Friday, August 22, 2014

Describing Your Home


Lately I've been thinking about words and the power they have to transform the way you see the world around you.  Finding out an object's or person's story and background are part of the appeal, but there's also just a certain response we have to the words themselves....reading an object described in an appealing way.

I'm sitting at my library desk looking at a small vase of Black-Eyed Susan flowers a coworker brought in and set on the work table.  Lovely as they are, my eyes don't focus on them, but if I were to write a little paragraph describing their yellow arched petals and dark centers facing up toward the fluorescent light, I would somehow see them differently.  The very process of writing about something is alchemical.  It transforms the object.

I've begun incorporating this rumination into my life in different ways: I'm working on a little list of simple paragraphs describing our library's most endearing and fascinating patrons who come in daily.  For no further reason than just to celebrate their characters.  I've decided to start writing short creative fiction pieces based on the modeling shots I've taken over the last few years.  My claim with the photos I'm involved in is that I like to take shots that tell a I'm going to start telling those stories (I'm working on a personal website hub that will lead to all my creative endeavors, including this blog, my modeling, and those stories among much more). 

The final way I've tried to incorporate this awareness of the power of description is by writing a short piece simply describing my own home.  And guess what?  Here's where you come in.  I started the below piece of writing just to see how writing a description of my home, as if it were for a story, would make me feel.  And the result was wonderful!  I saw and appreciated the place in a whole new way!  I only described the exterior of the building and the gardens, but everything magically transformed to be more charming, more enchanting. 

You really should try it!  And if you do, I'd LOVE to see the results, either here or on the Domythic Bliss Facebook group!

Here's mine:

                The little house known as Catty-Corner Cottage lives up to its name from the first moment you see it.  Not only is it located quite literally on the catty-corner of two streets, but it is a cozy little white Cape Cod cottage, surrounded by a frame of profuse flowers and shrubs.  The neighborhood is charmingly old-fashioned: All the neighbors, mostly older retirement-age couples, look out for each other and will even occasionally have a neighborhood picnic, bringing together pie, barbecue, and gossip.  It is simultaneously an entirely ordinary community and marvelously rare.  And right in the center of it all stands Catty-Corner Cottage. 
A well-kept sidewalk darts a direct line up to a small front stoop.  Evergreens planted in twin urns frame a wooden door painted a rich plum color.  Tucked to either side of the steps are large pots of lavender that sooths the senses.  Below both of the sets of windows that face the street, white flower boxes painted with plum-colored scrollwork overflow with petunias in a mix of purple, red, and plum colors.  Twin arborvitaes stand tall and narrow, guarding either corner of the front flower gardens.   As you walk around the side of the house, tall spires of Hollyhocks in shades of pink and red flash their ruffled blooms at you, vibrant against the white siding.  The back yard is set off from the street by a white picket fence.  An arbor arches above the side gate, covered in thickly twining bean vines dotted with small scarlet blooms. 
                Open the gate, step through into more gardens.  To your right is a patio of antique bricks with an inviting flower patterned umbrella shading an iron table and chairs.  The patio is framed by cheerful yellow daylilies on two sides, and with a tall lilac bush on the corner.  A cat gargoyle sits by the lilac, facing out to the street to welcome guests or guard against intruders, depending on your intent.  To your left, running down the length of the garden fence line, there is a very long flower bed planted with dozens and dozens of different plants.  Raspberry vines twine along the fence slats, bushes of yellow and pink flowers mix among roses and spikes of Foxglove, Snapdragon and Coneflower, Sedum, Bee Balm, and Hosta.  
In the far corner of the yard, vivid green ferns capture your eye even in the shadows of a spreading Hawthorn tree, two glass lanterns dangling in its branches like jewels.  A beautiful tree, its branches twist in a pattern like the framework of an umbrella, sheltering a variety of small birds who swoop and sing to you from its branches. 
Under the shade of the same tree, a cheerful white painted wood and iron bench sits by the back gate, inviting you to sit at the bottom of the garden and look for the faeries disguised as tiny birds hopping among the dense branches above. 
Slowly and gently, the house and its small garden work their magic on you, and you can feel your worries and stresses melting away with the sun and gentle breezes.


  1. It sounds like a lovely, inviting place! I can't wait to own my own home one day and be able to put my own stamp on it! I love that you have neighbourhood picnics! How delightfully old fashioned and friendly!

    Your place sounds like a description from a Sarah Addison Allen book, so peaceful!

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