Wallpaper by francoise


Today’s word was flowers, worm’s-eye-view. The idea of looking up at flowers reminded of looking at the wallpaper by my bed when I was a child.

I grew up in a lovely, rambling Victorian that had been built in the 1880’s. When my parents bought it in the mid 1960’s, the plaster with its embedded horsehair was crumbling. They could have repaired the plaster by smearing more onto the lathwork, then painting. Or they could have put up drywall, although that would have required repositioning crown molding and baseboards in every room. They chose instead to use heavy vinyl wallpaper to just hold the crumbling plaster in place.

My bedroom’s paper had a pinkish cast, with salmon pink clusters of flowers surrounded various birdcage shapes done in fine gold color. The shapes might have been 2-dimensional or they might have been three dimensional. They may or may not have resembled the above pencil sketch. It was quite a while ago, and although my parents had the house until fairly recently, the plaster fell in somewhere and they repapered that room more than 35 years ago. But there is some relation between the drawing and the dimly remembered wallpaper. Some of the shapes were tall and thin, some rounder, some squat. The flowers clustered around them and trailed between them.

You would think that I would remember better, given that until I was about 15, I was often quite sick. My brother was always hale and hearty. When we both caught the same illness, he would be on his feet in a day. But the colds and fevers and flues and mumps and chickenpox and stomach bugs that I caught confined me to bed for long periods of time. There I lay and stared at the wallpaper. (I also read a lot.) I traced the shapes with my eyes, connecting them to each other, imagining them as houses, finding patterns in the arrangement of the flowers, and so on. The entire wall was one giant hallucination of a map.

My current bedroom is in the local country style, i.e., dark, fake wood paneling. I’ve hung things on the walls, but the walls themselves don’t invite the eye. In fact, they are intended to keep the room dim, perhaps to encourage sleep. And here’s another change from my childhood life: I don’t think I ever just sit or lie down in one place and then do nothing but stare at my surroundings for long periods of time.
You need to treat yourself to a quiet sit!!
July 26th, 2018  
This brings back many similar memories. I love what you wrote.
July 26th, 2018  
images wallpaper pink flowers and birdcages
July 26th, 2018  
Google the above and there’s a lot to see
July 26th, 2018  
I like your drawing and photo of it. Interesting story included
July 26th, 2018  
Fascinating story
July 26th, 2018  
Great commentary and image
July 26th, 2018  
The memories of childhood are so good - staring at ceilings everywhere - particularly at the dentist!
July 26th, 2018  
Wonderful image and commentary 💙
July 27th, 2018  
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