retiring to the attic

by Elouise

Heaviness of
Disciplined living
Wears me down

An ounce of this
Two drops of that
And maybe –
If you’re a good girl –
A slice of life

Need a break?
There isn’t one
Except this –
To retire to the attic
Sit in peace and quiet
And sleep your life

I have to laugh when I read these words. I scribbled them down in desperation earlier this week. I was in the kitchen, exhausted, slicing and cutting up various veggies for yet another notoriously cruciferous Vitamix smoothie.

Our renovated attic has become my favorite place to go when I’m feeling down, or need a bit of peace and quiet. It’s uncluttered, undemanding, serene and accessible. My reading/sleeping chair and rigged-up leg and foot cushion stand ever-ready. Along with a compelling book and a radio for music, not for talk.

When I read the first two parts of the poem, I was horrified. These are my childhood feelings! Yet by the time I got to the end of the third part, I had retired to the attic. At least in mind and heart!

I’ve always dreamed of having a room of my own, not just an office where I do my ‘homework.’ I never dreamed it would be so large, inviting and quiet, with multiple views front, back and to the sky above. Yes, Smudge likes to share it with me. Probably for similar reasons, plus going to sleep on my lap.

Isaiah’s passage about crooked places becoming straight comes to mind. For decades our attic has been like those crooked wilderness places where you have to watch where you step. Over time it became a repository of junk and not-quite-junk, along with paper files, family treasures and row upon row of books. Small and large disasters waiting to happen.

The same Isaiah passage talks about streams flowing in the desert, and the wilderness blossoming like a rose. Somehow, the attic feels like a rose beginning to open. With more than enough room to multiply and fill space with good things, not bad.

Happy Friday!

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 22 June 2018
Photo of desert flowers found at