After two years of writing seriously I’ve got a confession to make: I didn’t have a desk until last week. I’d moved about from place to place, desks at my old church, my desk at the “day job” before my shift started, my wife’s desk, and wherever I could fit my laptop or tablet including picnic tables and cafeteria tables in the rainforests of Belize.
No longer. Behold the new “office” –
The desk pictured here has been around the world just like me. Long ago, when I was young, muscular, and had some hair (I started going bald when I was 19) this desk was purchased for our apartment in Spain. That was in an era when most correspondence was still handwritten and you needed a place to sit and write those letters to your beloved husband who was out at sea somewhere we won’t talk about. Yes, it was my wife’s desk.
When we moved back to the “world” the desk spent some time in Eagan and then moved to it’s current location in our house almost 20 years ago. In those 20 years it became crammed with the most amazing collection of useless crap. Enough staples to last three lifetimes, Passover cards for every member of the Jewish faith for the next 2 years, wrapping tape, dried out pens, coins, several pairs of scissors, scraps of paper with people’s addresses… you get the picture.
Almost a month ago my wife started a fight she couldn’t have imagined by simply organizing the junk in the basement. I walked down the stairs to do a load of laundry and was amazed that she’d neatly piled up the deritus of a lifetime in organized piles by … well, subject matter for lack of a better term.
And that’s when the fight started: the fight to reclaim our home from sloth and clutter. Over the past month I’ve hauled several loads of books to the Veterans’ Home and Goodwill. I’ve hauled toxic waste to the Ramsey County center. And every week our trash can has been stuffed so full that the need arose to use a dirt tamper to smash it down and cram in some more.
As each layer of yuck was peeled away it became clear that my “temporary” desk on the coffee table was now a fixture for almost ten years and needed to come to an end. I realized that the computer desk in the attic was too big to fit anywhere in the house (that’s why it’s in the attic) but the rolltop desk purchased from Muebles Lluyot with hard earned cash would be ideal.
I’m back. I went to see if I could find that link to Lluyot and then started looking for bars, restaurants, and maps where we spent our time off. Then I had a warm feeling thinking about the day we bought all that stuff and arranged for it to be delivered. And right now it just dawned on me that the desk, my dining room table (next to me) the china cabinet and the stereo cabinet that fill this room all came from one store in Rota, Spain. Including the rugs that all of it sit on. Not always good memories of that place and what happened there, but Lluyot and the furniture are part of the good glow that comes when memories come flooding back after several decades.
Where was I? Telling you about the coffee table (which we bought at the Navy Exchange in Rota… see a trend?) where the laptop and it’s predecessors had roosted for a decade. That wasn’t an acceptable spot to write from any longer. I’m writing longer now than ever before and my half-century old back hurts when I sit on the floor and write. Time to join the adults at the big table.
So, the desk got cleaned out. It’s amazing how little of the junk in the desk had any place in my life anymore. Maybe that’s a metaphor for the whole house cleaning. All of the things you really need are probably in your pockets and your heart. For me that’s a love of Jesus and my family. Most of the rest of it would never be missed and the rest could be replaced. Most of our photos are out on a server somewhere these days and the books? Well, they fit in my pocket on the Kindle.
Now I’m really babbling. I’ll put an end to your misery. I have a desk. It’s a desk full of memories and potential. Thanks, Lluyot for selling me my future 26 years ago.