About six months ago, in a fit of “AAAAGHHHHHHHHHHHHH IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII can’t stand the clutter any more!” Josh and I took everything off the walls in our living room (there was a LOT of stuff on the walls. Family photos, Christmas cards, fortune cookie slips– seriously, it was like a middle-school-girl’s room, only with supposedly grownups living in it.

Josh and I are both hopelessly sentimental and predisposed with the blessing/curse known as “No-See-Um-It-Is.” If it’s been there a while, we stop seeing it. The laundry basket, the lego chaos, the dust bunny, the swimsuit that didn’t fit and needs to be returned— we are both remarkably capable of tuning these things right out.

And so, for both of us, the purge is incredibly cathartic and startling and surprising, when one of us finally gets up the vision and the gumption to insist. We took everything down, rearranged, washed walls, and finally hung back up 4 things.

If you were expecting some kind of interior design angle to this, don’t worry. There isn’t one. We simply had 4 things we couldn’t put away, and they are:

walls 002

Josh blew my mind with this Jonathan Qualben cement sculpture for my birthday, before we were married. He carried it home on his bicycle in the rain, wrapped in layers of bubble wrap and blankets, and I cried in amazement when I unwrapped it. It’s a thing I notice and cherish just about every day.

walls 007

It’s kinda hard to see what this is in this photo… It is a hand-forged fireplace shovel, made by a friend of ours. You can see the hammer strokes on it, and the bumps and lumps are really evocative. For me, I never envisioned having a tool hand-freaking forged by a friend. Real, hard, physical skills and art were not really part of my world growing up, and I love this tool both for the work that made it and the friendship that made it ours.

walls 008Well, you know…. a wedding picture had to make it. 🙂

I have been a big fan of Kerry Rolewicz since she and I worked, played, and connected together in the mid-90’s here in Missoula. On a fairly impulsive trip to visit her after she left town in 1996, I was startled that she still had one of my favorite paintings, unsold…

walls 010and even more surprised when she GAVE it to me! Entitled “Sleep”, it is one of my most treasured possessions. It hangs by our bed; Alden insists he’s in it, under the covers.

So, a while back, I was perusing Kerry’s website, looking at more recent works, and I came across a painting of a couple in a canoe–and the girl was playing the fiddle! I was so excited, and thought, how fun, Josh and I inspired a painting, maybe! I contacted Kerry and asked about ordering a print. A month or so later, a big heavy package showed up on the doorstep: the painting wasn’t inspired by us, it WAS us— and was meant as a wedding present.

Oct Nov 13 004

The picture does not do justice to the colors! See more of Kerry’s stuff here (including a better color-version of this piece) at :http://kerryrolewicz.com/prints/enter-prints-gallery/

I am in no way saying that we have an awesome, put-together, living room!! Heck, my interior decorating is pretty much at the “throw a clean sheet over it and call it good” stage… but I have to say, it’s pleasurable to look at each of the four things that are on our living room walls, on purpose.


2 thoughts on “Walls

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