Daily Prompt: Rooms with Views, please


Today’s daily promptA genie has granted your wish to build your perfect space for reading and writing. What’s it like?

When I first read this, I couldn’t help but think that, with a few basic essentials, I could pretty much write in any kind of space.  For me, inspiration comes from a sense of place (eg: a sense of culture, a feeling), more than my immediate space (eg: the immediate aesthetics or locational coordinates).  So, this genie would grant me a year of writing rooms throughout the world.  In tow I would have a few clothes, some books, laptop (consistent internet access), tons of music (and speakers/headphones), a camera.  Pens, pencils, notebooks (obviously).  With these things, and somewhere (clean and warm) to eat/bathe/sleep, I could be almost anywhere.

My first stop is a hotel in Paros (Greece), a sparse, white-walled  open air bedroom with a huge, arched window overlooking the Mediterranean.   The room itself would not have to be very large, so long as it had plenty of natural light and the window opened to the warm ocean breezes.  A comfortable bed, a small writing desk, a comfy chair, a clawfoot bathtub.  Every day, I would roam the country roads and swim on the beach.  In the evenings, I’d eat olives and drink wine at the local beach bar (even if it is a little touristy).

ruedebellevillepublicdomainaround1900

My second stop: Paris (it might seem too obvious, but I could not resist).  This would be the quintessential Paris hotel room, a teeny, narrow, old, slightly stuffy room in a pension.  It must have a balcony, and a view of the narrow, odd-angled streets.  It would have a teeny, ugly old couch, the kind where the springs dig into your butt if you sit on it too long – which is OK because it’s really cool (it’s vintage, pea-green velour).  The bed is small, and the bedspread definitely involves brown flowers.

What makes up for the fact that the bathroom is shared is that at the bakery below the hotel, the-most-amazing-croissants-in-the-world are made, and I eat one every day for breakfast. The maid would be cranky at first, but she’d come every day, and she’d warm up as she understood that I tipped her well.  I would be so thankful to come home to a  clean room after a long day of meandering in museums, and photographing and interviewing anyone who looks interesting (because, you know, the genie would also grant me the ability to suddenly speak fluent French).

Photo from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

My third stop: Old Havana, where the walls are peeling and textured, leaking out layers upon layers of mysterious history.   Oh to roam the streets and soak up the warmth of the music, watch old men playing chess in the park, take photos of castles and fortresses.  Revel in the colors, the building-shapes and textures.  Walk along the ocean, find cats in narrow alleys.

Rum! Cars! Cigars!

Oh, I haven’t described my room yet (I got a little excited).  Well, so long as it had a fan/A/C, a half decent bed and hot water, I really wouldn’t care.  A bar/restaurant downstairs, yes, that would have to happen.

The room is not important, but the hotel would come with a hot man that is ready to teach me Spanish and take me out dancing every night.  He’d introduce me to some local icons, some friends of his, bring me to the secret music and dance hotspots.  So, he’d generally be at my beck and call, keep me company and teach me everything there is to know about the culture without expecting anything in return.  Is that too much to ask? 😉

Photo from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

So those are my first three stops..where to next?  There would be so much more to this, stories and experiences (that weren’t all pretty) that would spring from each moment, walk, person, store, bar, stop.

Oh, and a bonus of staying in a succession of hotels:  daily housekeeping!  A year off of cleaning sheets, of washing floors and vacuuming.  That would allow time for much more writing.

Well, just imagining this was as close to the dream that I’m going to get to for now, and I have to say that it’s been pretty fun.

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Daily Post: Toot your sensitive horn

Most of us are excellent at being self-deprecating, and are not so good at the opposite. Tell us your favorite thing about yourself.

Hee hee, I said ‘toot’.  My silly side is one thing I like about myself, but enough of the immaturity.  Here is some serious stuff.

One thing that has always been difficult, that I’ve always not liked about myself, is that I’m sensitive, really sensitive, probably in the HSP category of sensitive.  Like in the way people have called me: crazy, neurotic, emotional, intense, unstable, reactive, overly analytical, etc etc.

I am a Cancer, which is a notoriously sensitive and emotional sign.
I am a Cancer, which is a notoriously sensitive and emotional sign.

I never knew how to handle this before, and sometimes it came across as a negative trait.

So I figured it was a negative trait too.

I’ve also often overcompensated by appearing so cool and calm and collected.  Then it surprises people when they realize how sensitive I actually am, so they probably feel deceived, or uncomfortable, or turned off when they discover this – and I don’t blame them, in a way.

So I’m trying to not hide it anymore, to just put it on the table, up front, in the best way possible, and also to just manage it better socially.  For instance, by setting healthier boundaries, forming close relationships with those that can truly honor this side of me, and by consciously caring less about peoples opinions about me.

I’m practicing embracing it and using it as a tool for (com) passion, and for (for instance) positive and constructive reflecting. Writing (here) is one of my tools.

So, I’m growing into it, and I’m loving myself more as I do!  I’m learning that it’s not a bad trait…I just didn’t understand how to manage it before: it seemed to have a mind of it’s own, rearing it’s ugly head when least expected, sometimes in unflattering ways.

I’m not going to be sorry about it anymore.  I’m going to accept it, work with it, and apply it in only the best ways.  I’m going to develop a career that uses it (writing, teaching) and really try to look outside my head so that I may use that energy compassionately instead of bottling it up.

I’ve recently realized that I relate to other sensitive types very well.  We make fantastic mediators and mediums.  We can be wonderful friends and have a keen intuition about others.  We have the ability to ‘sense’ things that some others can’t.

So from now on, instead of going ‘ugh, I’m so sensitive, it causes so many problems,’  I’m going to say ‘wow, I’m so sensitive, it’s such an amazing gift.  How can I use this to better myself and others?’

NOTE: I don’t even know how ‘valid’ the HSP concept is (I’m no psychiatrist).  I think that everyone is sensitive to some extent, and we all could all use an assessment of how we can learn to be more so (eg: empathetic) to others, or to work with our sensitivity to use it in meaningful ways.

Daily Prompt: Hate to Love

Today’s DP: Tell us about a guilty pleasure you hate to love.

When I first read this I thought, ooooh, fun, I can write about something bad.  Something that gives me that little high that I get when I’m doing something I’m really not supposed to do.  My mind started wandering towards the sex, drugs, rock and roll realm of things.

I love you Bowie
I love Bowie

My curiosity piqued, I began to read what others were writing about.  After reading a few, I started feeling pretty guilty about my guilty pleasures.  They seem much more extreme than Pinterest, Jesus Christ Superstar, Twilight, and special coffees.

(Now, Pawn Stars.  That is something I could get into.  That’s a little bad ass.)

So, fellow bloggers.  I don’t mean to pick on you, but take this as a friendly nudge: on the one hand, you might need to have more fun.  On the other, you are probably way healthier and more well-balanced than me if these truly are your guilty pleasures.  Besides this, it’s inspiring me to think of another prompt that gets you to expose your true bad ass side. 😉

I just read Hastywords’ daily prompt post which clarified where my head was at: it immediately went to the ‘hate to love’ part of this prompt. That is the part of the prompt that lead me into thinking of more intense, life-altering things, like relationships.

james-dean-motorcycle-photo

So here is one thing I hate to love: Bad boys.  I have (basically) learned why I shouldn’t date them.  But I still like looking and flirting and thinking about being whisked away on the back of that motorcycle.  Yes please.

Now, about that guilty pleasure: I’m trying, really hard to think of something.  You know why I can’t?

Life is too short to ascribe the world ‘guilt’ to these little pleasures. Seriously, do it or don’t, but if or when you choose to do it, please just do yourself a favor and enjoy the heck out of it!