welcome: making our way into the landscape of white
here is where the white begins.
white is quiet. white whispers. white welcomes you into its folds.
white is lace handkerchief tucked in my grandma’s pocket. white is pure cotton sheets, drying on the line where the sunshine and breeze do all the work.
white is the garden that gertrude jekyll dreamed of, that she planted, and wrote of, in her 1899 tome, “wood and garden: notes and thoughts, practical and critical, of a working amateur.” (oh, that we should be such amateurs.)
“snow-white,” she wrote, “is very vague. there is so much blue from it’s crystalline surface.”
as she traipses through her victorian beds, her riotous plantings that broke out of the corseted ways of the times, dear gertrude notices all of the many, many shades of white: there is milk-white, and lemon white, and, yes, at last there is clear white.
there are first snowdrops poking through late winter’s crust, banners of hope, periscopes from the underworld, looking out to see if it’s safe yet. might it be time to tiptoe onto the landscape, they ask. they dare ask.
and so we, too, come to this landscape of pure cotton sheets, of gardenia petals, of damask dinner napkins lifted out from the mothballs. of the pages of old, favorite books. of snow as it falls.
here we are, in this new place, where soon enough we will settle in, will feel like old home.
oh, sure it might take some getting used to. but i’m beginning to think of the beauties of the unfettered slate. of the wash just after its folded, when the smoothed-out wrinkles wear proudly their scrubbed-up whiteness. as far back as i know, white has been the color of choice for the papers on which ink spills. at least when the mission is words. inky black on parchment white.
we’ll give it a whirl.
and before i leave this welcome postcard, i’ve brought along poet mary oliver, who i trusted would have had something to say about white.
by Mary Oliver
in the fields
I lay down in the darkness
to think about death,
but instead I fell asleep,
as if in a vast and sloping room
filled with those white flowers
that open all summer,
sticky and untidy,
in the warm fields.
When I woke
the morning light was just slipping
in front of the stars,
and I was covered
I don’t know
how it happened—
I don’t know
if my body went diving down
under the sugary vines
in some sleep-sharpened affinity
with the depths, or whether
that green energy
rose like a wave
and curled over me, claiming me
in its husky arms.
I pushed them away, but I didn’t rise.
Never in my life had I felt so plush,
or so slippery,
or so resplendently empty.
Never in my life
had I felt myself so near
that porous line
where my own body was done with
and the roots and the stems and the flowers
please, let me know if you’re warming to white….
Yay! A beautiful new place to be. Good show, dear bam.
thanks, honey, for comin’ on over. now i discover i have comments to figure out. they don’t make this easy for a girl, do they. but it does seem a few giant steps more advanced in the world of blogging…..(why have i never ever liked that word, blog. it sounds so, well, like a fifth grader burping…..non?)
Here i am in your (“our”) freshly launched haven for musings, thoughts and meanderings.
Bravo BAM!!! It is quite elegant and fresh. As resistant I was to losing the white words on a black canvas, I am loving the new feel. Guess the moon knew something when it chose white as its personal color.
oh, honey, i love that. the moon, to add to the list of whites that we love…..i was so hampered by worry about all the mechanics, i do believe i was hindered in my list of why we love whites…..but it begins here. moonlight. check. xoxox thanks for being my FIRST comment. so fitting in so many ways. xoxox
I have just let out a relaxed lovely pure fresh white sigh…similar to the one I do in yoga class….it is just lovely and refreshing. I feel quite content to sit with the delicate white flowers and sip my coffee. It feels like clean white sheets blowing in the spring wind. Excellent work dear chair and company!
bless your most beautiful line-dried self. i wonder why it is we are all thinking sheets on the line?
hmmm…maybe because this winter has been more like a long (Chicago) spring than winter? Or it could be that lovely picture at the bottom of the post. No matter…just ready to spring into something new!
I love the white and black !!! so easy to read ! refreshing ! just in time for
Spring. LOVE it.
Love the white … Great for a fresh start!
Beautiful! I need say no more. Happy new home for the big table full of chairs.
I loved the other and now I love this. It does feel right.
I don’t get on here like I should or shouldn’t….I always though, come back to the table.
You have had me in tears this morning and now, all white. Funny…snow and white, linens and new. Yes, on my mind too.
Blog- yes, definitely burping. For instance- while traveling, you meet someone on the train and they find you so very charming and witty (not realizing you now live in the deep woods of Maine, conversation comes on like oxygen, giving life to what for months was still…) and they proclaim- you should write! And you say, “oh I do! A blog.”..this is taken as total anti-social behavior, yep- like burping, like talking with your mouth full of food. The new-found friend now blankly- for 12 hours, stares out the window…Oh my…good to read and be here. Sneak back sometime soon…
I’m loving the white. It feels new, fresh, light, bright and clean. Perfect for a beginning.
Snow dustings. Fresh linen on the line. Wispy curtains. Cloud-dappled sky. Daffodils already a few inches up. I look out my window, back at “the chair”, all is in harmony. A sigh, a settling in. Newness, at-homeness, all at once.
love your litany of whiteness…..
I am starting to hum “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things”, but will have to make up a stanza that includes Pull Up A Chair. 🙂
Just as an aside, I’m loving the quilt squares.
Me too!!! I have no idea how it happened and it perfectly fits the sun-dried linens thing going’ on…
Sent from my iPhone
It is perfect, like you Absolutely LOVE any and all Mary Oliver too. (Landscape is on my bulletin board)
do you know how MUCH i love finding you here? my original life-lesson teacher. xoxoxo
White, for sure.
It’s beautiful, so pure and so new! And it’s only right to change this as you changed your career path!