Style, minimalism, and grief

Diary

A style diary.

Morning Light

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Probably about a year ago the shades in our bedroom broke. First they wouldn't extend all the way, then it just plain got stuck, jauntily halfway up halfway down. I'm a little embarassed to admit that, after a cursory search for a solution, we never got it repaired, instead relying on the sheers and drapes for our needs. The shade remains jaunty to this day, and honestly we should probably just take it down since it's rendered unecessary at night by the blackout curtains and in day by the sheers. 

All this a roundabout way of highlighting the real star, the bedroom window. Or at least the light that comes through it.

Golden hour gets all the hype. It's when we plan our weddings, our happy hours, our daydreams. It drenches my living room in a fiery glow just before sunset, beaming through the western window with the heat of the day. It's when everything around looks gilded and you feel content.

But what about that hour after dawn, when everything feels cool and alive? Quieter though, like not everyone has woken up yet. It's the bookend of the golden hour: the new day hour. The light seems more awake, but more hushed than it's counterpart, the golden hour. The tones are all blue and clear.

Two sides of the same coin. Each one impossibly the reverse of the other. How you create the color of day out of a sea of midnight and cobalt is not the same as spinning that same day into gold, the sum of all the day parts, the echo of light beams reaching their zenith just as the sun prepares to set. Yet they're equally lovely.

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There are two eastern-facing windows in our home, the bedroom and the bathroom. Both, consequently, great places to start the new day hour. The bedroom walls are a deep, jewel-y navy. At night with the drapes drawn, it feels very cozy and dim. We don't keep bulbs in the overhead light, although there is still a fan because c'mon this is the south. There are four lamps that we use in varying combinations throughout the morning and evening. 

But my favorite time in here is the morning, when someone — whoever gets up first — parts the blackout curtains to reveal the new day. Perhaps the sun hasn't even come up yet. When it does, the room lights up immediately. On an overcast day like it was today, the shadows take a little longer to dissipate, but then you get a real treat — that special, even, youthful light. You don't get that on an overcast golden hour, nope.

This mirror was one of the first things I bought when I got this condo. I bought it from these people off craigslist who, upon meeting them, I realized were tangentially related to my job in a weird and funny way. Sometimes I think about those people and think, what a weird, small world, and I have their mirror now.

This mirror was one of the first things I bought when I got this condo. I bought it from these people off craigslist who, upon meeting them, I realized were tangentially related to my job in a weird and funny way. Sometimes I think about those people and think, what a weird, small world, and I have their mirror now.

I've taken the last couple days worth of Outfit of the Day shots in here, in the bedroom. The light has been perfect for a little moody chiaroscuro action in my photos. Technically chisaroscuro is "the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting" but it's too good a word to reserve for scholarship.

You see, overcast morning light chiaroscuro has a completely different visual quality than afternoon light chiaroscuro, which honestly is gorgeous but I'm sure I've done to death. I've straight up repeated a few of my outfits since I started documenting them in November and but seeing those same pieces in this different light — not to mention the entirely different setting — has been illuminating. Bad-um tssss.

There's a three way mirror in the corner of the bedroom perfect for full length shots. There's another mirror, a big round tilting one set off from the wall on a brass frame. It's fucking cool. But if there's one thing to always remember with mirrors — and this makes me sound a little nuts but stay with me — you never put a mirror at the foot of your bed. Something about Feng Shui and bad vibes. It sounds like a silly thing, but I remember specifically when I moved the mirror from the foot of my bed in 2006 how my life took an immediate turn for the better! So ever since, I've never had a mirror at the foot of the bed. Both mirrors in the bedroom are such that you can't see into them from the bed either. It's like the holy grail of bedroom layout in my opinion! But I digress.

I realize I have a thing for mirrors. Of all the home furnishings, something about mirrors draws me in. Maybe I'm just vain? I don't know. They are like these mercurial reflecting pools that only add to an environment and never take away. What is it about a pane of glass that is so great? Windows, which are my other favorite thing in at home, are like mirrors but also the opposite. Instead of seeing backward you see forward.

So lots of opposites in today's post. I guess that's just a thing I'm always fascinated by — facets. One of my absolute favorite essays ever written ever is this one by Gary Brecher. I don't even know how I read it in the first place, it's not a website I'd normally read. But it's about the Monitor and the Merrimac, which are two Civil War era battleships that in this piece serve as allegory for the ideas of good and evil. It's so worth a read, even if you aren't into war history. Like, I've legit designed a chapbook of this essay because I think it deserves to be bound on paper one day. This is kind of a digression but also maybe not. I like to place things in a larger context, to create my own narrative about how the world works, and this essay kind of does the same thing. 

Backwards and forwards, warm and cool, Monitor and Merrimac. Morning light in the bedroom.