I discovered the world of blogs when I arrived in Canada in 2007. We lived in a very small town in New Brunswick and, because I was only "visiting", my entertainment options were housework, people watching at the only (thankfully decent) coffee shop in town, or going to visit the local ducks at the waterfowl park. Once these were ticked off for the day, there was an awful lot of whistling into an empty house, or peering down the street to see if my OTL was coming home yet. Of course, I could have finished my PhD, or taught myself a second language (French, possibly, given we were a stone's throw from the largest Acadian population in Canada), or just done something Morally Virtuous and Productive. I didn't though, I found craft blogs and a community of women whose interest in and devotion to creativity, however stumbling and humble, was a revelation and an inspiration.
I read them furtively at first, feeling a weird kind of voyeurism as I peeked into others' lives and thoughts. However, soon I was enthusiastically looking forward to each instalment as they documented their creative, domestic lives. Domestically inclined craft blogs fascinate me for many reasons. It would be easy to dismiss them as mere accounts of women's trivial lives - their cooking, their sewing, their knitting, their mothering - but if you pause and look for long enough, they are also, sometimes, reflections on some of the great philosophical questions: What is Beauty? What is Truth? What is the Good?
I kid you not.
Which is why you have a little shot of one of the corners of my home today. One that, in its balance and composition of colour and pattern, gives me great joy whenever I spy it from the kitchen doorway. Some feminists have argued that, while we may not find many women among the "great" artists before the 20th century, it is not to say that their artistic work has been completely absent. Indeed, as the creators of the family home - through their handiwork, their furniture arranging, their attention to detail in cooking and other mundane yet still creative pursuits - some women were, indeed, great artists. Not a claim I am making for myself here, but just to say that Beauty can be found in the humblest of domestic settings, as well as on the grandest stage.