To put it mildly, we are living through some dark times. It's a daily barrage of horrific, unimaginable news. The most recent being the Las Vegas massacre. It can be difficult to navigate through this kind of global sadness.
Add to the mix whatever personal struggles we all go through and it can become almost paralyzing. I find myself feeling helpless, sad, angry and sometimes defeated. It feels like we have become desensitized to these atrocities and have accepted things like mass shootings as horrific but part of the world for which we live.
It's not like dark times have eluded me up until now. I grew up during the Vietnam War and came of age during the Atomic Age. I remember, as a child of the 1960's, having air raid drills at my elementary school on a regular basis. They were like tornado drills only the alarm sounded much more serious and scary. We would file out into the hallway of our school and sit on the floor with our backs against the wall, legs crossed and hands locked over our heads until we got an all clear. I remember seeing lots of pictures of mushroom clouds and fallout shelter signs. This forced me, as a child, to think about death and death in a very horrific way. I may not have fully understood what was going on but I knew that if a nuclear bomb hit anywhere close to where I lived it was a skin-melting game over. Until recently I thought that was a chapter we had closed. Or at least something that didn't enter our consciousness on a daily basis.
Perhaps it is because I am an adult now, and the magic of childhood has long since worn off, that the times we are living through now bother me more than those air raid drill days when I was a kid. So how do we deal with all this heaviness? We can't marinate in it every second of every day or we won't survive. We have to find things that make us happy and bring us joy. We have to look for the goodness around us and we have to "find our corner". That is advice my mom gave me on more than one occasion. My mom was an incredible human being who overcame so much. I remember asking her what she did to make it through some of the challenging times in her life. She told me, "you have to find your corner". What that meant was find the corner of your world that brings you joy. Her "corner" was cooking. She was passionate about it and it brought her great joy to create beautiful food that she would share with her family and friends. We all need an escape hatch or "corner" to retreat to when things get too intense. For me, my corner is making things look pretty.
With the ugliness and sadness of the tragedies that just seem to keep coming at warp speed, I went to my "corner" over the weekend and found joy in things like looking at nature and how the autumn colors are starting to emerge. How there is a chill in the morning air and the nights are crisp. It is my favorite time of the year and October is my favorite month. These things inspired me to create a fall tablescape using elements that evoke happy memories. I used things like a plaid stadium blanket for a tablecloth, lanterns, pinecones and fall foliage. I wanted it to have that warm, cozy feel like when you are sitting around a campfire talking and laughing with friends. It was therapeutic. I tuned out all the other stuff for awhile and just focused on beauty and joyful things. This may seem silly to some but I truly hope you are all taking a moment to "find your corner", whatever that corner means to you.
Love and beauty will prevail over hate and ugliness. I truly believe that.
Here are some photos of "my corner" this weekend.