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May 12, 2010

A Room Of One's Own

Today a film crew came to spend the day documenting me - the anticipation of which was occasion enough to reflect upon how I might imagine a portrait of my daily life might look. What I do is no mystery, but where I do it - that is up for grabs. In my head I see a great deal of burnished wood. It makes up the floors and the walls, the table and chairs, and the bookshelves that sculpt the space into tall corridors. These are full of books, with just enough empty spaces to suggest that they're made use of, and not for show. More volumes are stacked on the floors, and scattered here and there. On the desk is my computer, and lots of paper and mail (and more books). Off axis from the desk is another work table upon which some sort of miniature world exists; a stop-motion set, a trove of texture and detail and expression. Some film equipment is set up to capture it - a camera on a tripod, some lights burning with tungsten embers. These are in fact the only lights in the place, and their warm glow cascades outward in diminishing rays, giving body to the encroaching shadows and suggesting in the dimmest recesses a flickerless sort of candlelight.

Such a space takes time to establish, alas, and my peripatetic life of late has not allowed for it; in its place, I have a room with teak floors and white walls, and windows that let in light even after the sun has set. I have a table with a computer on it, and some hard drives, and if I dig through the trash I might find some old notes or sketches to scatter about. I have whatever book I'm reading, and nothing else. Generally speaking, it's enough, but it isn't me.

The film crew predicted my dilemma, and went to lengths to assuage it; I'm not sure when the results will be finished, but I look forward to seeing them. And as for this room I'm in now, as I write this - I'll be abandoning it for good soon, and heading back to Texas, to the girl I love and our new home, which is indeed our own and which I'll be able to fill with many things, the least of which is a lifetime's worth of literature. It'll be good to be back.

Posted by David Lowery at May 12, 2010 12:03 AM