Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


We built the second half of a bunkbed today for Aidan's room. We had originally thought that we would build the beds separately, so we could have one in the master bedroom to replace the air mattress he had been sleeping on, and another in his own room that he could transition to as he was ready. But he was sleeping pretty regularly in his own room for the last week, without any fuss at all, so we decided, what the heck, let's build the whole bunkbed in his room.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited Aidan was about all this. What is it about bunkbeds that are unspeakably intriguing and fun to someone under the age of ten? I remember I was the same way when I was young . . . there are a few factors involved:
  • Kids love to get high up. Climbing up to a high place, in a tree or swingset, almost defines fun for them. Something about the physical thrill of being in a precarious spot, combined with the changed perspective of being above it all . . . it creates a sense of liberty and power.
  • Beds are a very personal space. It's where you retreat to at the end of the day, when your conscious individual mind returns again to the undifferentiated Being of deep sleep. The place where you sleep becomes identified with something deeply personal, maybe even trans-personal.
  • So . . . take that very personal space and move it to someplace high and exciting. Whoa . . . altered state of consciousness.
  • What really makes it all work is the ladder. It's all about the ladder. Before, getting into bed was just a matter of flopping over. But the ladder makes it a distinct transition, and adventure. The top bunk is now Someplace Else. When you climb that ladder, you might as well have climbed into a spaceship.
  • The bottom bunk is also transformed. What once was merely a bed is now a cave, a shelter, something that must be Entered Into. I left Aidan alone for maybe half an hour this afternoon while I was outside playing with Mal, and when I came in I found Aidan had baracaded most of the entrance to the lower bunk with a fold-out play tent, and all his stuffed animals were arrayed inside. "There's a blizzard, and everyone's gathering here," he said. (We've been reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long Winter.)


Post a Comment

<< Home