One of my favorite spaces to create each time I move is my “office.” There was a time when that was a literal term. I did a lot of work at home for the literacy institute I worked for, and then the reading program that I wrote for (Hi, Janet! I love you!). Now, though, my office has a lot less to do with work and a lot more to do with writing, reading, dreaming, and staring out of the window.
The office space that I created in our Massachusetts house was lovely. The room is tiny, and its walls are a buttery yellow with white trim. I had tchotchkes and flying ladies and books in every space. It felt homey, and cozy, and comfortable. I have been sad to think about losing it, but I began to gradually move all of the bits and pieces to the New York house about a year ago, and the disassembling actually made it easier to let go.
The one thing I knew I needed so that I could pull the space together was the desk. My stepfather built the desk in my Massachusetts’ office, and as much as I love it, it won’t fit in the new room. (We’re keeping it, and Larry will have the benefit of its awesomeness now.) Larry and I talked about him building me a new one, and then yesterday, poking around in a shop in Vermont, et voila!
I don’t know exactly why the desk is so paramount, but there is something about a beautiful and serviceable writing surface (or, as in right now, typing surface) that makes me happy. This one absolutely glows in the light (well, now it does…it required a fair bit of cleaning…) and is perfectly imperfect. The surface is one large piece of pine, about three inches thick. The edges are in varying states of roughness, and at the back, there’s a chunk taken out on the left side.
But I can sit at the desk, tucked in the bay window of the room, and watch the sun sink behind the mountain to the north. I can sit at the desk and watch deer and wild turkeys cross from the hill behind the house to the woods across the street. From my vantage point, surrounded by windows on three sides, I can watch the headlights of cars approach and pass, briefly illuminating the darkness. I can watch the twin fir trees wave as the wind buffets the house.
And I can see the pool. Swamp? Frog-breeding ground?
We really need to decide what we’re doing about that…
But that’s okay. Because I have my desk.