Thursday, 10 January 2013

From The Wardrobe

The wardrobe was the perfect office space as well as the means of escape: time out. Doors opened wide, coats and jumpers pushed carelessly to one side; laptop set up with a drawer pulled out from the unit underneath as a balancing ledge for the keyboard. Wicker chair pulled up: are we sitting awkwardly? Yes, let's go! My fingers tap-tapping like a trained pianist's and racing ahead of me. Strange, the wardrobe was not impeding my creativity; staring at its solid back was, in fact, allowing it to flow.
Most afternoons during my extended Christmas holidays, I found myself here, camped out in the wardrobe. The open doors shielding me from noise and interruptions. My parents found it perfectly normal. What does that say about me or our family?! I've always liked squashing myself into unsuitable spaces. Occasionally Mum would pop her head in and each time I'd request green tea. Drinking cup after cup whilst my fingers tapped on the keyboard or my eyes read what I typed on the screen.
C.S. Lewis wrote: 'It's very foolish to shut one-self into any wardrobe.' But Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy didn't listen, so neither would I. The wardrobe was my portal: my entryway into a world of words, flashbacks and experiences. I confess in my Narnia I did not see tree branches covered with snow or an old-fashioned lamp post, but I was able to convey my thoughts for a short window. I recollected fragments of memories as if I was catching butterflies and managing to capture some of them on the page. I don't know how anyone writes surrounded by cafe culture: the brewing of coffee and chatter. Empty coats and jumpers seemed to suit my quieter nature.
As the day turned into evening, this working space once again became an ordinary wardrobe. I'd pull the clothing across, shut the drawer, close its wooden doors, and think no more about it. Perhaps this temporary custom was foolish, but one day I might put my success down to the back of a wardrobe.