One of my favorite pieces of furniture is a desk that I bought by accident. House and Garden was sponsoring an auction to raise money for a good cause. The table caught my eye. Normally, I fall for chairs--they are the furniture that is most like people, I think; you get an instant read on their personable charm or insouciance; either you go for the eccentricity or the comfortable slouch, or you don't. You can move them around with little fuss, and even hide them away when you've had enough. Chairs are easy to love. Tables have to grow on you. But a table tends to settle in for the long haul.
This table was designed by Joe D'Urso with a ribbon of text carved down the middle by Jenny Holzer, the same line running in both directions so that no matter which side you are sitting on you don't have to read upside down.
"IN A DREAM YOU SAW A WAY TO SURVIVE AND YOU WERE FULL OF JOY."
The bidding was painfully slow. To get things going I threw out an offer on the table. Not that I needed a table; I already had one in my dining room. Naturally, no one countered, and the table was mine. The table became my desk and it grew on me and I grew on it. I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent gazing at that text, running my fingers along the letters, pondering the thought.
And yet I never noticed, until yesterday, that not only does the text work lengthwise, but it works in chunks, or clumps, of words...I'm not sure how to describe what it does, and I only discovered this way of reframing the thought because I was watching the morning light come through a paperweight--the light fractured, intensified, picking out one word, or a phrase. It got me seeing things in an entirely different light. (This is what happens on deadline. Writing is a great deal like hunting, I think, as I watch a hawk, absolutely still, on a branch. You spend a great deal of time sitting, and it looks like you are doing nothing, but you are watching for the right thought, waiting to pounce on the right word.)
I had been wondering what message to share in sending you all my New Year's wishes, and the table served it up. Of course, you can scramble things up any way you want; that's what we do, to survive. But this is what came to me.
May your new year be full of dream, full of joy; may you see much, and feel much; be much, and love much.