Friday, July 24, 2009

Precursor to Status Anxiety

I'm back in Oxford for a few days to work on my film about Thacker Mountain Radio. The weather is perfect - a nice, humidless eighty degrees - and the town is quiet. I also realized as I was driving thirty miles an hour how much I don't miss Atlanta's aggressive drivers.

This week I have the pleasure of staying my dear friend A.'s parents' home just off the Square. A. didn't grow up in the home, but her sister did and the vestiges of her childhood are everywhere: prom photos, a cheerful decor, and a trove of nail polishes in a rainbow of colors. My own bedroom in Atlanta is a palette of muted browns, and I noticed that getting out of bed at 6 a.m. this morning (far earlier than I ever do in Atlanta) must have something to do with the cheery decor. Color, we've know for a long time, affects us.

I noticed, too, that A.'s parents repainted their kitchen. This has been an ongoing affair; last time I was there it was tangerine orange reminding me of Mario Batali's Babbo, or his shoes (though I prefer the former.) Now, it is a pleasant shade of pale blue, somewhat breathy, therefore adding a nice airiness to the space. I find in A's mother a similar desire to change up rooms on a regular basis. Just as many rooms make up a house, so do many views.

On a side note, I had two wonderful conversations with A's parents. The first was with her mother on status anxiety and how it relates to our homes; and the latter was with A.'s father about finding your voice as a writer, a process which he describes as finding "your ear."
(A's father is the author of a rolicking book set in Mississippi.)

I'll be posting on status anxiety in the upcoming week after I revisit Alain de Botton's book of the same title.

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