As a small human, I spent a lot of time CREATING. I credit my parents for passing on their artistic genes to me, but also for giving me a space in which to create. A special place. A secret place. A thinking closet of my own.
The closet was deep and wide, but the ceiling was too low for big humans. It was almost as if it was created with my exact height specifications in mind. With an audible “boinggg!” the closet doors would spring open, and much like the Pevensie children inching through the enchanted wardrobe, I’d crawl through dresses and coats into a magical land–not of fawns and talking beavers–but of…wallpaper books!
See, my Mom would rescue expired wallpaper books from our local paint store and give them to me as my very own paper palette for cutting, gluing, and molding. I distinctly remember the pearly finish on the textured pages of creams, tans, and icy blues. (It was the 80s.) Each page presented a new possibility for a creation. A new Christmas gift to be given. I could shut the doors and get lost in a project for hours.
I grew to call it my thinking closet. In my thinking closet, thinking was done with my hands.
At age seven, when my parents shared the news that we would be moving to a bigger house in a neighboring town, I took the news awful hard. An excerpt from my middle school autobiography project says it all:
“I didn’t think anything was wrong with our present house. I ran up to my room and opened up my thinking closet. Boxes were piled up high taking up all my thinking space. I was very angry, so I threw the boxes out and entered. It was like a very small room. A very small room all to myself. I didn’t want to loose [sic] my closet when we moved. I sat in a corner and started crying. Where would all my memories stay? Where could I hide my secrets?”
So, fast-forward 22 years to tonight. I need to name my blog–come up with some kind of title to encapsulate it all: the projects, the stories, the creating I hope to share, the dialogues I hope to foster. I toss around a lot of really lame ideas I won’t write here. Then, I think back the place where I first used my hands to create something beautiful. A place of magic. A place of wonder. A place of…wallpaper.
So, like magic, The Thinking Closet is back. As though I never left it.
Come on in!