Every girl needs a crow’s nest – a perch from which to watch the world go by, reflect, and generate new ideas. At my prize beach flat in the Sunset, my crow’s nest was magnificent – a second-story wraparound window two blocks from the ocean that, while often hazy from sand, gave me a plum spot from which to think, dream, and create.
And then it all went pear-shaped. Between my cray-cray landlord and a new job in Marin, I had to pack it all in and head north, where I spent three and a half years in purgatory, a town otherwise known as Novato and in which the coveted crow’s nest remained elusive. None of the dwellings in which I lived had the space for perch in which to stretch my mind or creativity, and my blogging suffered. I did, however, pick up a crafting habit, and drove my Special Man Friend (SMF) insane by alternately making a cork nativity scene, painted onesies, and stuffed monster dolls on the patio table, coffee table, dining table/dog perch/office/sewing table, or any available surface I could find.
Now I’ve moved into a house where I can dedicate a whole room (squee!) to my creative endeavors – monster dolls! luminarias! blogs! nichos! writing a book! – and which has all the makings of a good crow’s next – okay, it’s on the ground floor, but it’s still got a big sky to contemplate and a respectable amount of people watching, not to mention birds.
I’m up early because today SMF and I are planning to get into the car and drive across the bay to Ikea (and I can’t begin to express how much SMF hates: being the car together for long periods, shopping, and giant places like Ikea) to procure items needed for my office, and he’ll spend the rest of the day alternately pounding things together, swearing and scowling. Even so, it was clear that resurrecting my crow’s nest was important to him, and not just to get my felt and paint off the coffee table. He knows that my nest is my soul, my creative engine, and that without one there’s just always a little something missing. He was the one who told me to put in an extra bookcase – a suggestion I think he’s sorry he made now. It’s been very touching to see how important ‘building me an office’ has become to him, and that’s the sort of thing that shows you that no matter how tempestuous your relationship is with someone, that at the end of the day, they really see you and understand what you need to be whole.
I am so excited about this office that I can hardly contain myself. It will have my Grandmother’s office shelves – all 8′ long boards of them, a pine bookcase my Dad pawned off on me twenty years ago that he stained black in a fit of 80s bachelorism that SMF has miraculously managed, through two days of aggressive planing (sanding did bupkis) and another two days of priming and painting, to turn white. It will also have a tall, slender bookcase with equally unique history that was passed from an old friend to an old housemate to me and also got the white-paint treatment. And the CD case I’ve had since my early 20s. And then the fresh, brand-new desks and Ikea bookcases. It will a place where I can pay my bills, hone my writing, and continue learning to sew.
When I was in college, my study desk was first in my room and then in a cramped half-room under some stairs with a window that looked out on a wall. It was a cell, really, and I did my time in there. I’ve written at cafe tables, on my coffee table, on my office computer, and occasionally at whatever awkward desk I’ve tried unsuccessfully to set up, but none of it has really felt right. But today, because someone special can see through the madness of my curtain and drawer organizer agonizing to my true and authentic need for a crow’s nest and love me enough to go through the hell that is building Ikea furniture, I’ll have a real room of my own. Thank you, Special Man Friend, for the vision, the muscle, and the love.