There are forces—intrinsic, extrinsic, otherworldly, Olympian—in the preteen psyche that I hadn't anticipated. The girl is petitioning for a room makeover. Well, is it any wonder? I shouldn't be so surprised, after all, she is surrounded by storybook misfortune: rabbits captured for pie, eggs swiped from ducks, foxy-whiskered, prick-eared gentleman not to be trusted, and owls who skin squirrels alive.
Lulu, who turns thirteen in a little more than two months, has lived among the red hued toile rendering—wall covering and coordinating balloon shades—of Beatrix Potter's creatures for as many years.
I admit, the toile was for me.
But thirteen is a coming of age birthday—a right of passage that has been known to be marked (her brother's room as precedent) by inner sanctum transformation. Hence, Lu's passage into teen-hood will be observed by the conspicuous and abrupt changes that are characteristic of any metamorphosis: a permutation of color; the shedding of layers; altered structures.
The coming transformation is for Lu.
I worry. I wonder if any morsel of Lu's youth will be recognizable in her transmuted cocoon. Or shall I enter to find a Kafka nightmare? Lu as a gargantuan pest?
Goodbye Jemima Puddle-Duck, Pigling Bland, Squirrel Nutkin, my Peter. Augmented inner sanctums take no victims. (Nor—I hope—accidents, like fluorescent permutations.)
* * *
Lacrymosa is the stage name for 22 year old Brooklyn singer/pianist/composer Caitlin Pasko, whose warm, tranquil music gently fills space, time, and captivates. Her second album, Selah, was released in 2010.
Pasko studied classical piano from a young age, and quickly developed a style which she has described as whimsical forest music. Her angelic soprano lends itself well to her otherworldly sound, as well as the pastoral imagery her songs evoke.
Pasko's lyrics are peppered with fields of gold, roses, buttercups, parrots, trees, spiders and tiny horses—just the type of visuals that also might make for something really sweet, like, say...
Don't change it! I love Livi's roomReplyDelete
Hope all is well!
Oh, Amanda! I love it, too! LOL. All those nights you babysat, sitting in her room until she fell to sleep. Who would have thought she'd been traumatized by the wallpaper! (In my mind, anyway, this must be why the girl never slept—still doesn't.) But those forces... well, I keep hoping she'll change her mind, but you know how determined she is. I'll be scraping paper form walls soon. :(Delete
I think there comes a time when we want that kind of wallpaper back . . . what does this signify?!ReplyDelete
I remember being allowed to pick my own paint/wallpaper for my wall. My mother had an excellent eye for this sort of thing. I did not and do not. The first time, I picked out Tom Jones-type scenes, which were too busy, but not impossible. The next time, I chose VERY LARGE sunflowers that were meant for a kitchen. Appalling (and they would have been so in the kitchen). I'm suspecting, though, that you and yours have better taste when it comes to these things.
The music is appealing. Sweet voice you've found there.
All my life's a circle, Susan. Funny how the things we discarded (or planned, or wanted, to), we often want back. My daughter will not be sold on that story, though. I love color, but I'm afraid we're off not only to IKEA (no, no, I will not get her a futon—she's keeping the bed!) but also to some crazy multicolored shades of things that will pain my eyes. I'm trying to convince Lu to keep it "neutral."Delete
Oh, I love, love sunflowers. Van Gogh. Oh my. ;)
Our Ms. Lacrymosa is darling. :)
PS: And I too love sunflowers. That wallpaper, however, was far from what I am sure we both love about them!Delete
love what you are doing here. the way you write, the music you create (wow- your want song ! )....you've given me so much to consider all over again. how are we to know peter rabbit won't carry our kids for as long as we had envisioned?ReplyDelete
Oh, Sherry, I've been deluded too long. I really thought we'd slip through the teen years with our Potter friends. It's toile, for goodness sakes!Delete
So glad you're enjoying the music (I wish they were my songs! And I wish I'd never given up piano.) Lacrymosa is lovely. A beautiful, young talent. It will be interesting to see how her music matures. :)
The images probably feed her imagination and piqued her curiosity about the real natural world around her. I have to admit, though, that I've always loved the Velveteen Rabbit . . . " . . . It takes a long time. . . . Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand... "ReplyDelete
Well, you know Lulu, Linda. Her imagination is always hungry! The Velveteen Rabbit. Oh, in the beginning he was really splendid. Love that one, too.Delete
I think you're on to something. Potter's characters did become Real—and always in the middle of the night! As you know, the girl has never slept. And I think what's happened here is that all those nights Lu got out of bed, back and forth, up and down, I got REAL! Drooping and loose and shabby. But I brought it all upon myself. And I know you understand. Heh. ;)
Oh, forgot to add -- perfect choice of music! How do you find this stuff? I think Leyley would love to play the piano to the Smitten Song. I'll have her listen to it.ReplyDelete
Yes! I can see her playing (and singing) music like this. Don't you ever let her quit that instrument! ;)Delete
I'm interested to see how Lu transforms the room. If she is anything like my kids, a trip to IKEA is in order! Don't worry, it will be great!ReplyDelete
Loree- She has a lovely little chandelier in her room from IKEA, as well as her extra long desk. The desk, though, will be one of the renovation's casualties, though I'll make good use of it elsewhere. (Maybe it's time for a potting shed?)Delete
I'm warming to the idea, except she is talking blue. Blue is what I excised from my son's room—with five coats of magnetic and chalkboard paint on one wall, and even more coats of a lighter paint on the remaining three walls. Ack. It took me a good month to finish his room. Don't he and his friends/cousins have fun on that chalkboard wall, though.
A light, light cornflower or periwinkle. That's all I'll agree too! ;)
Hi- Your description of "storybook misfortune", was interesting. Kind of funny and kind of dark. Independence is a good thing, I think. I put myself in their place during the "gargantuan", I remember it having some rough spots.. Patience.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed Pasko's tunes. I felt the earthy, forest whimsy. I like the piano and her voice.
On a side note, have you ever heard Evanescense's Lacrymosa? If you like powerful music with a metal edge, it's pretty awesome.
The post had good writing, made me reflect and think and was entertaining. A great start to the weekend. Thank you!
Ha! Herringbone-- aren't most children's stories/fairy tales dark and humorous? I remember an exercise I had to do for a writing class I took some years ago--I had to rewrite a fairytale making it really vulgar, w/as many curse words as possible. Boy that was fun. Pretty easy, too. ;)Delete
While I was researching Lacrymosa for this piece I stumbled upon Evanescense's Lacrymosa. I'm not a big fan of metal, but I'll have to go back and listen to it a bit more. Good to see here again, sharing--glad you enjoyed the Frolic. :)
Well I'd have died with a pink room at 13 - I transitioned from horse to music posters around then and ultimately collaged all 4 walls, loved it and I think my mom secretly got a kick out of seeing my creativity in a new way. It's a beautiful thing to see a girl evolve into her own woman - embrace & encourage that! ! :)ReplyDelete
I just discovered that your comment got thrown into spam! Sorry about that Eco-published it just now. I remember decorating the room I shared with my sisters, and my parents definitely got a kick out of it. I think I'll enjoy watching Lu put her energy and creativity to good use. But I'll still miss the toile. ;)Delete
ah teenaged years - well err good luck with that Jayne - not looking forward to it. How come you are always so articulate on a Friday night?ReplyDelete
teenage even, doh..ReplyDelete
Oh, David- just wait! (Sorry, couldn't help myself. Plus it's Friday night and it was Mexican night w/a pitcher of Dos Equis... so much for articulation...) ;)Delete
(Good thing I get an early start on these Frolics. Heh!)
Our youngest's room was done over at age 13- by default. Every time an older sister married away, youngest moved up into better digs. That change required covering dark paint with a light shade. Three coats later on said palatial room and I swore she needed to love it forever because that was it for me.ReplyDelete
I think of Jemima Puddleduck every time I cook an omelet and Hunca Munca whenever I dust the dollhouse. Some things will never go away : )
Oh, Leonora, I feel the same way: she'd better love this renovation for a long, long time. I don't mind the work so much, but I don't like to renovate a room that is already so pretty. But I do understand her desire to have her own space reflect her present taste. Her taste cannot change, though!Delete
Hunca Munca. Potter knew how to write a story. Jemima's tale can be read at
archive.com via Open Library, for free, along with other Potter books. It's just like having the real thing in your hand!
This post makes me SO happy! One, because someone else in the world knows who Jemima Puddle Duck is! And two, because at this very moment, I am almost finished reading, "The Tale of Holly How" by Susan Wittig Albert. She writes adult books about Beatrix Potter. This one happens to be a mystery and it has Beatrix Potter as a main character, and her talking critters written in a way to be amusing for adults. Just goes to show, we don't HAVE to outgrow this stuff. We can take it with us. :) Check out Wittig's books if you haven't already. :)ReplyDelete
Elizabeth, I've wondered whether the younger generation have read Potter's tales, and I'm so encouraged to hear that you're a Potter fan! I have not read Wittig Albert, but she can also be found over at openlibrary.org (link is in my response to Leonora), so I'm going to have to investigate...Delete
I'll bet my daughter would be interested in books about Potter. Heck, this might be JUST the thing to get her to change her mind about the makeover! ;)
Jayne, I love this post. I feel an anticipation for your girl -- and hope it's not too much of an imposition on her privacy for you to post a swatch of the end result. I'm curious to know how her roots, which she did not choose (but are lovely,) will influence the manifestation of her next stage of development.ReplyDelete
This is kind of exciting.
Ha! Well, I suppose I owe it to you, Susan, to see the end result. When I finished my son's room--and that was a bear--chalkboard/magnetic paint wall, custom made (by me!) padded, fabric headboard, window treatments, etc. (sheesh--I ought to post a swatch of that!)--I had the whole world come in to take a look at it. That was before blogging and Facebook, so the virtual world was spared. (I still endeavor to spare them.)Delete
I'm curious, too--she's still formulating the plan. ;)
Try as we might to stop it, *sigh*, they do grow up. But, if you are lucky, as I am, their love continues to grow and they are not embarassed to show affection. Just today, I was walking along the streets of NY and my youngest daughter spotted me threw her harms out, ran and jumped into my arms. Pure bliss.....ReplyDelete
And how! Such a sweet story about your daughter in NY. My girl is pretty affectionate and she's not afraid to demonstrate that in front of her friends, so I have no reason to believe that will change, but, you never know. One of the things I like about her school is that the kids, for the most part, are very supportive of each other, and they're all huggers. I see that even with the older ones. Keeping my fingers crossed. ;)Delete
i'm still enjoying madison violet.ReplyDelete
happy birthday lulu! makes me think of "to sir with love"
Love that movie, Billy. I could play MV all day. :)Delete
Every time i look at baby pictures of the boyos i get misty-eyed, me, the big derelict who ran the streets for years, but when i see how they grow and change i'm amazed and sad at the same time, teenage girl, i wish you luck Ms. Jayne, i'm leaning towards the Kafka only cuz i'm a big fan of Franz.ReplyDelete
Ha!, Kono- that girl is already a giant pest! But at least her shell hasn't hardened. Yeah, she's a lovable pest. I still get misty-eyed. Every day, total mist. ;)Delete
I've got a friend who re-vamped her kid's room. Just for memory's sake, she framed a square of the old wallpaper and it hangs in the "new room" now. I thought it was a pretty neat idea.ReplyDelete
That's a great idea, Nessa. I actually still have a partial roll of the toile wallpaper. It was so damn expensive there was no way I was going to throw it out! And thirteen years is not nearly a wallpaper's useful life, so I am taking down and tossing out a not fully amortized paper investment... and well, I'd better stop there--I'm feeling my bp going up.Delete
Ugh, yeah, I'll just frame a 12' x 14' piece of the paper. ;)
What a beautiful room-- and bed!ReplyDelete
Happy redecorating... I hope you and your daughter have fun together doing it.
Joanna- don't make me cry. There will be no crying. It's a beautiful room and I'm showing this comment to my daughter. Forget it, she can't redo her room. ;)Delete
Is the thirteen year going to get a say in the choice of wallpaper? I hope so.ReplyDelete
On the other hand, you might have a bit of a battle coming.
I like the idea of framing a piece of the old wallpaper. or perhaps a photo of the room as it was?
Friko- I will never, ever put up wallpaper again. That girl is going to look at a color wheel and that's it! Come to think of it, I think I'm going to buy her her own paintbrush. I think it's time for her to do some work around here.Delete
Battle? Oh, no. No battles here. ;)
Whimsical forest music - I think you're playing my songs.ReplyDelete
What joy to have named the creatures, Pigling Bland always a favorite. I, too, hope you can share some of the transformation. It is a giant step for her. How fortunate to have a mother who listens. xo
Marylinn- Ack. I don't want the transformation! And a giant step scares the Dickens out of me. I'm taking deep, slow breaths. It's going to be all right (repeating this several times). I will listen, yes. All right. ;)Delete
Whimsical forest music will be queued for the first brush stroke!
Since I never had kids, I'm forced to think back to the walls of my own childhood rooms... never had wallpaper, just simple paint. The ceilings, for me, had a particular fascination. In the room my brother and I shared upstairs, the nailpops (marking where the sheet rock had been nailed to the rafters) haunted my nights. Imagination ran riot. I was sure they were moving, and were probably silverfish ready to drop on my sleeping face (or into my sleeping ears, if on my side). I loathed silverfish. Amazing that I ever slept at all.ReplyDelete
(The ceiling in our parents' room had a sort of scalloped pattern; if you tried to fall asleep in that room, the swirls resolved themselves into the faces of howling ghouls.)
When we moved downstairs, to the back room, we told Mom & Dad we wanted to paint the walls per our own taste. They sort of looked back and forth at each other, the way parents do, but agreed. The idea was that we would paint the ceiling flat white, but the walls would be this sort of deep royal blue -- about midway between the two shades shown on the Wikipedia "royal blue" page. And we were also going to paint on one wall a diagonal line, in bright, bright red -- we thought it would vibrate against the blue, and (who knows?) make intruders dizzy.
But there was a problem: the only paint we could find then in the right shade of blue was oil-based, not latex. It took the walls 3 days to dry, by which time we were too impatient to paint the red stripe.
Whatever decor scheme finally Lu goes with, don't let her involve oil-based paint.
"Imagination ran riot." I've no doubt (and I'll bet from that young age you've been stockpiling those stories). I had to look up silverfish: fishmoth, carpet shark or parasite. A damn insect, not a fish at all! And a creepy looking insect, at that. What lively ceilings you had in that house.Delete
Love that story about your old room. Blue. I've been reading up about the psychology of color. Blue, an ocean blue or light blue is supposed to sooth, and also, calm food cravings as we don't often find blue naturally in food. But a sort of royal blue--I wonder if you slept better, hunger repressed for the night in your walls of blue?? We once painted the basement blue--a deep blue--and the walls seemed to encouraged the kids to bounce off of them. Deep blue stimulates, I read later. We quickly painted over with a lighter, slate blue. Much more soothing down there, now.
My parents were fairly liberal with letting us do what we desired with our rooms. When the boys had their room done over my father brought home four different sample books of wallpaper. The boys (three of them) couldn't decide-they liked everything. Or maybe couldn't agree on one thing! So, my father bought all the sample books from the shopkeeper and pasted the colorful squares on the boys' bedroom wall. The effect: a melange of cartoon characters (like Mighty Mouse, Superman and Daffy Duck) and geometric designs. It was quite a creation.
We'll be painting Lu's room and will definitely not use oil! I've done that once before--learned the hard way, too. ;)
I don't know if it was hunger, but I'm sure I was repressing something. And/Or in need of stimulation, but We Won't Go There. :)Delete
Loved loved loved the idea of a wall of paint chips. That wall must have positively bristled over time!
Oh, JES, if only Freud could drop by...Delete
The chips were, as I remember, each about a square foot of wallpaper. Bold wallpaper. But before the paper went up my father divided the room in half w/a wall on one side that served as a bookcase and then a single bed built in adjacent to the wall. The oldest got that single. On the other side, Dad built in bunk beds and an L-shaped desk along the wall w/cabinets above. My two younger brothers shared that space. It was the baddest bedroom on the block. I was jealous. ;)
I highly doubt she'll be turning into a giant cockroach. But I've been wrong about these things before.ReplyDelete
Good luck with the redecorating;)
B- One never knows! Let me tell ya, though, she's quite the chameleon. ;)Delete
Oh, can't wait to get the brushes out. ;)