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Before we entered this new normal, I used to look for a happy place somewhere in the mountains or by the sea. A place that could help me find peace and joy, and of course, that allowed me to disconnect from the everyday chaos. For that reason, my vacations are always something I look forward. I would go as far as possible and try not to repeat the same place twice. However, in these days when we all spend more time at home, I have realized that one of the happiest places is here, closer than I anticipated.

Don’t get me wrong, I normally love spending time at home, but after staying home for months due to an inclement pandemic, I have been able to rediscover sections of my own home that I took for granted and connect deeply with myself at home in a different way. We’ve had to turn the whole place into an all-in-one area: home/office/restaurant/ happy-hour bar (yeah!), and in need of expanding its versatility, it makes sense that we shift our gaze to different corners more often.

My peaceful place

All this prelude has been necessary to say that there is one particular corner in my living room that has become a haven when I need to slow my mind down after a long session of work. Each element of this place has a special meaning and connects me with everything that I care about and love: art, nature and family.

A sense of calmness takes over me every time I sit down in front of one of Pabón’s geometric pieces. Suddenly, the outside chaos become silent. I carefully follow the lines, where they connect, and where they stop. I immerse myself in the blend of colors, the relaxing blues, the bright yellows and the deep reds. There’s something mysterious in the brush strokes. I find remarkable how the simplicity of straight lines can expand their realm when color is added; the whole piece embraces an energy that takes it beyond the restrictions of geometry.

One of the things that makes this artwork so special is that it was commissioned for this exact spot. I feel like I was part of the creation process, and part of my essence is embedded within it.  

The artist, Pabón, wanted to try something different here, nothing too flashy but with enough character to stand out by itself. He chose a similar palette to the one that prevails in this house to let the piece blend with the stage, but in the lower left quadrant, all the energy erupts from the canvas in full color (and of course the turquoise was present among the color lineup). The entire atmosphere that surrounds this artwork is so harmonious that it brightens my heart.

Popek view

I glance to my left just to find a selection of items that have special meaning in my life. A couple of wooden masks from the “Carnaval de Barranquilla” – Leopard and Zebra -, and artifacts from native tribes of my home country. In just a fraction of a second, warm memories of my loved ones flash right before my eyes. I miss them every day, not with nostalgia, but with gratitude for the good times. I look forward to hugging them once more as soon as this pandemic is under control. In the middle shelf I keep a collectible piece of a squatting balloon dog (Popek) by London-Based artist Sebastian Burdon. That was our only dog before bringing Luka, with us. 

And of course, there are also books. I spend hours in this corner reading or browsing through different books. Nothing like a Sunday evening with a book and a hot beverage (fruit infusion and chamomilla tea sounds just right). Art books are great to disengage from the mundane – they are colorful and inspiring. We have a few of them at home that we have bought over the years (okay, more than a few but we just can’t resist) and they are great entertainment.

However, this wouldn’t be my perfect spot without a piece of nature. I have two different plants here to provide the green that we all need in our lives – besides, green symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. I can’t help but turn my attention to the Ficus bonsai and admire the shape of its stem. I always look for new leaves and branches. Lighter shades of green brighten my heart because it means it’s growing. I can feel its energy flow and melt into the whole atmosphere of this corner.

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