Nest of Silence and Loveliness
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that my study has been under construction for the last couple of weeks.
We're long overdue in getting the flooring in to match the rest of the house. Rob installed it room by room, but when we got to the study a couple of years ago, well, the books just seemed so heavy. And so many. But as part of my holiday, we hauled them all out and put them in the living room. Where they have been for the last couple of weeks. So, long story short, the flooring is in, the walls painted, and the new bookshelves assembled. I pared down my collection, using the criteria, "will I ever open this book again?" And now I am left with the books I really love and want to read again, or will at least refer to some day, I'm certain.
I'm a really firm believer that we don't need anywhere fancy to write. And yet....it's good to have a "room of one's own." It's good to have one's own space. I've written my books at kitchen tables, and in the corner of our bedroom. I've written outdoors. I've never written at cafes, but I see how that can work for some people. I've quoted from Jospeh Campbell before, as has Austin Kleon, more famously,
"You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen."
Kleon calls his space, "the bliss station," which is from Campbell, as well.
Many of us think of our spaces as our "room of one's own" but I've come to think of mine as a nest of silence, from the poem:
Can I Weave a Nest of Silence
by May Sarton
The phoebe sits on her nest
Hour after hour,
Day after day,
Waiting for life to burst out
From under her warmth.
Can I weave a nest of silence,
weave it of listening,
Layer upon layer?
But one must first become small,
Nothing but a presence,
Attentive as a nesting bird,
Proffering no slightest wish
that might happen or be given,
Only the warm, faithful waiting,
contained in one’s smallness.
Beyond the question,
Before the answer,
I was delighted when speaking with a friend about my room under construction, when she referred to such spaces as "nests of loveliness." Which is pretty perfect, too.
I'm fortunate in that I have a bit of an art collection in the house to select from, and these were the pieces (above) that are speaking to me most loudly at the moment. They were hanging in another room, but I think work quite well in this one for now.
I suppose it all looks a bit precious and tidy at the moment. I don't imagine that will entirely last, but I am one of those people who writes better in order than in chaos.
It's a work in progress, but so far, feels like a place where I might weave a nest of silence.