Friday, November 16, 2012

Dreams & Reinvention: An Essay

Pamela and Edward: the author and her subject.
          Ed. Note: The divine Pamela Terry of the sensitive, romantic, beautifully written blogFrom The House of Edward, has written a sumptuous book about Edward with whom she is pictured above. I asked her to please write something for us -- I knew she could do it far better than I -- about her book, her life and the subject of her book. If you would like to read an interview with Pamela, please go here

         In Pamela's words. . .

           Just because I was a dreamy little girl of bookish bent who spent most of her time in her head, it didn’t necessarily have to follow that I would also be a lackluster, and woefully unenthusiastic, participant in team sports. But that is precisely what I was.   I’m sure there were plenty of little girls equally besotted with Mary, Queen of Scots, the Bronte sisters, Camelot... and football.  I just wasn’t one of them.  

            I have to admit it.  I possessed neither the ability nor the interest in any athletic activity save riding. (Riding, of course, involved horses and like most little girls of dreamy personalities, I was besotted with horses.)  My high school gym teacher was a hardy soul who tried, oh how she tried, to light the wet kindling of my enthusiasm for sports during the years I spent under her tutelage.  I still remember her encouraging, yet fatalistic, expression whenever I walked up to bat during one of our springtime softball games.  If ever I managed to connect that bat with the softball hurtling towards me, so great was my amazement that I would sling the thing out of my hands as I ran for first base, nearly decapitating anyone who had the misfortune to be waiting their turn behind me.  

            I still can recall my poor teacher screaming from somewhere off in the distance...”Pamela, do not sling that bat!”.  She rarely had to yell out that admonishment, however.  I rarely had a hit.  Back then, I was a bookish, daydreamy little girl who never gave much thought to what I’d end up doing with my life, but one thing both I and my gym teacher knew with absolutely certainty - I would never play sports.

            Turns out I ended up becoming an interior designer, and thus made good use of those decades of daydreams.  For what is the creation of beautiful houses but the manifestation of someone’s dreams?  I loved my years in that profession and still take on a few jobs here and there that catch my fancy.  But in the summer of 2008, I, along with many of my peers, experienced a fairly dramatic change.   My business, which had been ceaselessly busy, suddenly stopped cold.  Overnight, sources that I had relied on for years became shuttered and bare.  The design world changed so quickly it felt instantaneous and the creative channel I had depended upon to launch my dreams and ideas suddenly closed.  

            I felt antsy and irritable.  It was during these unexpected quiet days that I began to listen to my heart and I realized it wasn’t just the economy that had changed, but I myself was in dire need of reinvention - a new path to follow, new vistas to explore.  So I decided to write a blog.   Couldn’t be that difficult, right?  I’d name it for my wonderful companion, Edward, I’d write about the design world and show pictures of my work.  

            But a strange thing happened, as is so often the case when we dip our toes into new seas.  The words for the blog began to come, not just from my love of beautiful design, but from my love of beauty itself.  All at once, a window opened wide in my head and my lifelong penchant for observation and fancy had someplace to go.   From the House of Edward became a place I looked forward to entering each day, a colourful bazaar to wander through - picking up an idea here, a memory there - magical boxes to open up and share. After a little while I began to receive e-mail after e-mail requesting the blog be compiled and put into book form, which I’m thrilled to say is now a reality.  

            The finished product turned out to be even more beautiful than I’d dreamed, with its lovely illustrations of Edward by artist, Amber Alexander, and its gorgeous lavender velvet spine.  I sit and hold it in my hands, often astonished at the twisting, turning path of my very own life.  
Essays on Edward. For more, click here.
            None of us can plan our time here on earth, the poets have told us this for centuries.  Our task, as I see it, is to remain welcoming to change.  These days, Lord knows, change is more of a constant in our lives than ever before.  Rare it is for someone to continue in the same profession till the end of their days.  It’s vital to keep both one’s eyes and one’s heart wide, wide open.  That unspoken dream, that hidden desire, might just be your next reinvention. I am now in the middle of writing a novel.  Who would have thought?    What’s next?  I wonder.

            No, it was obvious early on that I was never going to be an athlete.  There were many occasions, I’m sure, when the aforementioned gym teacher would look at me standing in the outfield - watching the clouds drift high overhead, oblivious to the game going on around me - and shake her head.  No doubt she had occasion to wonder just how I’d turn out.   

            But coming to a sweetly full circle, as I was signing copies of From the House of Edward just last week, a familiar name was placed before me.  My old gym teacher, whom I hadn’t seen since high school days and who is now living in another state, had ordered my book.   That made me smile.


ELS said...

Gorgeous post - and I bet the gym teacher smiled too!

Cheryl said...

Thank you so much for asking Pamela to write for you. Her blog is so charming.

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

This post speaks so much to me, since a part of my own reinvention has included blogging and an openness to change. It takes courage to jump out of the comfort zone...but it is so much fun!!

Kathy said...

Beautiful essay. I too was an interior designer, whose work dried up with the real estate crash of 1989. I had had a successful international business for 20 years, and was then reduced to replacing throw pillows for clients. Luckily, I could close up, and found painting, which has been a second career for me that I love. I've never read your blog, but will go over there now. And congratulations on your book. Your dog is precious.

French Girl in Seattle said...

I say "Vive the non sporty types!" :-) This is a heartfelt, inspiring piece, Pamela. Thank you for writing it. Look at the creative life you have made for yourself! I will get my 12-year old boy to read this story. Like you, he loves books. Like you, he does not excel in [team] sports (and where we live, here, in American suburbia, you would think it is almost a crime...) But he is a smart, sensitive, well rounded boy; who is kind to his friends and is interested in so many things... I keep telling him not every one turns into an athlete (Thank God. Imagine how boring parties would be... ) I think this story will get his attention better than his old mom. Best to you, and congratulations, for courageously following a different path; and making it your own. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Jeanne @ Collage of Life said...

Tish, I agree, Pamela says it so well. Her book arrived today and I am over the moon. It is lovely and a treasure. We are all so lucky to have found her in we are with so many, including yourself.

Very best wishes...

Jeanne xx

Dewena Callis said...

While never glad that Pamela's interior design world suffered in 2008, her readers are the recipients of the beauty she has created, or recognized and then brought to us, with Edward the Muse at her side.

Karen Albert said...

I adore both Pamela and Edward of course! Every post she writes takes me away and brings hope and comfort. Tish thank you so much for having Pamela Today!

Art by Karena

BigLittleWolf said...

Beautiful essay. Reinvention can be a struggle and an evolution. But necessary and so worth it...


carolyn bradford said...

This was incredible! I cannot wait to go to her blog and I'm thrilled to have seen it on here! Thanks so much for sharing it!

Sandy @ You May Be Wandering said...

Wow - so beautifully written! Thank you for sharing this!

Garden, Home and Party said...

I love Pamela and her wonderful writing. This post was uplifting, as most of her writing is. Thank you for this.

helen tilston said...

Hello Tish

How generous of you to feature Pamela and her story. I feel like I know her from following her blog and from her kind words to me over the years.
I also received my copy of Pamela's book this week.
What a joy to see her featured here Tish and wishing you a wonderful weekend

Helen xx

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...


Pamela is indeed a treasure. From the House of Edward was one of the first blogs I ever found and I loved it. She weave a beautiful tale in a magical voice.

Have a great week, elizabeth

Amelia said...

Beautifully written and very inspiring. Thank you Tish for inviting Pamela to be a guest writer. She's wonderful and so is Edward. Congratulations on the publication of your book!


penelopebianchi said...

Pamela has been a total treasure since I entered the "blososphere"!

Her book is sublime.......I have only had a chance to read a bit.......back I go to buy copies for Christmas gifts.....the word "darling" comes to mind!

The two of them.......(Pamela and Edward) exquisite!

Her eye and her heart.....

and her love of her husband.....breathtaking!

What a gift her blog is; and what a gift "blogs" are!

They facilitate "like minds" finding each other!

I adore being a part of this new medium; at my advanced age! 65!

Lucky me! WOW!!!


ps this book takes my breath away!

Mary said...

What a lovely post! I was never, and am still not, an athlete. Something that when i was young made me feel a little heartbroken. I've always been a daydreamer like Pamela. And a book lover. There's not much i love more than getting lost in a wonderful story. And i must get my hands on this new book! Thanks for having this post here, Tish. Love it. Love it. Love it!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing this x

5th and State said...

what a lovely post about a woman so many of us adore.
i am beyond excited to hear that pamela is writing a novel, she was born to write!

if pamela sees you as her go to blog, i can only follow suit and subscribe to your blog, that woman has such a sense of style

Girls hoodies said...

Hey Pamela, you write really meaningful post with inspiring words.

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