a room (of one’s own) with a view

2012-03-22 00.27.18

I have dreamed of this table by the window since I was a little girl.

A small wooden table, a simple wooden chair, and a second-story window looking out over a body of water, green hills, trees. It’s tucked away, and no one can see me in the window, when I look up from the page.

The dream writing desk, the one I picture when asked about my ideal, looks just like this. And here I am, with a morning free to write and reflect at the dream desk.

This is my last residency week as an MFA student. On Saturday, I’ll graduate in a small ceremony, in the company of the community that has made it possible, kept me going, fed me and cheered me and inspired me for over two years. My parents will be there, and my husband, each of whom has played a central role in my development as a writer.

I’ve been taking it all in a little more deeply this last week. I’m stopping to listen to birdsong on walks along the Whidbey Island bluffs. Watching a doe lead her wobbly babies across the path, on my way to breakfast. Laughing along with my friends during morning lectures, or sitting around the living room in the evening.

But especially, I am soaking in this chance to get up early in the quiet of this old Officer’s house, a creaking Victorian from the turn of last century. I crawl out of bed and sit down at the table, cleared except for a notebook. I watch the sunrise and I write like I used to when I was little, with a notebook on my knees on a suburban front stoop. Alone, unwatched, not expected anywhere, not expecting anything.

I like being ignored, in a way. I like to slip away after dinner, to be left alone to stare off into space or down at the page, uninterrupted. I think it’s this quality of slipping away that the dream desk embodies. It’s a perch place, a place of perspective. Whether it’s a front stoop or a simple table, it’s a place where I can observe and reflect unobserved.

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