A few quick shots from today —
This is what I wake up to every morning. White. My room is all white — white walls, white ceiling, white curtains, white doors and white fixtures. When I first arrived, my uncertainties caused me to the link all the surrounding white to an institution, but as I’ve grown comfortable, I associate this white place with refreshing warmth.
This white room makes me feel safe. I can come here at any time and it’s all mine. I can look out the window and see all the neighborhood happenings, of people walking dogs and pushing strollers and listening to music. I can crash here with warmth and silence after a long day.
I was just thinking this evening of the first feeling I got when I entered the room. A while back I showed how a room tells a story about the person that inhabits it.
I love that a person’s physical and mental presence can be felt in a space, even if they are not physically present, simply by the objects in the room. I will never forget the feeling upon entering my grandparents’ old house and seeing the coffee table — it always had a game on it, and always a game that Grandpa would play. I still get chills when I see the coffee table with a game on it, even after it’s been moved to a new room in a different place. To me, that coffee table holds part of Grandpa’s story, no matter where it is.
But this room — when I entered this room, I couldn’t attach it to anything. All of the white left a void, all clues erased of who the former occupants could have been. There are the typical nail holes on the wall, and spots of red wax indicating a candle’s burning. Other than those clues, I’ve been left to wonder.
I’ve been creating my own story for this room of mine. Sure, I don’t spend a lot of time in it, but it is something for me: my first place in New York, a spot of independence, and a home far away. I don’t think I could ever forget the events of the night I got here. After sitting in the lobby at the airport guarding my suitcases and waiting for time to pass, I took a cab here. I felt too sick from the long cab ride to feel any excitement. After a half hour, the cab dropped me off at my place. Perched atop my suitcase on the front stoop in the cold, I waited to be let in. Twenty minutes passed and finally I was relieved.
I began unpacking my things — slowly, with some uncertainty. Could I make it here? I tried not to get too comfortable. All the things left in the room — the bed, the lamp, lampshade, and nightstand — they were all white, too. The bed was stripped bare and I realized I had nothing to sleep with. I absorbed my new surroundings for a while before turning out the light and falling asleep in my coat, covered with a towel in place of a blanket. Here I was.
There is a certain philosophy about rooms that I have learned over the past years from frequent moves. That is, it is easier for rooms to hold feelings than possessions, as feelings are better to carry. They are steadfast and lightweight. They withstand time, distance, weather and can be kept safe in your mind. I brought 38 pounds of my life with me in a suitcase to this place and have picked up a few since. But I also gained the most liberating sense of freedom from having so little! That feeling is what I will remember.
I visited the Pier today in Brooklyn Heights. It was so cold, but so beautiful. One of those moments where it hits you…I’m here!