All right, folks. How is everyone doing today?
Seriously. Text me, call me, email me, messenger-pigeon me, I would love to hear from everyone.
I am a naturally introverted person, so this whole stay-inside-and-don’t-see-anyone thing is probably easier for me to adjust to than most (looking at you, Sabes), but even I have my limits. I haven’t had physical contact with another human being in five days. That is difficult.
Today, though, I’m thinking about words. In particular I’m thinking about the phrase “Shelter in Place”. There is of course the directive meaning: you must remain in your location until safety is achieved. But there is also the descriptive meaning: to find comfort in a given space.
This second meaning is what I’m focusing on today. I grew up sharing a room until I was maybe 11 or 12 (correct me if I’m wrong here), and as soon as I got the space all to myself, I set about making it mine. I hung my posters on the walls – the animal posters, the reading posters, and, of course, the Lord of the Rings collage. I organized all three million of my stuffed animals by family and alliance on the top bunk of the bed. I arranged my knickknacks in a pleasing fashion complete with silk flowers.
I was a weird kid, what can I say, but that nesting desire stayed with me.
In high school, I shared a room again for four years. I kept my side of the room as clean as possible, but added my own particular flair. I always kept my books organized (last name of author for fiction, Dewey decimal for non-fiction), I hung various flags from the wall (provided by an older brother who may or may not have stolen them from his boarding school…), and I hung my old Arsenal scarf over the door.
High school was stressful and competitive and exhausting, but having control over my half of the room, having a sense of place even in those trying times was extremely important.
Flash-forward to now (college deserves its own saga about how I’m never EVER sharing a room with ANYONE ever again). I’m sitting in my room, both shades are open letting in the sun. Above my head is Phillipa Potts (my philodendron). I now have three full bookshelves: one for fiction and graphic novels, one for non-fiction and my mystery section; and the third for my children’s and YA collection plus all the journals I’ve kept for the past 16 years. Everything in my room has been carefully selected and cultivated, has been brought on a cross-country trip, everything resonates with a feeling of comfort and home.
This is my place of shelter. It is where I work and sleep and read and dream. I find a great sense of peace that even if I lost all my belongings – my Arsenal scarf, my great-grandmother’s typewriter, my oldest and dearest friend, Slow Bear – I still have the capacity to make a home of wherever I am. I carry belonging and peace within me, and I can project it onto any space.
So that makes me feel okay.
But still, give me a call, text, email, whatever. I want to hear from everyone!
Much love and may you all find shelter in whatever place you are,
P.S. Here’s Scout.