Monday, July 19, 2010

In Place

Laura Barkat suggested a simple blog post – write something in place – the place where you write – and post it.

I thought about it, and decided to say a little about “the place” where I write. Actually, it’s two places.

If I’m writing at home, I’m facing the screen of a desktop computer. On a shelf just above are some classical music CDs (Mozart, mostly) and books about cycling, like Cycling Past 50 (as in age, not speed) and Distance Cycling. Sharing that same shelf is a bust of Abraham Lincoln and a lithograph of his home in Springfield, Ill. (my Confederate forebears would be horrified) and a photo of the Charles Bridge I bought from a street vendor in Prague eight years ago.

To my right is an in-basket and a rack of CDs (all kinds of music), the place where I keep bills to pay, a CD-radio and a tray of office stuff like post-it notes and paper clips. Behind me is the rest of a bedroom that used to belong to my oldest son. The walls are bare.

If I’m writing at work, I face a computer screen much like the one at home (same brand). The shelf above includes various binders and a dictionary, style book and a displayed silk handkerchief from Korea, the gift of a visitor. To my left are family photographs and standing file folders, behind which is one of the coveted windows of a coveted closed-door office. However, 90 percent of the view from my window is the outside smoking section for the building, so having a window may not be what it’s cracked up to be.

To my right is my LSU football helmet pen-and-pencil holder, more family photographs, two license plates pinned to the bulletin board (one reads “BAMA” and the other reads “1 Elvis” and is a real license plate from Tennessee; both are long stories). On the walls are a framed print of the Gettysburg Address I bought years ago at the Lincoln Memorial; a print of “Stump Speaking” by George Caleb Bingham; a print of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel; two gorgeous photographs taken (not by me) in the Arkansas Ozarks; a framed poster of Earth Day 1990; and a framed photo montage of the Choccoloco Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant Project (related to the BAMA license plate).

Writing in two
places becomes
the writing of two
places; the songs
of a heart; the
poetry of a life.


Anonymous said...

I love that poem. :)

M.L. Gallagher said...

What a wonderful view of your world.

and yup -- great poem!

Maureen said...

When I was a child I memorized quite a bit that Lincoln wrote. He was the closest I've come to having a hero. I was born and live in Virginia but am completely lacking in Southern roots, so it's ok. I'm glad you appear to like him, too.

L.L. Barkat said...

oh boy, this is rich. There are places within places here. I hope that over time you unveil them to us.

The single most striking "place"...

your son's room, with the bare walls.

Deep breath...

Kelly Langner Sauer said...

the poem... perfect.

A Simple Country Girl said...

I love Elvis so I hope you have a story that sings details of the license plate. "Choccolocco" rolls off the tongue about like Walla Walla...wonder if they are cousins? Anyway, I frequently hear the term "waste water treatment plant" in my environmental manager husband's lingo so it is interesting to find it here too.

It is amazing how the little details of our life can be pinned to the wall, while other snip-its live in our hearts. Either way, they connect us, on to another.


katdish said...

I write in a room that is a light shade of lime green, red couch, black and white accents. There are many things in here that would come as no surprise to anyone--my National Sarcasm Society sign ("Like we need your support"), various other snarky little signs that make me smile ("Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy"). But I also have a wall of books, home made gifts from both my kids, notes of encouragement from kind friends. Perhaps the most surprising thing in my writing space is a picture in a very prominent place. A picture I look at often. I don't guess I have many heroes, but the subject of this picture is one of them. Audry Hepburn.

Anonymous said...

i think it is.

the listening

the quietness

within a heart


the songs of a heart

the poetry of a life

Linda said...

It is fun to get a tiny peek into your world. I think both places sound like comfortable, homey places to write - places that give insight into who you are.
Thank you so much for your kind comment Glynn. It made my day!

Kathleen Overby said...

Fun to picture it.

Sandra Heska King said...

Oh, thanks for a peek into your space(s).

I love this: Writing in two places becomes the writing of two places.

The heart can sing in many places.