Saturday, June 8, 2013


In my mind I am already there, a soft morning light falling across my desk as I write before the family wakes, the silence broken only by the occasional sound of pounding on the pavement of the most dedicated early morning runner.

I am writing - not a blog post or letter of apology or excuse, but something that will allow me to claim 'writer' without feeling fraudulent - and I can do this because for the first time since I got married and moved away and had more babies than anybody I know I have a room of my own.

In this room there are books. Not all the books, just the ones I need to keep close as I put words on the page. On the wall hang quotes to inspire, ones that won't make me cringe and remind me that this can only be something happening inside my mind.

I look at the canvas I bought yesterday as a gift for my grandmother (of the sort my husband would not hesitate to call twee, a favourite insult). "Joy" it says, the letters of her name strung across a washing line to dry in the sun rather than tossed without ceremony (or love) into the dryer. I look at this canvas and know that I really bought it for myself, to hang in a room that has been drawn but not built or even approved by a City who has more than enough women who would be writers. And I see how ridiculous it is, bought at Target for $14.99 in a section marked homewares not art.

I think about the author featured in the New York Times last weekend, the one who writes  sitting on the floor atop a small cushion inside a cupboard that has had its door removed. He has inspirational quotes pinned to the wall, but not of the sort found at a big box store bought by a middle aged woman trailed by children she can barely contain let alone control. His quotes are hand written by friends who are also artists and writers, who have something to say that will never be sneered at and described as twee.

I think about this room of my own, a room that already exists inside my mind. As I write I try to shut the non-existent door on the noise that is building throughout the house, the demands for my attention and services coming at me from all directions. I speak without the smallest hint of joy to my husband who wants me to make a phone call about the goldfish who need to be housed before we take our trip, fish I would happily flush down the toilet and replace on our return if it meant that I could keep sitting right here putting words on the page.

I think about this room of my own that no longer exists only in my mind but is now part of a plan going to the City and I know that 'JOY' will hang here, mocking me as I reach again for the delete key. And reminding me of a grandmother far away, who sits in a new room she has been told to call her own in a place she will never call home, a mind fading, scrambled and unable to find the light.

I think of Joy. And I know that there is a story to be told.