A few weeks ago I was struck by inspiration, and as usual, a burning need to get started at that exact moment. I decided my house was boring and needed something really special, and that I would like to be surrounded by beautiful words at all times. I decided to pick my favourite piece of writing and transcribe it and paint it onto the awkward stair wall in my kitchen.
This was a bit of a predicament because I wanted to get started as soon as I had the idea, but also I couldn’t decide which quote or poem to use. I thought about just choosing one quote, but then I pictured myself writing that out over and over 400 times and decided against it.
After flipping through a few of my favourite books and bugging some friends for inspiration, I decided on one of my favourite poems, I Have Loved Hours at Sea by Sara Teasdale, and set to work. Coincidentally (or completely on purpose, if it’s not him reading this) the boy was at work so I was determined to finish it before he got home so I could surprise him. And so that he wouldn’t be able to stop me from doing it. But mostly so I could surprise him.
I realized quickly that one poem wasn’t going to be enough, since I was less than half way down the skinniest part of the wall and was almost finished, so I picked another poem to add.
It quickly became apparent that that wasn’t going to be enough either, so I added in my favourite Neruda Sonnet, one that was read at our wedding. In the end, I also added in my favourite Alice in Wonderland quote, and finally made it to the end.
It only took me about 2 hours to get all of the writing on the wall, so I figured I was well on track to finish before the boy got home from work. It turns out, painting takes a lot more time than just scribbling with pencil, who knew?
I finally finished painting almost a month later, although after the first weekend of almost 6 hours of working on it, I took about two weeks off to regain my will to live.
Derek walked in on that first day and found me on the floor tired, stiff and covered in pencil lead and paint.He took one look at the wall, one look at my bedraggled, exhausted face and proclaimed “I love it! And I love you! Let’s go take a nap.” He is nice, I like him.
It was definitely worth all of the work it took to finish, it makes me happy every time I look at it, and makes me feel like this is really my house. I am basically Harold and the Purple Crayon, but older and a girl.
It’s definitely not perfect, I generally have serial killer handwriting at the best of times, but nobody will ever be able to think it is a stencil, or that I didn’t put my own blood, sweat and tears into it. It’s kind of amazing to be able to just randomly draw all over the walls whenever you feel like it without worrying about getting in trouble with anyone. Sometimes being a grown up is a pretty great.