I love my bedroom. It is nothing special. The decor is plain and simple and the room holds far more book-space than clothes storage. I sleep, read and dress in there and, more importantly, the dog does nothing in there except for the occasional illicit pounce on the bed, so it stays permanently tidy. There are no to-do piles, no strewn dog-toys, no bills awaiting payment… just shelf upon shelf of books and, for good measure, the window faces the rising light of dawn. It is a temple of calm.
On my bedside table there is a lamp, an inlaid musical box that was a gift from my mother, the inevitable vicious alarm clock and a book. Nothing more. It reminds me of a magical altar where the implements each hold a ritual significance beyond their outward form. The lamp and the alarm clock symbolise the extremities of time and the boundaries of my conscious life… points of transition between dark and light, day and night. The musical box symbolises continuity, love and beauty… and by extension, eternity. The book changes its outer form regularly, each form representing a different experience and slice of reality. Yet it is always a portal to another world, whether one built in the imagination of its author or within the stranger realms of or own inner life. Within its pages lies a bookmark, keeping my place in the story… and that too has a deeper meaning. The nightly ritual of placing the bookmark long ago became my signal for sleep.
Each night, before sleep, I make the ritual gestures… switching on the lamp, setting the alarm, picking up the book. Then, the bookmark is slipped between the pages, the light extinguished and darkness wraps me up for the night, becoming a blank screen upon which dreams can play.
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