Thursday, October 29, 2009

In My Room

As I convert more of my home into working space, my bedroom has become my refuge. Its shelves are crammed with books and personal mementoes, among them a trussed, scarified Barbie doll from my Voodoo-inspired Venus In Hell exhibition, a miniature chess set, necklaces of bones, beads and glass, peacock feather earrings, a Moroccan bowl overflowing with a collection of sex toys, an old, painted Balinese buddha head enhanced with a spiked leather choker, photographs with diaristic, hand-written inscriptions, a Blyth doll given to me by a couple of favourite collectors, my private journals – even a glow-in-the-dark plastic Holy Mary.
Until a couple of years ago, all these possessions would have felt like unbearable clutter. I would have given them away or packed them in boxes. Now, I find them comforting. My bedroom is a cocoon. It's familiar, filled with things I love from people and places I love.


Aaron B. Brown said...

I remember when I had a place like that, my own space surrounded by the stuff one collects over a lifetime, a plastic container full of baby teeth that mom saved for me. A box full of concert shirts from the 80s, a collection of underwear quietly lifted from the various women I've known who were special to me, my motorcycle which had its own special illuminated space next to a large mirror so it could admire itself :-), some tracer bullets from my friend Didi's Galil that I brought back from Israel in 1981. A chair by my bed put together from a McArthur Dairy milk crate and a car seat from a Nissan 200 SX brought home from my job. Albums from mom's record collection I inherited stacked in old orange crate that I had forever. Magazines I'd been saving since I was a teenager. Suzie's shoes that she left in my apartment when she came down from New York. Always a pack rat I never threw anything or anyone away.

No matter what happened in my life, I always had that space to come back to, a place where I was safe and in control, home base where nothing and no one could touch me without my consent. If I didn't want to answer the phone or the door I didn't have to. Sleep my days away undisturbed in peace and slip out late at night to ride the empty highways till sun up.

All gone now, along with all my friends and most of my family. I exist now in someone else's space, surrounded by monitors and hard drives, fans and an air conditioner on the floor next to my bed. A new piece of hardware or nine pin FireWire cables show up almost daily, adding to the ever-growing EM field which I am now continually saturated by, to the degree that I'm sure it's having a deleterious effect on my various bodily systems.

I only have one window in my little room, bent Venetian blinds and a couple of college graduation gowns used as makeshift curtains. I'm not sure how I got here, but I'm certain of one thing, this isn't my life, this is the life I woke up to one day, the life I was relegated after mine was untimely ripped from beneath me.

How I long for that space and those things that were all my own, so far away in my mind now I can hardly remember what it felt like to be in that space, and for that I'm thankful because such memories can become a kind of torture, thankful at last for failing memory.

I tell myself I should be grateful, but I'm not.

faunawolf said...

My room in any home I have lived in has always been as such. A place of comfort and seperation, where only those I invite in can come and where I can expect to be found in some sense, even when I'm not in it.

of Marilyn Grad said...

Thank you for providing a synonym for my cluttered mess. Cocoon feels much better. There actually is comfort living a cocoon except when I can't find things.
I must thank you again for all your profound and inspiring tweets. I actually have acknowledged and credited two of them in separate blog posts. I hope you don't mind.

I enjoy all your written and painted creations.