I was walking home the other night with a friend, immersed in the summery midnight hush of leafy residential streets & our ambling conversation. So immersed, in fact, that we walked three blocks farther than necessary. Of course, even after four years here, the diagonal San Francisco streets still confuse the hell out of me, but on this occasion I don't think I was to blame.
Along with cake, paintings, wine, & the rhythm of a great meal, we discussed living alone versus living with roommates. We're both 30-ish; she lives in a wonderful house with roommates, I find myself living alone for the first time in eight years. She is currently fond of her living situation, and I asked what she liked about it. She said she enjoyed the way things change.
Though I could be very wrong, I took that to mean the way objects and moods migrate around the house, the way things are different when you get home than when you left. The tiny clues that help you solve the mystery of other people, and let you piece together their day & their lives. Someone made a pot of French press, but had to rush to work before finishing their coffee. Someone has a bowl of bread dough rising. Someone opened all the windows in the warm afternoon, but now that the fog has rolled in they need to be closed.
It's surprisingly startling to have nothing change. When I arrive home everything is exactly as I left it. Obviously. There is, of course, the soothing cacophony of my street, the cozy evening sounds of my neighbor across the way fixing dinner & laughing with her children, and the surreal late-night festivity of my next-door neighbor shout-singing along with "Los Caminos de la Vida". But I'd like something more.
On my unintentionally daily walk down Valencia, I happened upon an estate sale at the sylin' atelier House of Hengst. They were selling rad ceiling lamps, vintage sewing machines, a tempting Nagel, and hundreds of yards of mirror garland that once hung in their window. Because I am both a Valencia & a window dressing nerd, I remembered the display. I bought all I could carry, and walked home like a jingle-jangling disco ball.
There are worse ways to spend an afternoon than sitting on the floor, carefully untangling sparkles.
I draped about 1/3 of the garland in my window, and am enchanted with the effect. The reflections move across the otherwise standard ceiling, breezes produce bouncing lights & the softest tinkling.
And what else, to create change? Flowers that bloom & fade rapidly? Twinkly lights on a timer?