Tidy – chapter eight: home is where the tile is
What does a life look like that is designed with love? Margaret inherited her mother’s house with the words, “Make this house a home.” Margaret is finding out what that means.
(Continued) “What should I do with this?” asks Margaret. “Hmm?” Margaret looks up and watches her neighbor Reese apply a layer of thinset to her kitchen wall. He does it with such care and attention, you’d think it was his home. But that’s just the way Reese is. He is the most present and generous person that Margaret has met. Ever since he came over to deliver her package of sample tiles, she has grown accustomed to him stopping by to share a cup of tea (he doesn’t drink coffee and Margaret has recently given it up), or help her with her redecorating quandaries.
Margaret holds up a picture. “It’s my ex-boyfriend.” “Looks like a nice fellow.” “Yeah, but should I keep it or throw it away?” asks Margaret. “What’s the book say?” Margaret reads.
“It is not our memories but the person we have become because of those past experiences that we should treasure.”
“Sounds like good advice. What’s that book again?” Margaret shows him The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. “Looks interesting. You know, my wife was Japanese. She taught me patience.” Reese’s wife passed away five years ago. “Or rather, I taught her patience,” he laughs. “What do you mean?” Margaret asks.
“I had a lot of anger.” Reese carefully presses a sheet of colorful glass tile into the thinset. Margaret can’t imagine Reese that way, and has struggled with similar feelings. “What did you do?” she asks. “I had to develop compassion for myself. And humility. Basically,” he wipes his forehead, “I had to be ok with being vulnerable. It took some time.” Margaret studies the picture of her ex-boyfriend, Sam. It’s hard for her to believe that their relationship is over even though it’s been a year, almost to the day.
“What did Sam teach you?” asks Reese, as he cuts a sheet of tile to fit the small space around the outlet. “I think I’m still figuring that out.” Margaret takes a sip of her tea, suddenly missing her crack coffee. “Come on, you know.” says Reese. “I do?” asks Margaret. “Sure, just ask your heart. That’s what my wife used to say.”
My heart? “Well, the thought of a chocolate-glazed donut sounds good right about now,” answers Margaret. Reese keeps working. He’s either in deep, contemplative tile installation, or he’s creating space for her to answer; she’s not sure. Back to her heart.
Hello heart? It’s me, Margaret. I’m glad you’re feeling better these days, and we don’t think about Sam so much anymore, but I’m wondering if you would be willing to open for a moment and reveal what Sam taught me.
She listens… Oh. It’s more a feeling than an answer. A knowing. “He taught me to stop running.” says Margaret.
“Well, there you go,” says Reese. “So, what do you think?” He steps away from the wall revealing the beginning of a home that Margaret has only started to believe in. She smiles.
This is the eighth installment in a weekly series about aspirational living. Micheline Auger is a New York-based writer who loves all things Modwalls.
Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: brio glass mosaic tile, custom glass tile blends, Lush Subway Tile, Marie Kondo, Modwalls Press, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, thinset, tile installation.