Looking back to that room

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.














51 thoughts on “Looking back to that room

  1. 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.

  2. “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.

  3. 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.” 🙂

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

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