A room of my own

Coleridge advocated opium, and Woolf, a room of one’s own, but I sit at the table with my five-year-old who’s watching The Cat in the Hat and jumping while I alternate between my story and speculating if she’s going to set a Guinness Record for consecutive jumping jacks. There’s no ink to spill at my table so this is a fairly childproof profession to practise at home, but sometimes I long to put a child lock and escape into my written world. And then I remember something that Van Gogh said. “It is not the language of painters but the language of nature that one must listen to, the feeling for the things themselves; for reality is more important than the feeling for pictures.” I hear my daughter babble in the distance, and I come back to my inkless, opiumless den, and I realise that this is a room of my own. It fills an apartment, it shrinks into a car, it turns into a ballet class, a school, a street, but it is my own.

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