Friday, June 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #12--My Heart on Display at Home

Thirteen Things about My Heart on Display at Home
I may have just missed out on a fabulous opportunity provided by Mrs. G. over at Derfwad Manor, but I'm going to press on and hope that folks will still stop by from her home and visit mine too.

So this was supposed to be my Thursday Thirteen as well, as you can see, but Thursday, when I thought I would have time to do this, turned out to have other plans for me.

Without further adieu, then, I present to you the room in my home where my heart is. It's not the hub of the family, but it does house the spirit of the woman who is the hub of the family.

May I office:
  1. The full view:

  2. The painting section. Painting is wonderful. It's one of my favorite things to do, but I still have hangups about doing it. You know. That perfectionism thing. That and the thing about doing things that are just for your own, individual, solitary pleasure? But when I let myself, gosh, I just can't imagine why it took me so long to give myself permission again. But I'm working on this issue. Oh, and ssshhhhhh...this is what I've been working on for a while now:

  3. A close-up of my painting supplies, that probably need to be dusted at the moment, unfortunately. Like I said, I'm working through this. Once I have finished summer school, I'm going to be all about painting. Having to grade papers all the time has really kicked my yearning to paint up a notch. Make that about five notches. Ah....a pallette and paint and brushes, oh my:

  4. The painted pony ornament I bought on my solo trip to Albuquerque in the summer of '06. This one is called "War Paint," and was the one, out of the available ornament ponies, that I felt captured my Native spirit...not the war part though...well, I just think in warrior of Life.

  5. The carved Willow Tree angel by Susan Lordi, titled "Thinking of You." Oh the expression. The hand on the heart. The ear to the shell. This is me, dreaming of love and the ocean.

  6. My hand gathered cotton bole from Mississippi. Cotton is the most amazing plant. I couldn't believe it when I saw it for the first time. It proved to me that there just had to be a Higher Power taking care of us little naked human beings. Cotton. On. A. Plant. Now it reminds me of the idyllic days I spent in college in the Mississippi Delta, meeting the people who would change my life forever...for the better. And it's where I discovered poetry. And not just literary poetry that's been put in a book with a halo over its head. The poetry that is the kind that makes life worth living. Really, it was a recognition of the poetics of life. Call me a Romantic. I won't be offended.

  7. Ah, my Cape Cod shells (some of them) and my Walden white birch bark, right in front of Thoreau, Emerson, The Transcendetalists, and so forth. This is home. I grew up in Massachusetts, but didn't discover the Transcendentalists until I made it to Mississippi. That's when I learned who I was and where I fit in...and how the transition between those two geographical locations was like a birth canal from heaven to seeing the light for the very first time.

  8. This hand made oil lamp was thrown and glazed by a friend of the family who I always admired. I've never used it because I broke the oil holder one day trying to get it ready to put oil in it. Now it sits and looks lovely in front of my grandmother's collection of Rudyard Kipling volumes.

  9. And now that I've mentioned a few of the books on my shelves, here are some close-ups of my favorite sections. This is the feminist section. Everything from Lizzie, written by my journalism professor at Delta State, to Susan Faludi's Backlash, to a really cool compilation of woman-centered science fiction called, Women of Wonder: The Classic Years. (And that's my Queen Power tiara sitting atop the lot of them--my wonderful friend from Mississippi sent it to me as a gift.

  10. And here is my Native American collection, as well my Latin American, Asian American, philosophy, Romanticism, and others that seem to fit here. The book Spirit Walker came from an undergrad class in, you guessed it, Native American Literature, but it was like taking a philosophy and religion classes (heck, all the literature classes I loved were like that though), but what happened was that I fell in love with this book. It's gorgeous. It made me want to paint. I made me want to write poetry. It made me feel like Native American philosophy must transfer in the genes (felt like home). And it made me want to visit New Mexico, where both author, Nancy Wood, and artist, Frank Howell, were living at the time. And so I did. Quite a few years later, and not Taos, where they lived, but I did go to New Mexico. Alone. And I had an amazing experience with a mountain and a town called Albuquerque that is still one of the best things I've ever experienced in life. I just have to remember the trip to smile and feel peaceful. Like nothing in this world is big and bad enough to make me forget how big and beautiful this life and this planet really are. The trinkets from the trip are all in front of the books (still no picture in the adobe frame!):

  11. There were a whole lot of other things I could have taken pictures of I suppose, but this one makes me smile and actually feel like I've accomplished something outside of the home. No, not the diploma hanging on the wall (it was in the first picture with a flash reflection on it!), but this nifty little plaque that a student anonymously recommended I should be honored with. Being that it was anonymous, I wondered if it were a scam, or a joke, but then I found out how the nominating process worked, and so I figured I could at least take it as a sign from the Universe that I was on the right track. Most days I feel like I don't know enough to be teaching, but then I remind myself that if I teach everything I know, including how to be nurturing to the mind, then I can feel good about my abilities. And as the saying goes, I've learned more as a teacher than perhaps my students do. It's the wonderful two-way exchange that makes teaching such a blessing. (That I have trouble remembering only when my eyeballs are falling out, I'm tearing my hair, and mumbling to myself about, "Is anyone listening when I talk?" But hey, I remember eventually.):

  12. My life just wouldn't be the same without vanGogh's work. I've mentioned before that when I see his paintings in museums, I am overcome with emotion and cry. It's like seeing a soulmate across the distances of time and space. I just understand something when I look at them. And I feel what he's expressing. I really believe that his emotions are still in the paint, at least, that's what I feel I pick up on when I regard them. So, since I don't have enough money to buy the real things to gaze at around the house, I settle for prints, notecards, and whatever this box that the notecards came in...and yes, vanGogh makes me want to paint too:

  13. This is the only living thing in my office, besides me, and this little thing is just a little bundle of personality. Really. The picture shows that she is just a loyal friend to a human who spends way too much time facing a monitor these days. Normally, like right now, she's gruffing out the window at the FedEx or UPS trucks, people walking by, birds, squirrels, stray dogs, butterflies, and the elusive nothing, running back and forth from one window to the other and back to her spot and then back down again. Sometimes it's annoying, but when I haven't heard anything for a while, I turn around, and there she is, waiting:

So thanks so much for stopping by today! I have a million other things I need to go do now, but seeing these 13 pictures of the place where I spend most of my time, second only to the kitchen (a girl's gotta eat, right?) or the bed (and sleep?), well, I just feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It was nice having you over and showing you around. Hope you enjoyed your visit!

Hope to see you again soon! Muah! =)

© Nicole J. Williams, 2008, all rights reserved.

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Keetha said...

Hi, I followed your link from Mrs. G's site. I love your office!

Keetha said...

Nicole, the license plate photo album came from the Miss. Gift Company in Greenwood (

Thanks for your kind words about my post, too. :-)

smalltownmom said...

Thanks for stopping my my virtual house! I love your office. Keep on painting!

Jennifer said...

It's full of such wonderful things. One day I will have an office and it too will be filled with books and memories.

I fixed the pictures and thanks for stopping by.

Deirdre said...

Hi there! You come right after me on the blog list over at Mrs. G., so I wanted to stop by and say hi!

I love the cotton bole. I just moved to the south and remember the first time I saw cotton -- just last year! It's amazing. Cotton's always been a major character for me in US history, so to acutally see it, on the hoof as it were, was fantastic.

Thanks for the room tour!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

There's nothing like a wall of books to lend a homey feel.

kimberly said...

What a great office you have, Nicole! Thanks for sharing your books, personal mementos, and that fabulously fluffy cat you're painting.

Anonymous said...

So many wonderful things in your room!

so NOT cool said...

Ooooh, seeing the poetry books on your site made me feel warm and fuzzy. I especially like Anne Sexton.

The painted pony is pretty darn cool too.

Thanks for sharing your home. :)

Danielle said...

The painted pony and your who's who amoung american teachers really caught my attention. First of all my parents collect painted ponies (they have that one too!). And secondly, I am also a teacher!!! Great post!!!

Danielle said...

The painted pony and your who's who amoung american teachers really caught my attention. My parent collect painted ponies (they have that one too!) and I am a teacher as well! Great T13!!!

Rims said...

wow thats all wonderful...great pics too

Happy TT!

Louise said...

Art and books. Who could ask for anything more? (And a little dog to boot!)

Thanks for stopping by my blog! It's been fun "meeting" new people!

Husband said...

Great office!!!
Lots of character!!!

The captions really bring the pictures and your wonderful office to life.

Thank you for inviting me over.

Kathe Gogolewski said...

I really enjoyed this tour of your office - it's an insight into you and what you do! I especially liked the paints and the "warrior" pony and the cotton bole. These treasures remind me of the tender types of things children save in wooden boxes, except yours are sophisticated in their presentation of course, but the sentiment is similar. I enjoyed it.

Optimist said...

I love seeing what's on your bookshelves. I feel I know you much better now!

xoxo Bonnie

Camellia said...

Seeing your office is like being able to visit with you. Almost. And Spunky Dean has made her first public appearance. Way cool. What blooming has gone on in your life.