In Writing

Many, many moons ago, at the advent of my spiritual journey, I bought a cassette with a guided meditation on it. (That it was on cassette should give you a clue at how long ago it was). On it, a woman with a sweet voice guided the listener on a walk through an imaginary forest. At a certain point she said to imagine we’d reached a clearing and found what we knew to be our safe place… anytime we were in this imaginary spot we were completely protected and able to rest.

The particulars of the place were left to the listener’s imagination. I always pictured a plush bed, right there in the clearing, next to a stream, covered in sumptuous blankets and an abundance of pillows. It created a kind of luxurious nest away from the world. I always loved the feeling that listening to that tape gave me.

I was living in an illegal studio apartment at the time, and I had one of those fold-up beds you see in military barracks. I still had a teenager’s penchant for mess-making well into my twenties, so with the lack of storage and my tendency to pile clothes on the floor, I couldn’t have been living anything further from the oasis of my guided meditation.

But I guess it must have stuck around in my subconscious somehow. Last night, as I went downstairs to gather up another throw for the foot of my bed (bringing the total to three), I stopped to admire my handiwork as I draped the third over the foot of my solid wood footboard. My bed is beautiful, a real splurge, outfitted with sumptuous bedding and crisp, ironed sheets and pillowcases kissed with linen spray. The bed was unmade, but nearly, folded down only on my side, the plethora of pillows crowded over to where a partner would be (should he exist in my life). They created a solid, comforting presence. They created a cocoon, actually, or something like a nest. I hadn’t thought about that tape in years. Decades, probably. But when I did, I was taken aback by how closely this bed resembled that long-forgotten fantasy. It had never occurred to me before that I’d recreated the oasis I was once only able to imagine.

I snuggled in deep, my feet warm and cozy, my new book about the Romanov sisters beckoning me into the comforts of imagination. I surrendered happily, content in the knowledge that the things we imagine do come true, in the most unexpected of ways.

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