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If you know anything about art, and probably even if you don't, you know that artists often have periods in their careers where they experiment and produce works that focus on a particular style. Picasso had his blue period and his cubist period and 4 or 5 other periods since he was around for a long time. Artists frequently create works in series, creating a number of works focusing on a single theme, like comic book illustrators. Non-artistic people often do the same thing in how they decorate their homes, what they collect, or even what they type of car they drive. I had a Volkswagen stage for quite a few years. Kids have stages in toys, focusing almost entirely on a single one for awhile when they are really little and carrying them around with them everywhere. My kids have been through stuffed animal stages, Transformer stages, Ninja Turtle stages, Lego stages, and numerous other periods of being mad for a certain kind of toy. It's just human nature.
I got to thinking about the stages of my life and how I have been attracted to different styles over the years. I had a pink stage when I was little; I wanted everything to be pink. Back then you couldn't find a lot of ordinary things that were pink but any little girl growing up today could be drowning in everything from pink pencils to pink dish ware. It's almost too easy. I had a psychedelic stage for a short time when I was a teenager. I had psychedelic posters and tie dyed shirts and one or two outfits that were paisley and extraordinarily brightly colored. I am pretty certain that stage didn't last too long. I went through an Impressionist stage after that, with lots of Monet and Renoir prints on the walls and a fondness for colors that tended to be soft and pastel. I wanted my bedroom to look like something from Monet's painting of water lillies. Mostly it looked kind of watery.
I passed quickly through my Better Homes and Gardens middle America stage, with lots of subdued earth tones and muted colors. It was short lived because my husband liked it but I really hated it. Too dull for me. After middle America I moved on to my Oriental stage. I stayed in that one for awhile. I had black lacquered furniture, panted screens, lots of wind chimes and Buddhas, and plenty of black and white. It was nice because it was sort of clean and uncluttered, although people kept giving me Buddhas as gifts and they started to pile up alarmingly after awhile. It was one of those situations where people thought that I collected something when I really didn't and they keep buying me more just in case owning 100 Buddha's of various shapes and sizes wasn't enough to satisfy my obsessive need to collect them. Southeast Asia had less Buddhas than I did.
I eventually got past my Asian phase. Fortunately, lots of young people I knew were having their own Asian phase and I handed Buddhas out to them like popcorn at a movie. I am happy to report that all those Buddhas went to a good home. After my Asian phase I moved into my Southwestern phase. That was a nice phase, although I ended up with way too many items with lizards on them. I haven't really had a phase since then since raising 3 children tends to be a phase all in itself and I have had neither the money nor the inclination to worry about what I like. Primarily, I have had to concentrate on whatever stage they happen to be in at any given time. I have suddenly, however, found myself wishing that I had a new stage and I have been allowing myself to explore the possibilities. Stages and phases really can't be sought; they just sort of happen. There you are minding your own business and not thinking about what you like or don't like in decor and suddenly, whammo! You are struck by a photograph, or a pattern, or a color scheme, or just a style that jumps out and draws you in. You have to be cautious because sometimes it isn't the beginning of a real phase because it may be that you had an instant attraction to a single item and upon further research discover that you don't care for that particular style in a general sense. My advise is to be careful of impulse stages, they seem real at first but you always end up disappointed, usually after having purchased an obscene amount of Buddhas or lizards.
With that in mind, I am not currently looking for a new phase, but am instead, patiently waiting for a new phase to find me. I find that it is best to take a passive role in these things. I want to love the phase I'm in, not love the idea of being in a phase. Besides, these days it is best to keep one's phases simple given the economic situation. After all, no phase is as meaningful as the eating phase, and that one never passes. If any Buddhas show up at my door, they better be carrying food.

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