This book, 579 – The House Thief – is a tribute to my mother, and to all of us as we age. To the things we lose and the things we can lose if someone isn’t helping along the way. It is a one of a kind, original work.
For my mother, last year she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, placed in a facility, then later removed when family members tried to rob her blind, then cancer, then – believe it or not – UNdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s. We learned her former home had been full of black mold, which contributed mightily to her symptoms of memory loss and terrible asthma and eventually caused her to lose that home entirely. Mold stole her home, and it almost cost her her life.
But last year in the midst of all this, in a terrible depression, she said to me, “I am 84 and I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.” This inspired this book, which had direct quotes from her on each page. Pages are wooden and handpainted with milk paint, then bound in a Secret Belgian Binding with black wool.
The book cover is adorned with a miniature glass doorknob, and the entire book lives inside the house. The roof of the house comes completely off. The house is also painted with milk paint and ink and the interior of the house is black, to signify the mold that took away her life.
My favorite part of this book are the quotes, which provide an interesting view of life at 84, and the clacking sound the pages of the book make when the book is open or pages turned. 579 was her street address.
What is the first thing you see when you wake up each morning? Is it the tired beige curtains you got in the divorce? Or perhaps it’s the flapping spiderweb fob hanging from the ceiling above your bed?
And what is the first thing you hear? Is it the death screams of the crappy, black and silver Radio Shack alarm clock? It is alarming alright, like an angry fuse box being stabbed to death on the nightstand.
Waking up to crappy sights or wretched, soul-destroying sounds is no way to start the day. I want to share one simple step you can easily take today to make the first moment of your day better, every single day. It is what I call Morning View.
Place one thing you truly love directly in your line of vision when you open your eyes first thing in the morning.
I call this Morning View.
Here is my Morning View. The beautiful, amber glass leaves of this antique chandelier sparkle and clink happily in morning sunlight, just above and left of my bed. This is one of my favorite possessions, and my eyes land upon it first thing every morning. I sleep on my left side, on the left side of the bed, so it hangs on the left side of the room just above the bed. No lights are connected – I let morning sunlight do the delighting.
The clinking leaves are the first thing I hear, as well. I do my best to get enough sleep that I awaken naturally, without an alarm. If I do need help waking up, I use an app on my phone called Ambiance, which I set to awaken me with the sounds of morning bird call in a meadow, or a babbling brook.
It is an act of sweet kindness to protect and nourish our eyes and ears in the first moments re-emerging from rest. Small details add up when we care about ourselves enough to make life a little more pleasant to start out the day.
Do you have something beautiful you see or hear first thing in the morning?