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  • Writer's pictureWendy Elizabeth

Sleeping Rooms

I remember reading a meditation once, where it said we should consciously uncurl our hands before we go to sleep, leaving them (and us) open to all sorts of good energy that wants to flow through us while we dream. Unfortunately, I found that it was almost impossible to do this without looking (and feeling) like my fingers were sticking up in some sort of awkward, unnatural puppet show, so I decided to sleep with my palms open, lying smooshed flat against the sheets instead.

In my quest for calm, I also used to pretend that I was a sloth sleeping on a tree branch, but that just made me laugh, and led to too many questions about where my legs should go, and how did sloths sleep all dangly-like anyway. So, now I imagine I am some kind of peaceful, elegant mermaid (okay, so that’s a stretch) or, a very confused, yet colorful tree frog, flat against the window of his aquarium. In reality, all this imagining does help me drift off to sleep, but I am sure I end up appearing more like Mr. Bean than a landlocked mermaid.

Recently, I painted my bedroom. Before, it was a dark, brown suede color, but after nearly ten years of sunshine it had softened down to a very unfortunate shade of tan, and was starting to really bother me. If I don’t like a room, it is amazing how quickly I am motivated, so I went with my gut, and I quickly found a color that was the inky black of a clear night – one that provoked thoughts of old fashioned poetry and childhood dreams.

By day, the room takes on a hint of gray, like the lead in a sharpened pencil, but at night it is black with a splash of navy, which I love. Because it is small, and has a really large window, it isn’t as shocking as you would imagine; with high gloss paint on the ceiling, and an old exposed radiator, it suddenly feels like a cozy, yet sunny and warm attic nook – happily accidental in its design.

Although it was quite minimally furnished to begin with, emptying the room was the perfect excuse for me to live with the black paint for a few days. For almost a week, I lived in a room that just had a bed; at night, I would look at the dark walls, and wonder what I wanted them to be. Such a lot of thought for a tiny room, but it felt important, and shouldn’t it be as much as I wanted it to be?

As the days wore on, my perspective grew, and the quiet beauty of the empty room made me acutely aware of how much I had, and did I really want to fill up my room with what was there before. I decided to put back only what I truly loved – it had to feel incredibly comfortable, minimal in design, slightly grown-up, and I had to be able to keep it tidy (which meant that everything had to have a purpose or a place – no random bits of miscellany, and not a convenient spot for who-knows-what on its way to who-knows-where).

It’s been a few months now, and despite my random inclination towards Mr. Bean, sloths and mermaids, it has quite possibly become the dog’s most favorite room in the house …

p.s. the main photograph is a composite of the zen tree frog and the princess and the pea, and the paint I used was Graphic Charcoal by Behr.

For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to:

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