Because it’s a space that has been cleansed of other associations. It is itself, it’s coherent, it’s self-realized, it exists in its own right. Every work of art must be that; it must be a closed world. That is, you must be able to enter it and find it coherent and orderly, and be able to return to it to discover things you hadn’t found at first. But there is something cathedral-like about it: it’s a place where you can rest, contemplate, refuel and go out again knowing that it remains there for you. All art presents a sanctified space.
Jeanette Winterson (August 27, 1959 -)
From The Archives – Originally Published June 25, 2018
Tao Writer (April 17, 1948 -)
A Room Of My Own
It was the winter of 2001 and Toronto, Canada where I was living at the time was deep into its grip. The cold weather in Canada forces those of us who are not Canadian to huddle inside our homes. I had a room on the third floor in the house where I lived but it was still to close to everyone, to many constant interruptions, and it was in Toronto. Don’t misunderstand me, I loved Toronto. It is a beautiful cosmopolitan city except it was too cold for my blood.
After weeks of gray skies and freezing cold, I developed a case of cabin fever. So I jumped on the plane for a small hot springs resort called Rio Caliente near Guadalajara, Mexico. For two glorious weeks I lived in a small room at this mountain resort all to myself.
I had not planned this vacation around writing but that is what I did between the hot tubs and hikes in the surrounding mountains. Each morning after breakfast I would sit at the desk in front of the window and just write things down. Whatever came to mind. There was no rhyme or reason to my scribbles which lacked any form. They were just words written in an attempt to describe the peacefulness, the singing of the colorful birds outside my window, the sounds of the rock filled brook flowing behind my cabin, or the yoga class in the courtyard across the way.
At the end of two weeks, I had very little to show for my efforts but I had made an important discovery. An insight more important than the lack of written volumes. I had learned the importance of having a room of my own. I have had one since.
I believe most creative people need such a room. A space where you can find yourself again and again staring out the window. A sacred space. It can be as simple as that little room in Mexico where life happened all around me without intrusion. A quiet space to workout the kinks of everyday living and to stretch the imagination without any boundaries. A space to sit and receive the transmissions of your own creativity. Your space can be as small as your mind or as expansive as the universe. I trust it is large enough to accomodate both.