the door closes
and opens again
the past seen from the future–
my attic bedroom
the door at the bottom of the stairs
closed, a barrier in that present
to family strife, a sanctuary
in those angst-filled teen years–
I look back
to that room, bright blue wooden floor
with its slanted flower-papered walls and round red rug
where I sat listening
to Joni and Judy and the Jefferson Airplane,
when like Alice, I was small and falling
in love, dreaming, and wondering about my future
a blank page, still to be written
(as it always is)
in the world beyond that room.
I must have one somewhere, but I couldn’t find a photo of that room. You can see a blurry bit of the wallpaper here. I think I must have been in college and home on break. I had those stuffed animals on my bed.
For dVerse, where Laura asked us to write about rooms.
You’re not going to believe this (yes you are). When I was eleven or twelve my grandma gave her dog back to the refuge because she was too wild for a frail old lady to handle, I was terribly upset and she bought me a big floppy dog just like yours (the one on the right) to console me. It didn’t, but I felt it wasn’t the floppy dog’s fault.
That’s so funny. Thanks for telling me–and why am I not surprised. Now, I’ll think of “our dogs.” 😀
Does yours have a name? I could never bear to name mine.
It’s awful, but I don’t remember now.😀 It might have just been Puppy. Our daughters named every single toy they had.
You see. It’s the same floppy dog. Nameless. Yes we had hundreds of soft toys with the wierdest names. Apart from the made up ones like Etulette and Minicoocoo, my favourite was Madame Sally, a mauve and white rabbit. We still have her.
Our girls still their special ones, Humpty and Ahh Bear, and some of the others are boxed up here. One of their Barbies only had one leg, and she was Tracy-Hopping-On-One–Foot. Then there was a broken piece of doll house furniture that they played with. His name was Pumpernickel. 🙂
The names they chose mean something. Funny how so many modern names are just spelling mistakes 🙂
“listening to Joni and Judy and the Jefferson Airplane,
when like Alice, I was small”
Love the music memory and the poignant reference to angst filled teen years coupled with family discord.
Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind comment.
(I’m still short, but I was pretty tiny in those days.) 😀
I love everything about this – the lines, the reference to lyrics, and the photo. You still look the same!
Today’s post reminded me of discoveries in the attic, which a chapter in my memoir titled “Family Dynamics” explored. Yes, I understand family discord, so poignant in this piece. . . and the hope beyond in a larger “room.” 🙂
Thank you so much, Marian.
Yes, this was sort of a memoir poem. And thanks for “You still look the same!” I don’t, but I appreciate that.😀
I’m waiting for your book to arrive.
Thanks for ordering Mennonite Daughter! I remember you said you were going to. Let me know what you think when you finish. The trailer is the “short story” version.
Yes, I like this poem, perhaps because of its “scent” of memoir.
We all had (or needed) a refuge from the outside world, which could be just outside that door.
Yes, exactly. And even if it was just listening to those songs.
This was wonderful, Merril! Thank you for sharing your younger you and all that teenager angst and hope for the future we all go through.
Thank you very much, Dale!
I really loved that peek into your past ..
Thank you! 😘
ahh you opened the door to such nostalgia – conjuring that room again. Loved this piece not least because I was and still am a JA fan (before they went on the starship)
Thank you very much, Laura.
My boyfriend (now husband) was more of the JA fan, but I liked them, too. They were definitely a part of the soundtrack of my life.
I really like this!
All my various rooms were a refuge, once I reached adolescence, and wasn’t always outside. I always wanted an attic bedroom too. (K)
My siblings and I always think of this house as our dream house–it was a great house, and that attic room was perfect for a teenage girl.
It’s nice to have that memory. My dream house is totally imaginary!
Well, then you can make it however you want it. 😀
This was wonderful, Merril! I loved it so much. And the photo…you look exactly the same!
Thank you so much, Jill.
You and Marian–flatterers, but I’ll take it. 🤣
To have a room of your own is probably one of the most important things for every teenager… I felt blessed when I ran loudspeakers from the family stereo to my own room so I could play my own music with a closed door.
That’s so funny.
I remember the long phone cords, and trying to go into an empty room with them to talk in private.
I like the description of the blank page to be written beyond the room.
Love the memories here. I listened to the same music, weird wallpaper, and black lights over posters.
No attic room for me, Merril, just a box room, but my teenage years were also filled with family strife, and my little room was my sanctuary for reading, writing, playing guitar and listening to Joni and Jefferson Airplane (as well as Crosby Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Free and Led Zeppelin).
Very roomie, haha excuse the dismal pun. I liked this, sharing a bit of your world
Thank you, Jude! 😀
Pleasure is always mine Merril🌼
The music in our heads, we become, or is it the other way around? I grew up with them too.
Thank you. I suppose periods of our lives have different soundtracks.
Thank you for taking us to this room…..It made me think of my old bedroom….playing with my dolls….then the dolls gathering dust in my teen years when I just kept loading 45s on the spindle to play my records and talk on my pink princess telephone – a sweet sixteen birthday gift from my brother who was 9 years older than me. It was on the same line as my parents…but oh the feeling of privacy and grown-upness that I had when I could close my door and talk on it. 🙂 I adore the photo you’ve included. Just makes me smile.
Aww–thanks so much, Lillian. And thanks for sharing that image of you on the pink princess phone listening to your 45s. 😀
Beautifully done! I still have one stuffed animal from childhood–a stuffed tiger. I also used to have a bed loaded with stuffed animals.
Thank you so much! My grown daughters still have their special stuffed animal friends. 😀
I, too, listened to Joni. My absolute favorite.
Thank you for reading! Yes, Joni is great.
I really enjoyed this, Merril, and the memories it evokes of my youth. Just a few years back. 😉 Thanks for sharing the photo, too.
Take care, Lauren
Thanks so much, Lauren! 😏