Thursday, July 15, 2010
Place of refuge
I never lived in the house that my father lived in when he died. The family moved there forty years ago, when I was a freshman in college.
During the two weeks that we stayed there last month, I made one of the bedrooms into a refuge. I brought my computer, my IPod, a few books to read, my journal. My husband brought me one of his copies of The Runner's Bible, and I put it on the bedside table. I had a fan to drown all the noises of the house. I hung my clothes in the closet with our old prom dresses and my mom's furs, and wedding presents from the seventies. I put my makeup and vitamins and hair spray on the dresser. Every morning I opened the shades to let the sun in, and every night I closed them for privacy.
When I would get home at night from the hospital, I would be totally buzzed. Literally vibrating. Tired, sad, worn down to the bone, I would enter that room. The music would be playing, the fan would be blowing cool air. In bed I would meditate or read or whatever it took to calm down.
This room that had never been mine became mine so completely that I didn't want anyone to come in. I was as protective of that space as a teenage girl with a room full of secrets. It became my room in a house where I'd never had a room.
I'm grateful that I had that safe space during such a troubled time.