Sunday, April 12, 2009


The dainty rustle of delicate maple leaves, casting intricate shadows on the path that lies before you. A hushed aura envelops you as you move deeper into the garden- a siren's call of cherry blossoms and teahouses, koi ponds and bamboo fences. Around every bend is a tiny world of delight, a fresh cozy pleasure. Japanese gardens are designed to contain little visual surprises, hidden views that caress your senses and arouse an air of mystery. You are compelled to continue your peaceful explorations and discover the next delicious scene. This type of garden is a collection of seemingly natural cubbyholes, all linked together in one exquisite open-air space. To me, strolling through a Japanese garden is one of life's great pleasures. I feel as if I am all alone in that beautiful sanctuary and am utterly safe. How I long to create a space like this in my own home. Gardening is not my forte, though I do enjoy it. Creating my own Japanese garden is probably a bit too ambitious for me. Instead, I relish the thought of making a space in my home with the same cubbyhole flavor of a Japanese garden- a space that is mine alone, my own "Fortress of Solitude".

Privacy is challenging to find in today's world. We will not simply stumble upon it. We must make it for ourselves. Once we have secured that privacy, we must fiercely protect it lest other things or persons struggle to encroach upon it. We run at a hectic pace in our daily lives and need a place of escape. So it is imperative that we claim a space somewhere in our home that can be our haven. If you are an artist or a writer, it is very likely that you have already found your space of peace. Perhaps you are fortunate enough to have an entire studio or office to call your own. If so, personalize that space and make it uniquely yours. Surround yourself with what you love, whatever objects and colors inspire you. For me, I like organized clutter and inspirational sayings scattered about. Plan each detail of your sanctuary. After all, it is your space. Foof it up as you see fit. Books, if you enjoy reading; a desk and laptop, if you wish to write; art supplies in your favorite medium, if you want to create art; a chaise lounge for daydreams or naps. Make your retreat into a place that will calm your nerves and smooth your ruffled feathers: a zone-out zone just for you.

"Language has created the word 'loneliness' to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word 'solitude' to express the glory of being alone."- Paul Johannes Tillich

"Never be afraid to sit awhile and think."- Lorraine Hansberry

"I never said, 'I want to be alone.' I only said, 'I want to be left alone.' There is all the difference.- Greta Garbo

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