The Perfect Wor[l]d - 07
I have often dreamed of my future life as a writer. I have envisioned myself in a silver campervan, the size of a transporter, with a pop-up roof and a side awning. Inside, the bare minimum: a bed, a table, food, coffee. No kitchenette, no toilet. I would park the van overlooking a beach, pull out my awning, set a table and chair (singular) and from morning till lunchtime you would find me sitting there: the smell of fresh coffee, silence, my laptop, and words. Lots of words. There are memories in me of camping under blue skies, the comfort of a tent, the familiar sound of a zip opening in the morning, the lulling of a boat, the washing up in a bowl while crouching somewhere; playing home I would call it. The morning banana milkshake with added Nesquik in dark blue melamine cups. Those carrier bags that contain anything, camping makeshift of the doorway to Narnia: sugar, socks, tinned tomato sauce, the top of your bikini, and something else you don't recognise. All is there and there is nothing else you need. Everything slightly oily and smelling of paraffin.
I remember me lying in the sun reading Narcissus and Goldmund, in German (coz you never know…) on a wavy rugged white concrete mooring; those waves still embedded in me. After, the first experiment of sleeping, living, new compromised rhythms, sharing a space, and finding your own space with the first real boyfriend. But before… oh, that smell of damp sacristy that some tents and awnings have: the sanctity of adventure, of home away from home. Playing cards, resolving crosswords, finding a new friend in the neighbour’s dog, and the impelling necessity of a nap at 5.30 in the afternoon. You experiment with food, music, clothing, mannerism, language. The world is an open library and you pick and choose anything and everything.
I think I felt always more comfortable sleeping in a tent, or campervan, or boat than actually in a house. This feeling of gipsytude in me, of days with no name, of not keeping time, not counting hours. The epitome of letting it be, que será, será and in the end who gives a shit. Then, the blues of needing to pack, planning the going back, which is more than just going back home or to work. It is the re-wearing of your old skin, your habits, your routines, the forged relationships, the pretending, and the lying. The unspoken and the boredom. The dread of being and hence the dread of going back. All dressed in that sense of shame for not having had the courage to really change anything in our lives. We allow ourselves to live a separate life, when on holiday. Then, back home, we look back at those days of a different us, with wonder and fascination and melancholy that at times turns into bitterness and judgement.
Instead, in my life as a writer, that’s the me I want to be. The always free, always unique, fully accepted and accepting, that woman who is allowed anything and everything. Because I am on a mental holiday, with a complete new series of responsibilities, and a full set of dark blue melamine cups.
I like to write with a view. The view doesn’t have to have people. It can be a window with closed curtains or overlooking a canal. In my Escentéa I have a room at the back.
The very first time I went to see the house, I checked every room and then, when already out in the street, I asked to go back in once more. I went upstairs, alone this time, and fell in love with the room and the view. I knew I would have wanted a desk, a comfortable chair and there, I thought, I will write. I will sit there and compose the best verses I could possibly imagine. They will be deep, intense, mesmerising, pure literature.
I never wrote a word there. I tore the horrendous dark blue wallpaper, I painted the walls grey, I changed the filthy blue carpet with some wooden laminate, I got the desk I wanted, the chair I wanted, and a bed for sporadic guests. But I have always felt scared of going in and sitting down. It has been 6 years now and only 2 weeks ago, when this conscious and responsive change in me begun, I actually sat there and journaled, sipping the morning coffee. I have felt that I was gaining control over my heart, soul, thoughts. And that I was claiming my space back. Not just as a superficial exercise, but physically, in volume. This is my space, this is my house, these are my rights. I felt empowered and actually happy to be sitting there.
The window faces west and overlooks the canal and the glass is covered by bubble wrap because I like the effect of the sun multiplying itself and dancing in the room. I can’t see.
I can hear and fortunately people pass by and don’t stop, here.
Today, instead, I am in a university library and I am sitting in front of a window.
I pulled the blinds.
There is silence, here.
The chairs are comfortable, there’s free water coolers and blankets, were I cold.
And, of course, books. So many books…
Me, a stationary gypsy.
© mtomat 2019 - written on 05.07.19 - no reproduction without permission.
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