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.


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.


Stefan Hurray said...

Like fine art, you discover something new each day as you grow with it. Happy New Year and thank you for a wonderful year of posts!

Barbara said...

Perfect! Thank you so much and best to you, joy to you, in the new year.

mjhdesignarts.com said...

Oh, thank you. This takes my soul to new places. To dream. To flourish. To believe.
I also relate chairs to people--and well used/worn furniture definitely has a soul. Blessings for 2013. What new dreams and adventures are in processes for each of us?

Lindsey Mead said...

What a beautiful table, beautiful post, beautiful words. Thank you, thank you. Onward, to 2013, joy, dreams, and love alongside! xox

Donna Baker said...

What an incredibly fine table.

Marianne Malone said...

My eyes looked at the wood grain of the desk and my brain picked out the words, "...you saw away".... Not sure what that means for me, but thanks, Dominique, for all your beautiful posts this year. Happy 2013

Louise Cady-Fernandes said...


Kristine said...

Sometimes what we are searching for is right before us. You've taken the opportunity to remind us of that again. Thanks for taking the time. All things best in 2013.

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La Contessa said...

WOW!What a gift you gave yourself!I especially like the glass ring that now sits with the words............HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!

Martine said...

A wonderful message, thank you.

Lois Dusza said...

All I can write is thank you for your posts. They are inspirational.

Jen said...

Beautiful. Thank you.

Heather in Arles said...

Hooray! And a very Happy New Year to you too, Dominique.
I will gladly take in all that you have wished and send it back with a willing heart.
May your hunting continue to have bounteous results.
With all of my Best from Provence,

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gingermoran said...

I love this. It reinforces my resolution to "Practice Joy." Whatever happened to the regular practice of joy, the little moments of auditory, gustatory, sensory pleasure? Doesn't matter what happened--time to reclaim them.

disqus_UQncvy93Zk said...

So beautifully presented and framed ..

Lisa Porter said...

Good morning Dominique,
I've been here a while, enjoying a slow morning, coffee in bed, and your always fresh looks at life. I've paused for a moment to tell you right now, right here, how much I love this table and how it found you. I'm a chair person too and have also been accused of being a lamp tramp - by my mother of all people - she started it all!
As always, thank you for sharing your words of wisdom in such an eloquent way.
Have a nice weekend.

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