Friday, March 2, 2012

Everyday Sacred Spaces

Recently I have noticed that I am drawn to images, symbols, discussions, and inner musings about spirituality. Though I grew up in a vaguely Christian tradition, I was aware even as a child that I was not comfortable embracing that identity - it did not fit me. However, I didn’t set out on any “quest” to find that tradition with which I could identify, as it seems many people do. I was comfortable with a “cause and effect”, no nonsense world view.

I’ve lost loved ones over the years. I think about them often. When the last of my closest, dearest departed last year, I suddenly felt shaken from what looks now like a cynical, dismissive world view. I began to hope for more than what I can see. That is a discussion for another time and post.

Today I became interested in intimate, sacred spaces. Call them what you will – temples, altars, shrines. I looked at dozens of pictures of such places, thinking that perhaps I will create such a space for myself. But what I have come to realize is that I must have always sub-consciously hoped for more than I could see, because these sacred spaces already exist all over my home – my garden (and the plans I have for it), my d├ęcor throughout my house, the way my workspace contains meaningful treasures, and especially my craft room.

Recognizing this about my personal spaces led me to think about the way I shop for things. It has always seemed to me that most people purchase items like they vote for political candidates, settling for the least offensive of what is immediately available. My way of shopping drives people mad. I may vaguely have some idea of what I want, but until the perfect thing presents itself and “speaks” to me, I refuse to buy it. And if I am shopping and feel strongly about an item I don’t necessarily need, if it is within my budget, I have learned to make room for it anyway. Otherwise I’ll just end up obsessing until I go back for it. I know all of this sounds contrary to a discussion about spirituality, dwelling on material things, but it really does relate. I don’t have a house full of useless, meaningless decorative items cluttering up my space. Instead, my spaces are all sacred and meaningful. Recognizing this, I no longer feel the need to construct an altar or shrine. My home, my workspace, my garden, and my craft room are all sacred spaces. That makes me happy.

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