Thursday, January 31, 2013
i would ask you to write
“Therefore I would ask you to write all kinds of books, hesitating at no subject however trivial or however vast. By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep into the stream.”
― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
I return to work later today after three rather glorious days off from the day job in a row. Usually when this occurs - when the stars align in this way - something always happens to throw me off. An important errand must be run, or the child is sick from school, or some bad and jarring news arrives. etc. But not so this time. I spent almost all my hours working on my writing, this book I'm calling "Transactions with Beauty." It's different from anything else I've written, but maybe most closely related to Calm Things, the essays. Anyway, spent time feeling very grateful for my own room, a room of one's own. I remember reading ages ago in one of those books on writing that you shouldn't be concerned with the space you write in. That this is the least of your concerns. You should be able to write anywhere without fuss was the gist of it. (I've never been able to write in cafes though and think of all the money I've saved on expensive coffees....)
So I suppose there's this small glimmer of guilt I have about this ever changing room of mine. It's been painted a few different colours. Things must be just so, give or take. Its present colour suits my state of mind perfectly though. I don't mind a little mess around the edges, but I write best when things are in their place. I've been sitting in this particular room for over 13 years. I suppose I can stop feeling guilty about the way I happen to like it. My desk though, it's been with me all through, a present for graduating from my B.A., nearly 20 years.
It's still the same - the room, the money. Always comes back to the money, doesn't it. And so I'm grateful as well for a job that allows me to sit in my room, for as many hours as I do. A job where I don't have homework, marking, student emails, voices barging into head and therefore my room. The job is intense when you're in it, but then you leave it behind. No office politics, no strange guilt trips. I'm terribly grateful for this beautiful place I work.