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Tasha Tuesday

Tasha's Home photographed by Richard Brown

A while back my husband and I and some friends all took a personality test called the Enneagram Test, which gives your personality a 'number' and describes your personality, both the good and bad aspects, and also how your personality interacts with others. It seems no one had trouble recognizing my number--- number 4--- the artist/individualist. Artistic, emotional, melancholy, overly sensitive and lovers of beauty, I don't think it's a stretch to assume that Tasha probably was a number 4 as well, in all its good and bad aspects. One key thing about this personality too is the strong need to be surrounded by beauty and to create a distinct and individual life. The worst thing for a number 4 to be is 'ordinary.'

Seeing Tasha as a 'kindred spirit' I greatly admire how absolutely she was able to create her own life and take charge of her world. What an achievement! I also admire the audacious beauty of her home and garden and how masterfully she created the world in which she lived. She often quoted Thoreau in "living the life you have imagined." And she put those words into action.

In the wider world though, some may say its frivolous to live life in pursuit of beauty. With all the serious and terrible things in the world, is it not self-indulgent to wrap yourself in a world created out of your own imagination, to reject what the rest of the world is mired in and make things as your wish? To an extent, I suppose it is. And it makes me a bit shy to admit my own endless pursuits of 'pretty' and how easy it is to let my imagination whisk me away from less than ideal settings and situations, or how frustrated I get if I can't make things exactly how I wish they would be instead of how they really are.

Then yesterday I was listening to my favorite radio show online called On Being and listened to a show called 'The Inner Landscape of Beauty.' The show talked with Irish poet and philosopher John O'Donahue and "his insistance on beauty as a human calling and a defining aspect of God."

It was a fascinating and very lovely interview, and some of my favorite things that he said was (paraphrased) "Everyone is an artist. Everyone is involved with the construction of their world. Just living our life and creating our life is a work of art."

I found that notion really wonderful and simple and it reminded me a bit of Tasha. I also love the idea of revering nature and how beauty can be intertwined with spirituality. It's a great show and if you have a bit I highly suggest a listen. I listen while I paint, but you could easily put it on while you were making dinner or doing something that doesn't require your ears.

So. How about you? What do you think of the notion or creating, in an artistic sense, your life? No matter how creative you think you are or aren't, I think we all can't help but do it. Pop culture, and our cultures and 'norms' in general try to do it for us in many aspects. But are there aspects of your life that are unique to your own creation and desires?

Also, if you'd like to find out your own enneagram number, you can take a free test online. I'd love to hear what your number is if you do! Maybe you're a number 4 too?

Happy Tasha Tuesday,


  1. wow, thats so interesting, I have never heard of this test, I'm a water color artist and my inspiration usually comes from nature that I see on my daily walks.Thankyou for sharing this today.

  2. Wonderful post, Heather! I definitely agree that creating your own life is an art. I haven't taken that test but I have a feeling I am a 4 too! Sounds just like me! ;) ~Lauren

  3. Well, I am a tie between 1 & 6 which are reformer and loyalist. These categories pretty much describe me too. But I scored lowest on 4!!!!! I love that Tasha was able to use her life as a living experiment for botany, animal husbandry, handcrafted living and painting and writing for generations to enjoy. What a gift to so many people around the world!!

  4. Interesting post Heather.
    About the comment "some say it's frivolous to live life in pursuit of beauty", there have been times in my life when I have felt frivolous, guilty even for pursuing an art filled life but then I try to imagine what the world would look like if no one did, so I continue on using the talents that God gave me.
    Here's to living a life that's uniquely you.
    By the way, I'm a 4 too followed closely by 7.

  5. Pretty interesting test, Heather. I took both of them - but couldn't make sense of them! Silly me. I always do love personality tests. Your results fit you perfectly!

  6. I had a tie between 1 and 5. People usually tell me I'm "practical." Not very romantic, but probably true! That being said, I don't see the pursuit of beauty as a problem. I may not create it, but I try to always surround myself with it. I'm a consumer of beauty rather than a creator!


Each and every comment is appreciated! Thanks for coming to visit me :) ~Heather