My bedroom is an ode to monastic like peace. A place I go to find myself.
Where once it was a riot of pattern, now there is just the dark wood of the grandmother clock, cream walls and a long white desk at which I never sit. The only colour coming from the naive paintings of serious girls in blue dresses watching down on me solemnly: girls who have watched down on me since they were hung in my teenage bedroom. Their flat faces offering no clue at all to all that they have seen in this bedroom: the new borne baby I fed in this very bed. The solitary dancing of a woman possessed. The few men who have come and gone. The nights disturbed by a child’s dreams. Me lost in meditation. Me lost to another country, other worlds, all the places books have taken me. The music. Morning snuggles with a noisy little boy. The ritualistic lighting of my bedtime candles. The sleepless nights. These darn restless legs of mine. Whispered phone conversations. Pillows soaked with tears and lavender. Words scrawled in so many notebooks.
Yes. Of all the rooms in this little house, this is the one that knows me best. The one that keeps the few secrets I have never shared. And because it is exactly the sanctuary I need it to be, I honour it by being almost obsessive about how tidy it is, how it is scented, dusted and cleaned. How the stack of books waiting at my bedside are arranged. How the bed is layered with feathers and sheepskin, pillows and a blanket I will take with me to the ends of the earth. The temperature, the quality of the air and the lighting. Indeed there is no overhead light in here: only little pools of pale yellow light and amber scented candles – a fragranced mirror of the scent I wear, so the entire room is an authentic olfactory memory of me. I honour my bedroom, thus I honour myself.
I tell you all this because I am tired. The certainty of Christmas has been swallowed in a rash of real life, and now I am wavering. Perhaps because I am hormonal. Because one sentence can change everything. Or perhaps because wavering is what I do best. Wavering, dithering and doubting become me you see.
I tell you because I have been staying up late into the night enjoying a transatlantic, obsessive, dark affair with Dexter: dwelling on his complexities, obsessing over his psychotic vulnerability. I am only two series in and I am truly, madly and deeply in love with a TV character. A figment of my imagination. The whole matter disturbing my sleep and keeping me awake at night.
I tell you this because sometimes we have to call time on ourselves. Do what our bodies are crying out for. Retreat to a space that cossets us, wipes our fevered (snotty) brow and reminds us that it is OK to give up on any given day, any given fixation and crawl into a place committed to rest and recuperation from the rigour of January, addictive television and other current obsessions.
It is necessary to have a place where we can take a break from ourselves. A room we commit to honouring daily.