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Mission Control

February 13, 2013

This is the table I bought 16 years ago, when I moved into the Treehouse (as I call my home).  I bought this table down the road, at a delightfully dark and maze-like second-hand shop.  It came with 4 Windsor chairs (not pictured), and cost me $300.  The shop owner said, “Those chairs aren’t original to the table.  They won’t last.  But you’ll have that table forever.”

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mission control

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She was right about the chairs. They (sadly, along with that shop of pre-loved treasures) are no longer with us.  But the table eventually became (and remains) the central hub of the Treehouse.  This is where it all happens.  This is my corner of the world.  This is Mission Control.

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For years, this table languished in the dining room, a neglected repository for mail, flyers, newspapers, and dust.  I just assumed that a table went in a dining room.  For years, I struggled to keep my flurry of activities organized throughout my home.  For years, I did not even think to use that piece of furniture for something other than what (I thought) it was intended.  A waste of furniture AND a waste of space!

One day it dawned on me to give this table a fresh coat of paint and drag it into the living room, where I could sit in front of my lovely window and enjoy the view that’s kept me planted here so long.  Over time, this table has become THE key piece of furniture in helping me keep my life and my work better organized.

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mission control 2

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This is the place I sit, staring at the river every morning when that first splash of wake-up brew hits the back of my throat.  This is where I make endless lists and occasionally cross things off.  This is where I learn and practice music, and even write it sometimes.  This is where I sit peering into my calendar, phone headset in my ear, trying to mesh gig dates with other musicians.

Here is where I draw and paint, plan projects, tear things apart and build them into new, other things.  Here is where I sit hunched over my laptop, tinkering with photos or writings or music (or maybe just looking for Dr. Internet’s help with my creative self-diagnosing).  Here is where the sewing machine goes when it’s out, and the toolbox, and the potting soil.

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backup gen

All the power went out in my building while I was in the middle of writing this post. 

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Creativity isn’t just about what you do with a musical instrument or a pencil and a piece of paper.  Creativity is also about who you are and how you choose to live.  Creativity can be something so simple, like breaking whatever unwritten rule says that a dining table belongs in a dining room.  Creativity is taking charge of the space you have – even if it’s just a room, or just a corner of a room – and making it yours, making it conform to the life you actually live and WANT to live, not the life you think you’re supposed to be living.

Creativity is about having the curiosity to try something out and see what happens.

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Dodie Goldney

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related posts by Dodie Goldney:

Kali the Destroyer:  Cereal Killer Version

Creative Thinking = Accidental Organizing

The Mural That Ate My Dining Room

The Insta-band

After and Before

Creative Tools


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