spring break break

I took a few days off from blogging and from academic work … hadn’t planned to take a break, but I’m glad I did.

What did I do? I sorted through the chaos in my home office while re-watching the first season of Slings & Arrows, courtesy of Netflix.

The words “home office” don’t sum up this room.

The walls are painted a rich tourmaline green – a jewel color that is allegedly the color of the belly of a dragon – a fun fact I discovered long after I’d painted the walls. I chose the color purely because I love being surrounded by it.

In the corner, there is a huge collapsing arm chair that was in my grandmother’s upstairs den – I used to camp out in it and watch her tiny B & W TV after riding the school bus to her house. She lived off Mappsville square, next to Burton’s grocery store. I would get off the bus, walk across the square, into her garage and up the stairs into her house. In the kitchen she had change squirreled away in a cabinet and I would take just enough to go next door and buy a cold Coke and three Hostess cupcakes … the chocolate kind with white filling. I’d eat the cupcakes and drink my Coke curled up sideways in the armchair watching Gilligan’s Island or Merv Griffin or some other goofy afternoon show.

Can you tell I’m from rural Virginia? Nothing better than a cold Coke and Hostess cupcakes at 4 in the afternoon.

Now the chair rules a corner of my green room. I can meditate in it. I can read in it. The dog likes to sleep there. I’ve taken naps in it. I have to keep something soft under it or the sprung springs gouge the wood floor.

I also have a black metal file cabinet (almost full) and an old CD player and my books. Lots of books. On the walls … art I love. A Laura Loe painting of a girl standing next to the ocean, a paper/paint construction that an east German artist gave me as a thank you years ago. There’s a museum poster of a 19th century photograph … an empty boat on a river … that floats over my desk. A couple of frogs sit on my desk – one bought while I was grieving a failed relationship – I remember that I wanted skin as thick as a horned toad’s. The other frog was a gift from a Mexican taxi driver / tour guide when I was eleven and on a family vacation.

My desk is a drop-leaf kitchen table that my mom refinished before I was born. I think it was their first kitchen table.

Best of all, I’ve sorted the paper and created space in here – physical space and mental space. For now, rain outside the window, a dog sleeping in my grandmother’s chair, Bach on the CD player, a computer I’m about to put away. It was a good break!


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