One of the things on my ‘to do’ list for a very long time is to set up a writing space where I can actually write on my desktop computer. I know that if I ever want to write a book or do freelance writing, I need a space that is conducive to real work. Although it might seem I could pound out a few hours squeezed between my dog and two cats on my chaise lounge, it’s not really realistic. So …. drum roll, please .. I set up my writing space today. Yes!!! Yes!!! Yessssssssss!!!
For many, many years I had a recurring dream that haunted me even when I was awake. It was one of those dreams that was so vivid and real that I often woke up and wondered what part of it was real and what part was just fantasy. There was something in it – and in its effect on me – that sparked an inner knowing that it had a message for my soul. It’s been many years since I’ve had the dream, but I thought about it today, and I thought about in reference to creating a new space in my bungalow here in Baton Rouge.
This particular dream was always the same. I owned a that had one story with a basement. The first floor was the floor where I lived. Sometimes I was married, and my husband lived there with me. I had it decorated, and I felt very comfortable among my things. But there was always an entrance to the basement that was rather dark and dirty. It was often unfinished and sometimes covered in mud and very thin boards that looked unnavigable. In the dream, I’d go down the dark stairway with some trepidation and was stunned and amazed at what I found.
It was like a movie set from the Titanic or something. Cobwebs hung on fabulous chandeliers. It was massive. Room after room stretched at least 3 times the size of the upper floor. There was always a ballroom furnished with beautiful and opulent furnishings and fabulous floors. Oriental rugs, beautiful artwork and functional and comfortable furnishings were completely untouched except for the dust of neglect. I always felt that the basement was the more beautiful space, but I felt so overwhelmed by all of the work that would need to be done to revive it.
As I walked through the basement, I felt was guilt and a huge sense of loss. My heart hung heavy because I could not imagine using all of that space, and it sat there in all its grandeur, dead to my world. And I owned it!!! It was mine. As I progressed through my personal work after my second marriage ended, I realized that this basement symbolized the part of me that I had neglected. It was the part of my soul that felt too big and too overwhelming to touch. And, maybe, in some sense I didn’t think I deserved anything that beautiful. So, I buried it in the basement of my soul. My procrastination and fear at looking at that historical stuff was signified by that decaying and filthy pathway that led to those riches. It was unattractive and literally quite scary. But once I started to explore my own interior design, I could see that it could be beautiful with a lot of work. I haven’t had that dream in many years. I like to think that I began to live in all of the rooms of my house.
After I completed my project today, I was reflecting on the journey to living in all of the rooms of my house today. I’ve wanted to do this, but I think in some way, I didn’t want to make the commitment. Maybe I was afraid if I really made the space, I’d have to ‘be a writer’, and I would fail. Or maybe it wouldn’t make me happy. It was somehow easier to make excuses and leave this front room of my house as a guest room for guests that rarely ever came. Almost as soon as I started the Artist’s Way, I committed to moving that bed out of the guest room and creating my space. And, last week, my massage therapist sent out an email that she had a desk for sale. I knew it was mine, and I knew it was time.
My brother Sammy and his wife helped me move the bed to my parents’ house. Momma has wanted a nice grown-up bed in their guest bedroom since my nieces and nephews have started to outgrow the bunk beds. She and I took the bunk beds to my sister Susan’s house in Cottonport for her grandkids. The bed my parents now have originally belonged to my Aunt Willie who gave it to my paternal Grandfather. It’s been making the rounds in our family for at least 3 generations. I hated to let it go, but I knew I needed to make the space and create some movement. And, let’s face it, it created a domino effect that helped fill a need for all of us.
So, this is my first blog in my new space. My cats aren’t frustrating me by laying on my laptop. Buster is in my lap, and Bella is purring contentedly in the bookcase on top of the yoga blankets. Ashok is still in the living room although I have a bed here for her. The energy feels different in here. I feel more focused. I hear different noises, and it’s definitely easier to write on a large screen. I need a lamp with softer lighting, and I need to get a futon or some solution for guests. I’m in the market for something used and in good condition. I feel sure it will show up just when I need it.
I wonder what will happen in this room. I wonder if doors will open, and air will move. Even though it’s dark now, I know the sunlight will be warm and cozy. I need some Kleenex for the inevitable tears. I hope to fill this room with things that I love, and I most definitely want it to love me. For the last year and a half, the door to this room has been closed, and I’ve used it as a storage room. It’s been dead in the sense that I didn’t enter here except when I had to. Just like in my dream, I want to live in all of the rooms of my house. And I hope that this room … this new space that I’ve opened up … will be the grandest part of my house. I hope it is the place where I expand and grow beyond my wildest dreams. My heart is filled with gratitude for the Artist’s Way, my family, my massage therapist’s timely gift and all of the tiny gifts that made this happen. Throw back the curtains, Dahlin’…. I’m home.