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Keeping Track

A room of one’s own.

It was spoiled of me. Self-indulgent. I thought I should be able to write anywhere and at anytime and I would not trick myself with stupid rituals and all the other trappings of « being creative. » Also the Bukowski poem, space and light, echoed in my head.

But Bukowski was a white man with few responsibilities, not a mother.

Without a room of my own, I was writing. But there was the constant interruptions. My desk was where I pay the bills and where the banality of everyday life collected in doom-filled to-do lists. My desk was in the bedroom I share with my partner. He often slept longer and I had to wait for him to exit the room.

I get up early when everyone else in the house is asleep usually occupying all the other rooms besides the kitchen (as I type this : my mother is in her bedroom, my partner where I have my desk, two children sleep in another room, another child has taken over a fourth room, and the final child sleeps on a fold-out couch in the living room).

I want to be alone in some space that holds only me and my thoughts. I wander around the kitchen and the yard thinking, can I write here ? I tried a few times in lawn chairs, at the kitchen table—but then others woke up, come in, ask for coffee, and again distraction. Life. Tasks. Planning meals. Transportation.

So I have decided to indulge myself.

I was going to buy a garden shed. I saw a picture of Roald Dahl in his. I looked online and searched…But garden sheds are not really cheap. Plus complications with the sloping ground of the yard and electricity.

Then I remembered my garage (really just an area where a bamboo roof slopes away from the wall of the house). But in one corner there is a tiled roof and an extra wall to keep out the rain and wind. I have years of stuff piled in storage in this corner because there is also a cement floor.


Six trips to the dump.
Cleaned the corner out and imagined the space into being.

All it needed was one low wall with a large window facing east : morning light.
One wall with a door (which locks) facing south.
The other two walls, north and west, were already there.
A little insulation on the ceiling, a few coats of paint.

A room of my own.

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