Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Why Every Grown-up Needs a Table Lamp

I was visiting a friend the other day and admired her ruffled do-it-yourself bedside lamp. She's a fairly new single mom, who's catching her balance after heartbreak shook her world. When she dreamed she'd be having a second baby, she found herself alone. But she's brave and is walking through this muck with an inspiring amount of dignity. So as I looked at her little lamp, I hoped she'd find many peaceful nights beside it, reading or thinking in the after-bedtime hush. 

I'm smitten with the magic of low light. In it's forgiving cloak, you can't see where the dog went bun-running or the stack of bills. Darkness shadows the not-quite-dirty clothes lying around and dishes stacked so high it's become tricky to use your faucet. Inside the small circle of light, I can rest without messes calling to me. Otherwise I sit, fingers drumming, until I can't take it anymore and jump up to tackle one of the offenders.

Clearly, I'm not good at relaxing. My inner rhythm slows most easily outdoors, but only if I'm not freezing or sweating profusely. I think until I move somewhere balmy, I'll be an indoorsy girl, taking shelter beside my lamp - any of the eight. I have eight places in my house that I can sit by a lamp, but given that I'm relaxation-impaired, this seems completely reasonable. In any given room, I can shut out the chaos and live in a singular beautiful moment. 

This seems counterproductive to some of us. I know some of you cheered when I jumped up to tackle the messes. We're just wired that way, but my mom is a champion of break-taking. She argues that you're more effective after a short break than when you push non-stop. I believe her, but I LOVE to finish things. And the annoying thing about sitting and reflecting, even beside lovely table lamps, is you never know if you're finished. When have you thought, prayed, brainstormed enough? For your information, universe, I like things wrapped up. You know, dust yourself off, the job is done. 

On the other hand, I think it's great that this lumpy, grumpy clay could get spun around enough to start to like process and forward motion. I doubt I'll ever like it better than finishing until God's eyes twinkle and I'm put right at last, but I'll take evenings next to my lamps if he wants to practice a bit. 


  1. I agree. Nothing more relaxing than a lamp-lit room!

  2. lovely bits. you inspire me to write more.

  3. You inspire me to read more as well (by lamp,of course :) ). How refreshing to read (twice this morning in as many blogs ta-boot!) someone mentioning God with love and respect-THAT'S what I personally need each morning (that and to kiss my kids off to school,and spend a few quality moments cuddling with the wife before she heads off to work each day-I'm disabled/the houseDad ;) ).

  4. of course! : ) I'm glad you hear the love and respect...I think it's the only way a person can talk about him when they've seen a true glimpse of what he's like.