Cosmos in Chaos (Part II)

Ok, so I didn't see many comments from the last post and I wondered if maybe I ended that last post the wrong way? I totally didn't mean to go all Martha on you and say that your homes should be "art" or that you need to work on them or make them into Better Homes and Gardens or anything.

Disclaimer: I told you when this started that I'm bad at verbalizing things... I'm apparently all about the visuals, remember?

Anyway, I don't want anyone to think I'm asking for photos of a "beautiful" house. I mean, you can certainly email me photos of your beautiful house if you want. I love pictures! But what I was really trying to go for was the idea of finding beauty in the common, you know? It goes back to the "Cosmos in Chaos" that Madeleine L'Engle talked about in Walking on Water and the idea that if you can find any aspect of beauty or good or peace or "cosmos" (I love that term) then that art is "good" in that it is showing something of the divine. It sounds so stinking grand, but really? This house thing is the perfect example of finding cosmos in chaos because there is nothing more chaotic than our house at this moment in time. And house are so much a part of our daily lives that a lot of time we barely see them for what they are.

I really disliked our house in Maryland. It was a rancher with no basement and two bathrooms - the master bath and the boys bathroom. I hated that the boys' bathroom was the same one guests used when they came over and hung out. I know it's a little thing. But it's a thing. So I started to feel like I was hating all the "things" and not giving God the thanks for the blessing it was to have our own home in a housing market like the Washington DC area. I decided to take pictures of small things I could find about the house that I genuinely liked. Once I started really looking I found a lot of little corners and areas that were actually quite beautiful to me, like this:

So, having said that, here are a few examples of the small beauty I've been finding in my chaotic home lately:

Chaos in our dining room (HELLO dining room set refinishing project in progress!)

And then below? I consider this to be beauty in our dining room chaos. I'm not sure if it's the process of uncovering something old or if it's just the visual itself (and I think that's another part of finding the cosmos; a lot of times we find our beauty in something based on an invisible quality - something felt instead of seen) Anyway, my favorite piece of beauty in the refinishing mess:

So having said that, maybe my last post makes more sense in relation to the theme of this blog overall: not necessarily finding beauty in your home in terms of "prettiness" but more in terms of your own little bit of cosmos.

Also, here are some more "Cosmos" photos with a few from the house but mostly from random places we've hung out like the Inner Harbor, the farm, the backyard of our first house, etc. (there is nothing "pretty" about that rusted swingset from our very first house and yet that picture of the swingset crossbar set against the sky is one of my favorites.)

Click here for the "Cosmos" photoset on Flickr

*Edited to add: Wow, you guys are quick :-) You asked where I took some of the specific photos and what are they?
In this order...

1. Front door of the house at the farm (Indiana)
2. Spindle on dining room buffet (being refinished)
3. Swingset crossbar (our first house - Fairfield, OH)
4. Liam in the surf (Ocean City, MD)
5. Concrete cemetary urn (St. Mary's Cemetary - St. Bernard, OH)
6. Wagon full of geraniums (party favors for Lianne's bridal shower)
7. Skylight windows and columns at the Lincoln Memorial (D.C.)
8. "The Chesapeake" (ship, docked in the Inner Harbor, Baltimore)
9. Liam fishing at the farm
10. Seats at Cole Fieldhouse (University of Maryland, College Park, MD)
11. Liam fishing, Sean supervising at the farm
12. Old corn silo at the farm
13. Rusty and the boys walking (Baltimore Aquarium)
14. More skylights and columns at the Lincoln Memorial
15. WWII Memorial Freedom Wall (D.C.)
16. Dining room chairs (our current house)
17. Corner of our living room (current house)
18. Private mausoleum at St. Mary's (St. Bernard, OH)
19. Shade over the line for "The Beastie" at Kings Island (pre-2006; OH)
20. Wild flowers at the pond at the farm
21. Plastic models of the earth and moon (Liam's room)
22. Peony bud (our front yard in Maryland)
23. WWII Memorial Freedom Wall (Each star=100 Americans killed in the war. There are 4048 stars on the wall.)
24. Vietnam War Memorial (DC)
25. The end of our couch (our current house)
26. Liam in the sprinkler (backyard of our first house - Fairfield, OH)
27. Hydrangea
28. State wreaths at the WWII Memorial (DC)


Stacie said…
I accidentally deleted a comment left by someone random this evening (I redid my settings and screwed something up) Anyway, there are some amazing photographs on this guy's site that you should really check out. Here's original comment which is a link to his site:

James to me
More options 7:39 pm (4 minutes ago)

Posted by James to Reflections on Faith and Art at 10/30/2006 07:39:21 PM

(sorry for the deletion, James!)
Anonymous said…
I didn't get to read this whole post cause dude I'm tired but wanted to comment and say I want to send you a photo of my home of some sort, but the place is frightfully messy I'd be sending you a picture of a mess, and sad to say my digital.....I can't even say it I'm so sad....DIED....I'm temporarily using a GASP advantix....dang I hate film.

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