New room, old books.

7 Nov

Virginia Woolfe said in one of her books that if a woman is to write fiction, she needs a room of her own.

I now have such a room. I painted the walls sage green, bought a light yellow quilt bed spread, white, vintage book shelf and green bed stand. The rug I bought is white and fuzzy. It matches the ridiculously fuzzy large white pillow I also bought that looks like something out of Monsters, Inc., but I love it. It is clutter free and quite tranquil. I sit right now on the fuzzy rug (I’ve always believed in having cozy rugs under foot) with the fuzzy pillow at my back watching the morning sunlight float through the white curtains. I woke this morning for the first time in the room wondering where I was for a moment, forgetting that I now lived in such loveliness. Everything is soft and pretty. I didn’t know one could love a room so much as I love this one. Just being in it puts me in a better mood. I believe Woolfe wrote true about needing a room of ones own even in a literal sense. Here in this room, writing seems not so much difficult as natural. The room gives words room to breathe and move around. I can shut the door. I can shut everything out but the world I wish to put on paper. She’s absolutely right. Women do need a room of their own, and now that I have one, perhaps I will write more often.

Yesterday I did something painful. I collected books in a laundry basket to give away. In other words, I’m getting rid of them. For many years I believed I would never get rid of my books. I would save them, like a chipmunk, for my entire life so that some day when I have lots and lots of money I would build a library to store all my books. And it would be magnificent. But I realized as I looked at how much money I’ve made over the past year, a pathetically low sum to be sure, that riches will never be in my foreseeable future and by extension, a mahogany library. I was sad. But I accepted my fate and slowly took out each book from my bookshelf, one by one, as puffs of dust flew into the air and my nostrils, and as I sneezed, a pang rippled threw me as I considered whether to put the book in the “Give away” pile or the “Keep” pile. By the time I finished, the laundry basket, the “Give away” pile, was full and almost too heavy to carry. Some person will enjoy these, I tried to tell myself. It was a kind thing to do to give away these books. But the whole time I couldn’t help but feel vicious, as if I would rooting up flowers with a spade instead of weeds. How could I get rid of these? In the end, I did. They’re gone and so too is my dream of a library, but somehow it leaves me feeling like I did a very mature, adult kind of thing. And anyways, I now have my room. It’s a consolation.

 

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