We had dark red linoleum in our kitchen at 902 East 9th Street where I grew up. The pattern had little bricks with gray jagged mortar lines and the bricks were slightly raised, as they would have been if they had been real bricks. The color was almost burgundy, and my parents had that linoleum installed after we’d lived in the house for a while. It was part of a minimum kitchen redo, along with painting the cabinets and replacing the old wallpaper with sheet rock.
I liked that linoleum. It made the room look a little more rustic than it should have for a Dutch Colonial, but I didn’t care. The color had a richness that made me happy. I didn’t know then what I know now: that color and texture and pattern are important to me. At that time, I just knew that I liked it.
Flash forward fifty years.
I live in a color-rich home surrounded with shapes and textures and patterns that make me feel happy. The more saturated the color, the better I like it. Now I know that what I see has a real impact on how I experience life. I feel enriched by my visual experience.
I see now that I knew intuitively as a child what suited me. No one said, “Look how nice that dark floor looks in contrast to the light baseboard.” Or, “Isn’t that color combination lovely.” No, I noted those things without having the words. That awareness was just part of my basic nature.
It is not a surprise that I married a man whose whole life is about the visual experience.
Now I have the words to describe how I see.
I’m so glad.