In childhood, I used to lie on my back looking at the ceiling, imagining the room the other way up. So the room I’m in now would look like this.
I liked to figure out strategies for moving around from room to room with the challenge of such high thresholds, and think of lamps being stalks sticking up from the floor and wardrobes just below what would be the ceiling now.
I liked the odd nooks and angles, and the white emptiness of the ceiling. A fly on the wall lives as a minimalist.
Then recently, I got to thinking how curiously wonderful it would be to have a big old house still but almost no possessions. Maybe a cupboard in some discreet place with a core kit of cooking utensils, and a suitcase/trunk containing one’s worldly goods. I thought, if all five of us in our house had each one box of possessions, and nothing else, how big the house would become.
If we each slept in a sleeping bag on the floor, we could sleep in different places according to our fancy. If the fire still burned low we could fall asleep beside it gazing into the embers. We could wander from room to room, singing in the echoes and watching the light enter and move around the house, slanting through, building and fading to dusk. The moon and stars through the curtainless widows would be our artwork, and the careless pile of firewood by the hearth.
The space would seem enormous because none of it would be defined. All of it entirely could be for dancing.
We would have dispensed with our furniture, our white goods and all our cleaning equipment. We would wash our few textile bits swiftly and easily at the launderette, and eat fruit and bread from the market, brought home in paper bags later used as kindling.
We would keep one laptop for music, TV and communication.
The garden would grow wild.
Once a week a Cleaning Firm would come with their buckets and mops.
“Here,” we would say, throwing open our doors that no longer needed locks: “Dust this.”