Location: marengo, il, United States

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Run-Around Room

If walking into the run-around room did not cause a person to instantly become more happy, then that person had no business being there. The room was designed to do precisely that: make smiles blossom and flourish.

I came into that unfurnished room for the first time, and it faced true north, as I recall. This important fact tugged sharply at my artistic interests. Then I looked at the four larger-than-average sized windows, all butted together in one tight row. They allowed the good lighting to spill in and flood the area. My mouth watered at the sight. Outside, a hefty slab of cement played the role of a stage which faced a secure chain-link fence. Beyond that, a neighboring yard for an audience; beyond the yard, a middle school playground. But my eye roamed around this new indoor space. What could be done in here, it wondered?

Moving a family of any size (and any distance) can be a mixed bag of wonders and heartaches, but this particular moment held nothing but savory promises for me. Allowing it to stew on a back burner seemed to be the right path to take, so for the next few weeks, each of the other rooms in this new part of my world began to fill with common things, and order soon got restored in all but the blank room, the one with the fine north light.

I kept my plans simmering on low heat. Slow-cooking takes little effort; mainly patience. One cook -- one recipe. Smell the intoxicating odors of imagination heating up. Breathe deeply. Enjoy each idea as it wafts and then mingles with the others. Fan the air slightly to increase the effect. Feel presences build and grow until all becomes lovely and desirable things. I can almost taste the thickening, bubbling broth now. Toss in hot peppers, if you so wish; I am game at this stage.

One small problem loomed that would force my hand: carpet. Not just any carpet, but new and nice carpet. Carpet which, according to its looks, demanded to be taken care of. Clean carpet, virgin and tightly-stretched carpet. Carpet that even smelled nice. And the color beige. Oh!

I instantly did not like the looks of this carpet underfoot. How can I ever paint with abandon with the likes of this? One large canvas drop cloth, suggested by my helpmate, quickly solved that dilemma. It then became my new carpet.

Coming in by the front door, one walks down a long hallway. At the end, one either turns right to go down a flight of stairs which leads to a nice basement, or one might turn left to see this studio, this empty, new room of mine, the one with the north light. I soon put a stop to that latter type of rude intrusion by hanging white sheets from the ceiling.

Yes, soft cotton walls, if you will. And the children took to them right away.

With nothing more than an easel sitting dead-center in the room, enclosed inside billowing borders suspended from above, they all began to run as if the wind propelled them. Arms outstretched, the children ran circles around the easel. Their footsteps tromped and their laughter rang, and it seemed so unfair to cause them to stop, so they continued to run and run and run...

And now you know how the room got its name.


Blogger Gone Away said...

Every house should have a run around room. I lived in a garage once...

7:20 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

LOL. You did a whole sketch using just six words.


8:04 PM  

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