray in a comfortable and peaceful environment. Balancing all the demands on your time perhaps means there is very little time left for yourself. In these days when most people living in large cities do not have the luxury of space, there is ever more reason to be creative and to carve out your own sanctuary. Whether you can take fifteen minutes or a whole day retreating into your personal sanctuary can have productive and restorative results.
THE CLOSET SANCTUARY
I recall the clever solution that my friend, Carolyn Beiderman a former opera singer created at a time when her children were quite small, mischievous and investigative. She created her sanctuary in a medium size closet, installing therein shelves to hold her opera scores and personal memorabilia, white plastic head forms to hold her wigs, a mirror on the inside of the closet door and a makeup station. “I drew funny faces on the white head forms that scared the children away,” she recalled. “On the door I placed a “Private” sign and everyone in the family knew this was my special place.”
A WRITER ON A SHELF
I was always amazed by my late writer friend, Irene Kleeberg. She was married to a book publisher and everywhere you looked in their apartment books were piled up and there wasn’t a clear space for her work. So she created a sturdy shelf on the inside door of a medium size kitchen closet on which she anchored her typewriter, as there were no computers at that time. In this unlikely arrangement she managed to produce numerous magazine articles that she sold to major magazines. Her focus and creativity was abetted by shelves inside which held her reference books, tools of the trade, and assorted personal items. Not only was this an innovative solution to her daily writing but she also managed to produce self-help books that were very popular.
A NOSTALGIC SETTING
There are some people who are spiritually minded and prefer to create a sanctuary place where they can revere their family and friends. It can be as simple as a place on the top of a bureau or in the corner of a room where they display framed pictures of their loved ones and often add mementos, like a flower, an item of clothing, something that identifies with their departed relative and provides a happy memory. In a similar fashion like other people I have placed silver framed photos of my family and special friends on the top of my closed baby grand piano. It brings pleasure just to look at a photo and to remember the people pictured and the occasion when the photo was taken.
MEN AND SANCTUARY
It’s common knowledge that men have always had their special place to retreat to and get away from it all. They have the den to watch sports, the porch on which to smoke, the garage to tinker with the car or a workplace with tool setup. That’s how they cope with creating their own space and a good thing too. My sister-in-law once said about her husband who took endless hours away to build a small boat in their large garage, “Well, at least I know where he is at all times.” Women however, have always had their kitchen or sewing area but those are really work rooms and do not cut it as a sanctuary.
A refuge from a hectic life can be built to accommodate all sorts of desires. Whether it is meditating, listening to music, writing, thinking, praying, creating or daydreaming finding a private place to call your own is a good thing to bring peace and harmony into your life. *
REPRINTED with permission from author. This article first appeared at the Awaken Your Beauty blog.
Polly Guerin is a former professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology where she honed her skills as a fashion historian. In addition, Polly’s features on fashion, art and the decorative arts appear in Art & Antiques magazine, and Vintage Magazine 2011 will feature “A Tale of Two Sisters,” the Hewitt sisters who founded the Cooper Hewitt museum, an excerpt from her book The Cooper-Hewitts of Old New York. Robert Erskine the map maker to General George Washington, a Revolutionary War feature will appear in the Patriot magazine 2011.