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My writing place

May 15, 2019

If I could, I would bring all of you here to this place where I write my stories. It isn’t at all what I imagined it would be in my dreams.

I knew long ago that when I could, I would devote my time to writing. I would set up a room with light yellow walls and sheer curtains that would gently billow as the spring air blew through an open window.

The room would be a haven of quiet for me to ponder my thoughts before putting them on paper. Pink and yellow roses would sit at my desk and rich pine floors would be under my feet.

The funny thing about dreams like that, they usually stay dreams.

Instead, a beige carpet adorned with brown dots from spilled coffee is under my feet. The walls are a deeper beige color that I once loved but now loathe. I painted it myself when we first moved into this house, and believe me, you can tell.

It is by far the ugliest, messiest room in our home. My husband works a great deal from here, so we share this mixed-up space.

The large room boasts a dormer window with enough area in front of it for my pub table, which serves as a desk. My space is always cluttered with files, dictionaries, coffee cups and bills I really need to pay.

In the main area of the room, a bed awaits in one corner to use as a spillover respite for guests.

My husband’s desk is quite ugly but serves its purpose. And, of course, he bought the ugly file cabinet, bookshelf and chair to match.

As a retired interior designer, let me assure you, this is a designer’s legit nightmare.

I look to the left around my little space as the light filters through the dusty blinds and see a poem that my oldest daughter wrote when she vacationed in Maine. She attached photos of Acadia National Park, framed it and gave it to me as a gift long ago.

Underneath is a picture of my 7-year-old son resting his head on my shoulder. I swear that picture reflects pure love and is one of my favorites.

Above the coffee cups on my desk are an array of photos with mismatched frames. There is one of my granddaughter playing in the sand when she was two and my three children’s pictures as babies and teenagers. Along with others is one of my nephew, Alex, as a college man, and a photo of my grandmother playing Chinese Checkers.

Hanging on a door is my son’s old hat he refused to take off as a young boy. Red, white and dirty, but would I ever clean it? No.

There is a crazy-looking, four-foot-tall carved wooden giraffe in the corner. Ralph stares at me daily. “Are you ever going to clean this place up?” His eyes search mine for an answer.

Above the left corner of my pub table is a small plaque which reads, “Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God.”

I put it there to tell me to be quiet because unless you remind me, I won’t.

I would take you elsewhere in this room, but it only gets worse.

The rest of this home reflects my idea of harmony. It soothes my eyes and reminds me of a career that spanned the better part of my life.

However, this messy olio where I sit now soothes my heart.

I find God’s whispers here along with memories captured in frames, poems and a child’s hat.

Even my coffee cups are treasures. A beauty that contains a bit of stale tea from yesterday was a Christmas gift from my granddaughter. The yellow Wonder Woman cup holding cold coffee was given to me by special friends when my daughter was sick and they thought us brave. I treasure it.

When my husband isn’t asking me how to spell something, I can lose myself in these words on paper and find myself when I look at those I love.

God put me in this cubby to remind me that beauty to the eye is not as beautiful as peace in the heart.

I adore the whispers I hear, and the mess I make. My ugly room is my favorite place in this house. It is where I belong. It is where my heart lies and my past and future collide.

Everyone has a special place. It could be a closet, a swing on the porch, a chair by a lake or the ugliest room in the house. It is there that you will hear the whispers in the silence. It is there that you will find true beauty and peace.

Visit it often.

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