Thursday, September 6, 2007

Small spaces

Paris is now in grade 8. Greatness, really. In grade 8 you get cafeterias, bus passes, cell phones, home rooms, schedules, home ec, business ed, and most importantly, lockers.

I remember my lockers. My own space, independent of my home.

I have always needed my own space. When I was 6 it was on top of a square shelf inside my parents closet. I would sit on top of the square, tuck myself in between my mom's blouses and hide. It was the seventies and peasant blouses and silk swirls of colour made my memories. My mom wore her hair permed like an Afro then.

A few years later my space became the inside of the "games" closet. I removed everything from underneath the last shelf and put my stuff in. My own phone, a suitcase that held my important stuff and was decorated with my surf stickers (not that I surfed back then, but I did see the Beach Boys live in concert when they came), my favourite big pink elephant, and my best books. In the evenings I would light a birthday candle and celebrate being me. And then chat on the phone for hours. On the shelves above, Lego, snakes and ladders, light bright, paint, rummoli, and my ice-cream-bucket collection of bottle caps kept me company.

My bathroom with its red towels and blue tiles. I would sit on the counter with my feet in the sink and indulge in a book for hours. Space.

Then came the lockers. And the lock.

My lockers were always dressed up in me. Stuff that meant something. Pictures of people, places and things. Notes. Photos. Stuff. Colour. Mood.

Small spaces grew. I moved out and into my own room in a shared house. What a big space to make mine. An old trunk in the corner, a home-made quilt on my bed, my paint on the walls. A candelabra. Bigger candles.

One room to 5 as I bought an apartment, to 10 as I moved into a townhouse. Plus an office, plus a car. More space. But in some ways, less meaningful.

It seems so much harder to make a large space yours. We have been in this house for 5 years now and there are still parts of it that belong to the old owners.

I set up my own space in a corner of this room for this computer, so I can write this blog. But it gets crowded with the paperwork that comes from being an adult in an adult life. It's also a little too exposed. I can't really hide here.

Every time I move to a new office, I promise I will make it mine. Currently, I have only managed to get a few pictures on the wall and a few plants on the desk.

Perhaps my space is now the front of the fridge. There is a lot of stuff on it. Family and friends. Places we have been, places we want to go. I even wrote a blog about it once. Notes and photos and colour and mood.

It's kinda like a locker, sort of.... Isn't it?

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