When I was a little girl, my father brought me to the paint store and let me pick out the color for my room. I had a silver carpet and chose a light shade of lilac. When he was done, I walked into my finished room and felt that I had stepped into a room made of clouds. The silver carpet reflected hues of lilac and my white furniture seemed to make the whole room powdery. I fell in love with my little sanctuary.
Growing up I needed that sanctuary. The chaos of dysfunction and alcoholism ravaged my home and family like a ravenous beast sent to search out and destroy anything happy. I’d close my door and let my room comfort me.
At night, when the moon was full and bright, my room became another world entirely, the colors seemingly made for moonlight. I would climb up to the windowsill at night and pretend that I had a comfy window seat. My scrawny five-year old self at the time easily fit on the normal sill, so in reality it was a window seat.
I would stare for hours at my backyard, at my swing set still and illuminated. Where I lived there was nothing around but woods. Sometimes, if I were lucky, a deer and her fawn would venture out into the cleared yard, or a group of bunnies would frolic beneath the moon.
My favorite time was winter. I would perch at the window, like my cat, and watch the falling snow, hearing the infinitesimal hush as the flakes found the ground. Everything was silent when it snowed. My room became even more mystical when there was snow on the ground and the Moon would grace me with her presence.
My childhood room made me into an artist. While the war waged on the other side of the door, my room was my sanctuary from violence, anger and hatred. I found peace and serenity in that room and sometimes when I dream at night I visit my safe house.
My room now reflects who I am as an individual. Four cork boards hang on the wall facing my bed. They are filled with pictures of places I want to visit, scenes that are serene and mystical. One is filled with random clippings from magazines with words like “words can change the world” and “Let your imagination be free.” Though I find the secret a bit hokey, one would say that they are vision boards. For whatever reason, they keep me in line.
I have my dry erase calendar marked up with things to do, things to accomplish, things to think about.
There is a small table resting in the inset next to my bed. Littered with seashells, beach glass and candles, it is a small attempt to claim serenity. There is a crystal lotus votive that sits in front of a mirror. A small Buddha carved from Jade that I found on a chance encounter with a down and out street fair when I myself was down and out, rests on one of the petals of the lotus, and below him a silver cross from a necklace my grandmother had given me. I stare at my little shrine like altar, watching the silver swirl of incense as it curls around my flower. Serenity.
My mother had a CD library that looked like a new age book-store, a relief I found when I came home to live with her after practically living on the streets. The little CD player by my bed plays Chopin or meditation tunes. There are only two windows in my room, both are small and set up high in the corner where my bed rests. When the moon is out, and when I need her the most, she hovers high in the sky. She and the stars are the only thing I see at night. I don’t need a window seat, I can see the sky from the comforts of my bed.
When I first came here, when I finally reconnected with my mother after living the down and out life, the first things out of my mouth were, “it feels like home.”
I have spent many years as a troubled and angry child. What happened on the other side of the door began to sneak into my dreams years after, and the only thing it elicited was rage and confusion.
Things are different now. And while I do try to work through my past, sometimes at night he calls my name and brings me back. I look at my Buddha, I stare at the moon, and I remind myself that RIGHT NOW, in this present day, I am home and what lies on the others side of the door is not unknown or known danger. What lies on the other side of my door is opportunity, peace, comfort, love, and the world waiting for me to come out and play.