After twelve years of living in the same tiny house and rearranging the furniture at least twice a year, you would think I would have exhausted the possibilities. But this week, forced by the necessity of exposing the walls for painting, I found a new arrangement that tickles me.
The chaos of tarped up tables, tiers of boxes and tiny pathways had lost it’s charm. I was ripe for something different. Including a writing desk which I disassembled months ago in favor of a “reading room”.
I needed to finish painting a certain section of ceiling before I could unveil the dining room table and the Reliance jars filled with rice, lentils, raisins. In the middle of our summer heat wave, windows wide open to the scant breezes, I rolled the second coat of Fuzzy Sheep, shoulders aching, but determined to get my carrot. At exactly 4pm, I pulled the white cover from the herded furniture like a magician, with flourish. Then I began arranging what I had seen in my mind, making sure to keep the walls free for the next portion of painting.
With each step, I lovingly cleaned and organized, putting the table in the center and building around it. The bookshelf of jars went on one edge, facing the kitchen, chairs on the south and west side, and to the north, my moment of brilliance, the writing desk. I didn’t think I would miss it as much as I did. In fact, I wasn’t writing much without it.
Joseph Campbell said
This is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be, This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.
As it turns out, my writing desk was my sacred space. A place holder for my creative process. An invitation inward. Without it, I wandered. Lost focus. Abandoned the practice of writing.
When I set the new one in place, I felt triumphant, like an Olympian making the final, perfect dismount from the parallel bars. And this, in the middle of disruption. In the middle of paint cans and wrapped rollers and joint compound drying slowly.