Yes, a room of one’s own at last. It’s best feature? The door.
I moved into my office at the Abbotsford Convent a few weeks ago. I painted the walls white (with help from W), added a carpet and a friend’s old dining table for a desk (thanks Danny and Alexis). Kristel’s discarded shelves got a lick of white paint and are now filled with books, papers, notebooks and all the considered clutter that makes a room your own. Diana brought me cookies in a jar (crumbs now). Lauren, chocolates. My window looks out over a quadrangle with a liquid amber tree at its centre. There is a bluestone church to the right, with a clock tower and bell.
This is the first time I’ve had a space devoted to writing that is mine and mine alone. I can’t quite work out why this is the case. After all, I’ve been a writer all of my working life. I have developed the ability to concentrate deeply and at will despite other people’s noise, burrowing into the sound until I am in an acoustic cocoon. Walking has the same effect – but the conversations in my head always shows up on my face, moving around my eyebrows and lips until there is everything but volume. I’ve been told that this is alarming for passersby.
Actually, the only reason I drink coffee is to put distance between the domestic and working parts of my day. $3.50 puts a full stop on the early morning (getting breakfast, checking sure the school bag has homework, swimming clothes, drink bottle, lunch, checking that I have wallet, watch, pens, paper). A coffee and time with my notebook and I am in the mindset for work.
Now I just have to close the door.