I am reluctant to declare the bedroom as a space carved out for sleep. Dormancy is just the edge of it. Dormancy is the time in which we can escape without having to explain why or how or what motivates us. It is an ephemeral time of twiddling thumbs before making conscious, concerted movements into the bounty of existence.
So what is this room? Into what are we entering when we sluggishly draw our feet across the threshold? It is a peculiar safe haven. We disrobe here. We love here. We lay defenseless here. We pray here. We indulge here. We timorously expose ourselves without a second question here. And we give into the unremitting parts of ourselves; we listen to ourselves here. We give ourselves the scarce opportunity to settle into who we are. It is only when we unburden ourselves — purses on their handles, shoes on their racks, dinner divided into containers, invasive forms of communication powered off, our outward personas diminished into honesty — that we allow ourselves to experience the silence of our space. Our rooms, much like all of the objects we interact with, are a function of ourselves. Our rooms are a tangible extension with which we can mediate the clamoring of thought with the oppressive, although prepossessing, tug to live in a world where we view others with unquestionably clarity yet mar our own tenderness.
Our rooms are where we lay with our faces to the ceiling, our ears to the window listening to the chittering of no-name morning birds, our hearts quivering our ribs, our breath even and slow. We take the moment to reclaim the parts of ourselves we hid under the mat- tress. We shed and prepare and draft and create until we can erect ourselves into who we irrefutably are. We march forward, over the threshold, unaware that with each step we lose parts of ourselves. Bit by bit. It is only when we come home that we find the pieces we lost. We collect those shards into the creases of our arms, quietly enter our space, lock the door, spread the pieces on the floor and look at ourselves.
Jewish Currents, Vol. 66, No. 1 (662) Summer/Autumn 2011, page 75.
Thank you again to the editor, Lawrence Busch, for giving me such an opportunity. I will always remember your generosity.