Who’s afraid of a little red sofa? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself this week.

For the past twelve years I’ve owned a yellow sofa purchased at Ikea. I loved it from the first moment I saw it and bought it on the spot. It was delivered to my brand new loft/office in the heart of Dundas and it became the center of hospitality and creativity there. I took my very first writing course in the loft on that sofa.  I remember it because we were asked to begin by writing about a place we loved and I wrote about the place I was sitting. Later when I gave up the loft I moved it to my new house on Binkley Crescent in Hamilton.  There it absorbed the red and blue hair dye of experimental teenagers, and repelled most of what my Cocker Spaniel, Sushi, threw, spewed or sprayed at it. I place it under a south facing window and continued to write, shifting it in front of the fire on long winter evenings. I wrote most of the blogs on this site and much of my book on this sofa.

My yellow sofa is stained and shabby now. To tell the truth it’s been that way for years. Today I found an old blog post dated November  2007 and laughed to read this sentence:  “A cheque comes in and I set is aside in a new account, to go towards the new sofa that will soon replace the old worn and dog chewed one in my living room.”  Only this week I said the same thing about an invoice that’s just gone out.

This brings us to the replacement. I’ve been shopping for it for the past five years but to tell the truth I think a lot of sofas are bulky and ugly and the ones that stand out for their style turn out to be uncomfortable and they are all terribly expensive. Also, my house is of the cozy Cape Cod variety so I don’t want anything too formal or too modern and I’m a minimalist so nothing too country either. I like primary colours, they make me happy. But I lack the design confidence to go bold without trepidation. Yellow against a neutral background has really fit the bill until now.

Recently I have fallen in serious like with a sofa. It’s stylish and comfy and contemporary and just the right fit for my living room. I think it would look wonderful in red. But red is a statement colour. If you say it you have to mean it. I wonder what I would write on a red sofa. And feel the stirring of some part of me that wants to go from warm to hot.

Three morals in this story,

1. It’s hard to let go of those things we have loved.

2. When the time comes to change, it’s tempting to try to replace the past.

3. I am slightly afraid of a little red sofa, but drawn to it nevertheless.

Yours with creativity and imagination,


p.s. This featured image shows my beloved and bedraggled yellow sofa.

p.p.s. At a meeting this week someone asked me “Do you analyze everything then?”  “For better and worse,” I answered. “It’s an illuminating and sometimes exhausting way to live.”

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