I write in our home office at my husband’s dark cherry wooden desk where our desktop computer sits. When writer’s block grips my mind and my fingers stop flying across the keyboard, I let my eyes wander around the room at familiar belongings or gaze out the two front windows of our house onto the green expanse of our yard and beyond.
Doing so, I see and feel textures all around me. That ancient emerald green second-hand chair – the one we paid a whopping $12 for at an estate auction – with its zigzag patterned fabric rests in the corner. Not only does it present texture for the eyes but for the hand as well as I feel its nubby ridges of upholstery. Folded across the back of that chair, a woven blanket in various hues of blue, its texture also noticeable to my eye, reminds me of my daughter’s mission trip to Mexico.
At the windows, blinds with their slated ribs create another type of texture while the soft fabric draping those frames provides a different consistency. Outside those windows, I spy the concrete sidewalk which I know has a slightly rough surface. Beyond that, spiky blades of unmown grass, leafy trees with uneven, rough-to-the-touch bark, and velvety smooth red petunia petals become visible. Textures are everywhere I look.
And I can feel them as well. If I close my eyes and run my hands in front of the computer keyboard, my fingers glide unobstructed over smooth glass that covers the desk top. Underneath my feet I can feel the rigid, unyielding chair mat and when I step away from the desk, a plush, soft cushion in the form of carpet comforts my bare feet.
Our lives are full of textures – some visible, some we appreciate by touching – and I suspect that we take them for granted. I can honestly admit that I haven’t given much thought to this concept before contemplating which photo to use for this week’s photo challenge (click here for that photo). As I considered attempting to capture a picture or locating one which already existed in my cache, different ideas swirled in my mind about what constitutes texture.
I kept coming back time and time again to the television commercial for cotton. The touch. The feel. Of cotton. The fabric of our lives.
Cotton has texture, and I like the feel of it. It’s a natural fabric, soft and comfortable yet durable and strong. If I were to pick a fabric to represent my life, I might choose cotton. Yes, cotton would be a good choice for the fabric of my life. The fabric of my life. Think about that for a minute. The fabric of your life.
A fabric does exist in each life. It’s what we’re made of; it’s our very own texture, if you will. Some of us are sturdy and no nonsense with textures that are durable but perhaps a little rough. Some of us are silky smooth and glide along through life, or so it seems. Some of us are bristly and bumpy as we try to endure obstacles in our way, surmounting those hills and valleys of trouble.
I imagine if we had a choice, we might desire a texture that would allow us to skate through life on an even level effortlessly and easily. But real life isn’t like that. It’s not as smooth as a piece of glass, a perfectly laid layer of ice at the skating arena, or a swatch of glossy satin. And it’s certainly not always as comfortable or reliable as cotton.
Oh, we want it to be. We want our life texture to be downy and comfy, cushioning us from troubles like carpet protects our feet from hard floor surfaces. Then we could just sink into its security and envelop ourselves in its coziness.
But no, life demands that we embrace our own texture that enables us to maneuver through whatever happens our way because troubles do come, the path is not easy or well-marked, and sometimes we just get lost. And that’s when who we truly are comes to light – others can see the fabric of our lives.
Texture means more than just whatever meets the eye or touches the hand. The texture of my life’s fabric is deep down, inside, the essence of my core. It defines my beliefs, my choices in life, and my determination to give thanks in all circumstances. For me, that texture began long ago on a roughhewn, rugged wooden cross when the Fabric of my life proved His ever-lasting love by giving His life so that I may live. That is what defines me.
“What interested me was not news, but appraisal. What I sought was to grasp the flavor of a man, his texture, his impact, what he stood for, what he believed in, what made him what he was and what color he gave to the fabric of his time.” ~ John Gunther, American writer/journalist 1901-1970