zird is the word (lizardek) wrote,
zird is the word
lizardek

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YOU CAN'T HAVE A LIGHT WITHOUT A DARK TO STICK IT IN*

Walking through an early winter evening, with the shine of the streetlights on the wet pavement, there's a strange sense of peace that envelops you just as surely as the scarf you have wrapped around your head. It wasn't cold enough to wear mittens; I let my hands dangle inside my big warm sleeves. The scarf was more for surety, a precaution against cold in the throat. It wasn't even cold enough for dragon breath, but it was dark as the inside of a dragon's cave and damp like it too. Looking up, I could see stars, not stalactites. No sign of Smaug.

Do you know the difference between stalactites and stalagmites without looking it up? I read the trick of remembering once, it's a simple mnemonic: stalaCtites have a C for ceiling, stalaGmites have a G for ground. Pretty cool, eh? Caves, even though I think they are nifty and mysterious and wonderful, give me the heebie-jeebies, thanks to a creeping claustrophobia that usually only manifests in crowds. I've been in a lot of caverns as a youngster, including the Mammoth Caves and some really amazing ones in Spain, but it's been awhile since I was underground in a natural cavern. I think my dad must have had a thing for caves, since we always made a point of touring any that happened to be nearby whenever we were road-tripping.

The only cave around here is Tykarpsgrottan, which is really a limestone quarry, but Karin was a baby when we visited it. The last one I was in, this past summer was, coincidentally, also a limestone quarry.

Karin's room is rather cave-like, what with the dark red walls and the black furniture, especially when she has the blackout blind pulled down. It's very cozy, though. Martin's room will be quite the opposite. Anders painted the walls this past weekend and the colors Martin chose are light and lovely: a pale creamy biscuity beige named Silke, and a medium-dusty pale Sage green. I had printed out the tree pattern and Anders had bought the paint for the 3 different colors to be used for them, but then he came to me and said that HE wanted to paint the trees.

"Oh," I said, a little disappointed, "okay, but I thought I was going to do it." Well yes, he said, but it was the only really fun part of renovating...he'd already done all the boring things: stripping, spackling, painting ceiling and trim. How could I argue with that? Even if Martin and I had also done some boring parts: moving out furniture, cleaning out stuff, stripping off the border...I wasn't really emotionally invested in having to paint the trees. Anders brought home a projector and made a stencil by tracing the tree pattern onto butcher block paper. He's already painted the bright one, and is halfway through one of the dark ones. These are leafless trees, no verdancy despite the woodland tones. It's going to be a real forest on the long wall, a groovy grove of bare branches.

I was going to try and tie this all together with some sort of meditation on trees growing from the ground like stalagmites but it just sounded silly and when you come right down to it, makes no sense so, so much for that flight of fancy. :P Anyway, the light and dark aspects completely aside, it's a rather fascinating exercise in the differences in taste and the reflections of personality when you compare the rooms of my kids. And yes, when we're done I'll post photos, I promise.

*Title from a quote by Arlo Guthrie
Tags: offspring
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