I’m sitting here in my “office,” which horrifically consists of me, sideways in my bed, back against the wall, laptop on my lap, and at least a dozen books spread haphazardly around me. There’s a cozy couch staring at me from the other side of the room, but for some reason, it seems more complicated than sleeping on a mound of books. It also lacks the added charm of my claimed space; an over laden bookshelf within arms reach. I find the stacks of books inspiring and, more importantly, I have a space to set my iced tea and cell-phone.
A few talismans sit there: a ceramic “cat-fish” (an orange tabby with a goldfish tail) holding a black pearl and gazing up at me sweetly. An offering. A pearl of wisdom. I feel obliged to make the most of this extraordinarily generous gift.
A tiny elephant, carved out of ivory, it’s tusks long ago broken and lost, stands proud, reminding me of the gift of irony and the importance of hard work.
Photos stare down at me as well: My four year old self, with fingernails painted a pale shade of pink, who still has all the world in front of her. She prompts me, precociously, that I am no different today. The world is at my feet. I must simply reach down and pick it up.
My favorite picture is a tiny, framed shot of my sister and I, kissing my mother on the cheek. Her expression defies words. But she seems suddenly like a child. Laughing, surprised by life, and in love with the newness of the world. I am silently challenged to see the world through new eyes.
Nearly a hundred books tower stacked on top of the bookcase, nearing the ceiling. I can read the titles, see their colorfully designed covers, but they are far out of my reach. Unless, I stand up on my bed and stretch for them. A reminder that nothing is really out of my reach, it only appears that way.
All of this, and I somehow feel ready to write. The chaos swirling until it envelops me and gently squeezes words onto the page. My “office” becomes my conduit, my shelter and my muse. Urging me forward, step by step into the unknown, until my steps become surer and I realize I am happily lost in my words, unaware of my surroundings and have stepped through the looking glass into wonderland.