Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Memory Room

I have lived here for nigh on a year.  We have completely redone the house from top to bottom, having, just over the holidays, laid a new floor throughout our home.

The only room, other than the old kitchen and laundry room (which will be done after Graham's woodworking shop is built) to not have one thing done to my office.

A friend commented, with some surprise...Your office feels so masculine.  I told him it was because for many years it was used by a male...someone who did not care much about decorating. And I told him it was on my list of things to do.

This morning, I sit here and look around, my eyes growing larger as I notice the sheer volume of stuff.  Very, very important stuff, to be sure...but where are the elves who sort and tidy, or the fairies who manage to hang pictures and photos just so?

They must be busy elsewhere.

My problem, when I attempt to tidy, is I get caught up in whatever I am tidying. This stuff is all interesting, otherwise I wouldn't have it, but much has been forgotten about it.

And so, when I find a thing I haven't seen for awhile, I reconnect to the memories and emotions associated with it. This can take much time, in fact, hours can go by spent in reverie.

But very little gets done, when I spend time thinking about my mess.

On my desk, for example, I have all the accoutrements that go with computers...but I also have pens and pencils, batteries, small stones and pebbles, staplers, smudging tools and dried herbs, thesaurus(3),cameras and cases, paintbrushes and paints, candles, stamps, paper for the printer, important research papers for articles unwritten as yet, calendars, eyeglasses and cases, a small cauldron used for ceremony, too many photos to count...and my bowl of licorice.

Sometimes, the licorice gets dusty. I have eaten my share of dust, when I am completely into writing.  One can tell, after one has chewed, that these small drops have been sitting in this dusty office for some time. Their taste changes.

All the previously mentioned items are on my desk. But all around it are boxes and totes, paintings yet to be hung...or not, picture frames, stacks of magazines, a pile of books and items to be sent on to the Coast, my old typewriter, and many very old cameras which I collect.

In simple terms, my office has turned into a catch-all.  When I unpacked, every item I could not immediately place elsewhere went into this one little room.

And since January has always been a time of new beginnings for me, I have decided it is time to become organized within my office once again.

Organization of the many things in here will make me feel much better.  I may not throw much out; in fact, I doubt anything will be discarded.

What I need, I think, is one of those Organizers who come to one's home...those ruthless people seen on TV who have no scruples about throwing out pebbles collected by a child many years ago...

I take that back...anybody who touches my collection of pebbles with the idea of discarding them will not like my reaction.

Those ruthless Organizers would probably also throw out the funny little stick which stands in a corner. It was one of the first gifts my stepson gave me and I use it as a Wand. Many, many memories are attached to its unassuming stance.

But you know what? My office is also my memory room. Stories are created here, from all these dusty things.

I need another in which mundane office items can be stashed, leaving room on my desk for the pebbles, feathers, photos, wands and candles. Leaving room for the muse to sit on a corner of my desk and visit for awhile.

As I look around, I notice my desk could be placed against the East wall.  I notice,as well, if I did this, there would be more room for those organizational cabinets I'm thinking of.

And I think of the lovely green I have picked for this North facing room.  It will feel like an extension of the Forest which begins just a few feet away. I imagine misty green
light from the Forest filtering through the window, washing its loving, cleansing sense throughout, finding hidden corners and turning them pristine.

This room will be like that, once I begin. But I am convinced in a year, it will once again be dusty, filled with books and magazines and stuff. Once again, Spider will weave her web in unseen places, her magical web catching words better placed on paper.

Yes. It will no doubt have items strewn about here and there.  No doubt a pile of books will be waiting to be sent to the coast. Wands and feathers and the like will still be here, creating stopping off places for Grandmother Spider.

But there is one thing I know for memory room will have feminine energy! 


  1. Your office sounds exactly like mine. It is full of things, things that define me. When I need a shot energy I just sit back and look around and something jumps out to me and I go over to it and feel what I was searching for. It is wonderful.

  2. As I read your ever so thoughtful entry, I found myself looking around my own office and thinking the same thing. My eyes stopped at various points to ponder the significance of the seemingly insignificant. The picture my daughter made me, the pillow that my dog uses when he lies by my feet, the special pen I use to play tic tac toe with our son.

    It's a little chaotic in here at times. But these things are so important to me that I can't help but be inspired as I work among them.

    Thank you for this timely reminder. Back I go to work... :)

  3. Anonymous10:15 a.m.

    Hello Marion,

    Your office seems just fine to me. We all have different notions of what is comfortable; some people would not be able to function in an office like yours, whereas like myself, some would not be comfortable in a sterile environment.

    What makes a home or an office ours is the extensions of ourselves in the space, the memories and the emotions we associate with things we can touch and see and smell.

    May you always be surrounded by love!

  4. I used to have an office much like the one you described--only mine overlooked a swimming pool. I first started blogging there. It seemed fitting to write there. Afterall, two professors and one noted Alabama author had also "officed" in the space.

    These days my "office" consists of a glass-top table supporting my Mac, a phone and assorted papers, which desperately need to be filed. One day I will again have an office worthy of mementos like yours.

    Nice piece of writing. Many good wishes for a great New Year of insights shared.

  5. Dave,

    I can't imagine an office any other way. Items which jolt my imagination and memory are crucial for me, when I write. But, inevitably, they collect dust, since when I'm in here...I write, lol, instead of searching for dusty objects.


    My previous office had all these things in it;I have added to the stuff with items which had no home when I moved. We're stuffed to the gills in here. I look forward to the day when the room's been done from top to bottom and the chaos has been reduced to a dull roar, lol!


    "What makes a home or an office ours is the extensions of ourselves in the space, the memories and the emotions we associate with things we can touch and see and smell."

    Exactly. Thank you!


    Well. How could you not write in your previous office...all that energy from the previous writers would have called you, even if you weren't a writer to start with!

    Any office is worthy of mementos. Even one that is in transition, such as the one you have now. I'll bet your office at work has one or two small items that mean a lot to you.

    And, I guess, if I had to write in a sterile office, I would have to pull the memories out of my head. It would be more difficult, but it could be done!

  6. Sounds to me as if you have your winter activities cut out for you. I once thought that it would be interesting to go around town taking pictures of peoples' desk tops. Just appear and do the photo with no cleaning up or arranging of stuff allowed. I would do this about 3 PM on a friday when there is bound to be maximum flotsom and jetsom about. Just a thought which you inspired!

    I can't imagine how cold it is up where you are. A Canadian front is due here thursday which will bring us to -5° F (I don't even want to know how low that is in °C!)

    I am burning all of the hickory I can split.

  7. Goatman,

    Ohhhh...on some days, if you got here and took a photo of my desk, or office, for that matter, at would seriously wonder where there would be room for a person to actually sit and work.

    Included in the mix of stuff, would be two hundred pound mutts taking up what little floor space there was left. A gruesomely disorganized photo!

    You've got that terrible Arctic Cold Front we had a couple of weeks ago coming your way...I was amazed at how cold cold can really be, with that weather. I don't believe the furnace ever shut off, during the day, and I left it set at 21C.

    Right now, it is incredibly balmy outside at -7. We are expected to warm up to 1 or 2C this weekend, with the amazing Sun shining in this deep blue Cariboo sky.

    If it's cold all the time, the body seems to grow accustomed.

  8. As my brother used to say when he lived in Minnesota: "cold is cold".
    I am surprised that you do not burn some wood for warmth. Keeps you warm three times my neighbor used to say. Cutting, splitting, and burning!

    Best to you and graham.

  9. Goatman,

    This house came with a gas fireplace. I love the heat from burning seems to encompass me with a warmth that can't be beat.

    The wood working shop will have a wood stove in it, and perhaps we will also put one in in the house...with acres of Forest surrounding us, we would certainly never run out of wood.

    I remember very well being warm three times,in a previous life, but I think you may have forgotten the stacking of the Wood. As I found out, when I lived by myself, there is a definite art to stacking Wood!