I love pictures of bedside tables — I think there’s something so tender and intimate about seeing what people sleep in close proximity to. I’m not a religious person, now or ever in the past. And though I’ve always had a sense of something larger, grand and immense out there, I’m loathe to call myself spiritual since I don’t have a daily “practice” of anything. (Except maybe hygiene.) But my bedside table has always functioned as a kind of unintentional altar, carving out space for what I treasure and cherish — things I find comforting and remind me of the larger, more eternal matters of my life, which is apt to get mired in lots of ultimately unimportant minutiae.
What’s on your bedside table? Here’s the current state of mine. There’s always reading matter nearby: I like to read fiction in bed, as well as non-leftbrained-centric nonfiction. Being in bed makes me feel relaxed and dreamy, so I don’t want to read anything that takes me out of that zone. (There’s a copy of Lula magazine in that pile somewhere, too — again on the dreamy tip!) I always keep my journal on my bedside table as well. I’m always writing down dreams and love letters to the universe in there. Of course, every altar needs candles, and I have a few. To be completely hippie-ish, I read that it’s nice to have spots of dark red in the bedroom for all kinds of love-and-passion-ish reasons. I figure, what have I got to lose? Plus, these smell like orange blossom, black cherry and rosewood. There’s a tiny candle, too, that has my favorite room scent in all the world: black pepper and bergamot. It’s just so warm and subtly spicy and fills me with contentment when I smell it. It’s important to feel content in bed, you know?
I keep a copy of The Little Prince as well — that book is just so wonderfully open-hearted and good-spirited, and reading it always reminds of the better things in life. Every time I read it, I feel like a better person. There’s a tiny piece of artwork by artist Andrea Anderson that I got from an art show at erstwhile NYC accessories boutique Clarabella, which is now closed. The image has always resonated me, in a High Priestess of the Tarot card deck kind of way — it evokes something about the Divine Feminine for me, and if there’s ever going to be something I’m going to align myself with, it’s that. And the photograph is taken by my friend Megan of the lilies at Monet’s estate, which I keep because it reminds me of her, and it just feels so peaceful and serene.
Oh! And there’s also a tiny little bottle of Lancome Miracle eau de parfum — it reminds me of my mother, and also of the time when my old roommate in San Francisco bought me a bottle in the first few months of me living there. I was struggling to establish myself and joked that it would take a miracle to find steady work. (The whole dot-com bubble bursting was happening at that time.) She, being the kind soul she is, bought me a bottle to lift my spirits, and lo and behold, a few weeks later I found a client that I still have to this day, actually. So I like to keep a tiny bottle of Miracle to remind me of generosity and the universe’s largesse. And finally, there’s a picture of me and my sweetheart, well, because love is transcendent, and where else are you supposed to put bits of transcendence in your house if not unintentional altars? You should never be far from what you love, and I love that these are the first things I see in the morning, and the last things I take in before I wander into dreams and sleep.
Everyone, just a quick note to say THANK YOU SO MUCH to those who bought my book, linked to it, tweeted, liked and all the other Internet-enabled gestures that people do to support things these day. I truly appreciate it and feel so surprised and humbled by how kind and generous people are! Please keep your eye on the blog this Thursday or Friday, where I have something fun to announce 🙂