Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Heaven

So I finished The Lovely Bones last week, and I have to say, I wasn't impressed. Don't get me wrong, I liked the book, but I didn't love it. I thought it was an easy read, and a page-turner... but I didn't love the ending; It left me feeling unfulfilled.

But what I loved most about the book (really loved) was Sebold's descriptions of heaven-- a sort of place that is different for everyone, but overlaps with the people you love. In a perfect setting that's just right for you. And it made me think... what would my heaven be like?

My heaven would have a little abode that's within walking distance of a big, sandy beach that extends to a beautiful blue and relatively calm ocean. The house wouldn't be anything crazy or extravagant, just a comfy little place with an open floor plan and a wrap-around porch. There's also a ton of beautiful flowers blooming non-stop, different blooms shoot up everyday.

The house would be filled like a beautiful old library-- with those sliding ladders and all. Wall to wall books, filled with all of my favorites and I've got nothing but time to read. There'd be a big fancy chaise, that looks so pretty you'd think it was uncomfortable, but in reality it's the most comfy thing you've ever sat in, and I'd curl up and read for hours. There's also a huge fireplace that's always lit and puts off just the right amount of heat.

Hung throughout the house in chunky mismatched frames would be all my favorite works of art: Baroque, Rococo and anything else that has ever struck my fancy. They'd clash next to each other: a Van Gogh next to a Caravaggio. I'd also have a little art studio of my own that would always be a little messy, but in an artistic genius sort of way.

The house would have a big, open and white kitchen, with endless equipment and ingredients and recipe cards filled with recipes from mothers and aunts and grandmothers from around the world. All of my recipes would be successful and delicious. Every morning I'd start with a big glass of chocolate milk.

The bathroom would have a big claw-footed tub, and one of those showers with ten shower heads. And when I'd shower there'd be this minty scent in the air that you can feel all the way through to your lungs.

My heaven has a big, fluffy, white bed that makes itself every morning after I wake up at 10 o'clock.

My heaven would smell a little like Chlorine (I'll always love that scent,) a little like the salty, ocean air and every once in awhile the breeze blows in a sweet lemony scent.

The temperature in my heaven would be very mild, with a low humidity all the time. The kind of weather where you can wear jeans and a t-shirt and be neither hot nor cold. Except for an hour or two every few days, when it would get nice and hot and I could lay out and feel the sun on my skin, and get goosebumps from the warmth.

I'd be barefoot all the time.

Every couple of weeks or so I would wake up to a big snow, that covered everything in a white powder. The kind of snow where the flakes are really big and fluffy, and the ground sparkles, and you can hear the very faint tink-tink-tink of the snowflakes falling. It would stay all day, and be gone the next morning without any sign that it was ever there.

There'd also be a big thunderstorm every once in awhile at night, with loud thunder and lightning out over the ocean and the pitter-patter of raindrops to fall asleep to...

My heaven would be rather uninhabited, except for frequent visits from family members and good friends. When my family visited that would come from all stages of their life, sometimes old... sometimes young. Many family members come that I hadn't met before, because they lived in a different time. Each visit is always good-natured and I find myself laughing and smiling a lot, and finding the others laughing themselves, sometimes to tears... during our conversations over tea that is never bitter. Through the laughter, each guest always has something very thoughtful or profound to say, and I always find myself thinking of him or her after they've left. I right all of these thinks down into a big, old fashioned journal.

Occasionally a famous person or two stops by: Jack Nicholson, Billy Joel, Chuck Palahniuk, Paulo Coehlo, Quentin Tarantino, Elton John, Bernini, Francois Boucher, Marilyn Monroe, Freud and all the people I've ever found intriguing. We discuss their inspirations, their versions of heaven, etc.

Mark would be there too, except sometimes he wants to watch TV or fish (there's no TV or lure-making in my heaven-- sorry Rambo,) so there are stretches of time where he pays a little visit to his own version of heaven and I am left alone in the peace and quiet. I'm sure my children would be invited, too... but I can't say for sure since they don't exist yet.

The only time there would be a huge group of people in my heaven is once a year in a Thanksgiving Day-like fashion.

When my family and friends aren't visiting, we communicate by hand-written letters, and everyone has unique, but fancy handwriting, and when the letters come they look like they are decades old.

King is in my heaven, but he is an absolute angel. He runs into the water and on the beach, and does that cute doggy-shake thing, but doesn't smell like wet-dog at all. He curls up at the foot of my big, fluffy bed and is a sweetheart. Since I can always leave the front door wide open in my heaven, he let's himself out to relieve himself, and I never, ever, have to see his poop. Sometimes he wakes me up by licking my toes or hands or face... but I love it.

Sometimes when I'm on the beach in my heaven, I hear my favorite songs come floating in quietly with the waves, but they'd come one or two a day, making them rare and therefore precious and special.

Every once in awhile, I'd stroll down the beach and explore a new place on Earth, whether an ancient ruin as it looks presently, or visiting while a relic was at it's peak in history. I get to see all kinds of people, in all sorts of times, and never cease to be fascinated.

That's a long-winded, explanation of my heaven, but I could have gone on. What's your heaven like?



  1. That is one of the most beautiful things you have ever written, hope you save a copy. I would love to visit your heaven often, because it sounds like just my kind of place...perhaps we can be neighbors! Love, Mom

  2. I agree with your mother....brought tears to my eyes....I think a book of your Laurealisms would be a great accomplishment... Love, Grandma