Most things that make my heart sing are unseen, intangible: a twinkling eye, a soft word, devotion and respect. If I had to choose one thing, however, that was TANGIBLE, luxurious and utterly unnecessary- it would be stained glass. It is a weakness I have, I tell you!!
I can ACTUALLY get lost in the labyrinth of glass cutwork-and enjoy every moment of it. My fingers are drawn toward the outlines of lead and I love to feel the smoothness of the melded pieces. The milky streams in the colored glass enthrall me, the textures tickle my senses. The colors, the patterns...the fact that pieces of randomness can be soldered together to create intricate detail of a much larger whole in such a masterful way.
To own a *very* few of these glass masterpieces is one of the greatest luxuries of mine, made more luxurious because these gifts are very few and far between. To spell it out for you: we are poor and our money is better used elsewhere! :-) Because of this, call me materialistic, but seeing bits of glowing glass in my very own home gives me shivers of glee at every glance.
Two Christmases ago, I was gifted with this beauty of a lamp. I remember the shock of ripping open the paper and the tearful response to thoughtfulness, and then, the disappointment of having to pack it away in its' box.
Why? Because two years ago we were smack dab in the middle of one of the most tumultuous years of our married life. It had just been realized that the move we thought was to be permenant would not, COULD not be so, and that we would likely have to find a new place to live-and a new career to live by. It was a tough situation. Very tough.
At the time, it seemed pointless to hang such a lovely wall fixture up into a home we would likely be leaving shortly and really, something about the sourness of the situation barred us from "tainting" it's perfectness with the dust of a home that would never be ours.
Even with these things in mind, I had such a hard time packing it up that I opted to just set it out to glance at every now and again.
It didn't take long though, with a three year old and a one year old for tragedy to strike.
I don't remember how it happened, just that it did. I saw it starting to fall and caught it-but not before it hit the brick wall and cracked several perfectly meshed pieces of eggshell-marbled glass. I was sick. Like punch-in-the-gut sick.
I cried. Then I got mad. Then I cried again. Then, I did what ought to have been done from the beginning had I not been such a sentimental, materialistic gal: I put the now corrupted beauty back in its dark, dreary box- not to be opened until it could actually be HUNG, protected from clumsy, fat fingers, toes and anything that is hurled from said fingers and toes.
I actually forgot what it looked like. In truth, I forgot I even HAD it tucked away for our "someday house" until that fateful day I stumbled upon the box as I began the process of packing to move. The moment it was uncovered though, was the moment that the thing began pervading my thoughts. The itch had begun, the anticipation of getting to see it once again-and hang it in our HOME.
Yesterday Matt put it up in the only spot available~ what is becoming our office/library (once we get enough bookcases. Funny~ it hangs down to about my nose (and there are high ceilings throughout)! That doesn't matter to me though, just allows me a closer look! I plan to put our desk directly under it, to avoid "crash collision syndrome"- a fairly dangerous condition I seem to have.
Right now, though, directly under it is cardboard. But what a view from the stairwell!
Tonight, its welcoming glow stirs in me a thankfulness for my husband. For his love those many years ago, made manifest in a luxury that we really couldn't afford just because he knew it would thrill me and for his love just a few hours ago, when he gave the last fruits of time and energy to hang it for me. Just as the golden glow finds me and lingers on my skin, I'll wrap myself up in that love tonight, content to let it linger in me and it will be the warmth that sustains me on this cool, dark and lonely night.