Thursday, December 16, 2004

Cocooned By A Chair

My livingroom is my favourite room in my house. If nothing else gets done in a day I like to keep it in order. It is my refuge. And another thing I can thank my friend Ron for.

The day before his funeral there was a small gathering of family for his viewing. I was the only non family member allowed. His extended family didn't seem to fit very well together and it was an uncomfortable experience. I had my own time alone with Ron. It was unsettling.

I wasn't ready to just get in my car afterwards and go home so I called up a friend of mine who lived in town. She was more than understanding. She knew exactly what to do. We settled into her office - her room. She brought me tea and cookies on a tray and we talked. I sat in a chair that gave me a hug. It was her grandma's chair....deep sides, a beautiful red and I felt like I was in a cocoon when I sat in it. The tea and cookies, the chair, the warmth of the friendship were very soothing. God knew I needed cocooning that night.

I had looked at livingroom furniture for a long time - dreaming of one day buying some. Up until that point every stick of livingroom furniture had been someone's cast off. Cast off's can be good but none of them were me. When I sat in my friend's chair I knew I had found the kind of chair I wanted in my own livingroom. I started looking.

A few months later I found a set that was what I wanted. For less than half the price of a new set I bought an antique couch and two chairs. They are about 60 years old. The deep maroon couch has sun kissed shoulders and I know it must have stood watch at the livingroom window for many years to earn those marks. The wood pieces that envelope the arms are worn with worry lines. I often wonder who sat in the furniture and what their lives were like. Were these pieces of furniture a comfort to them?

Most people in our area entertain people around the kitchen table. For me, inviting someone into my livingroom is to invite them into sacred space. This is where I do most of my talking to God. It is the still and quiet place I seek early in the morning and late at night. It cocoons me often. I hope it cocoons them as well.

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