Gaston Bachelard devotes a chapter to corners in his The Poetics of Space. “The point of departure of my reflections is the following: every corner in a house, every angle in a room, every inch of secluded space in which we like to hide, or withdraw into ourselves, is a symbol of solitude for the imagination…”
I love the words “nooks and crannies.” I remember a space in a house we lived in for only a short time, when I was three or four. The space was enclosed, under the stairs to the second floor. I don’t remember anything else about the house. The house my parents were finally able to buy after moving from place to place (9 houses in 9 years) had a nook under the stairs, with bookshelves, a wicker loveseat, a lamp. When my younger cousin, a bookworm from early on, would come to visit us, he would sit there and browse, obviously at peace. He was only 7 or 8 when he began this custom. Our cellar here in this house has a space under and in back of the stairs, and it was inhabited by our son for a while, and later our grandchild made a clubhouse there.
When I decided to make myself a nook, I imagined being snuggled up in the chair, reading or writing, a snowstorm raging outside. It would be my refuge, yet still with a prospect to outside.
The painting is of my father, done by one of his colleagues in the artist room of the Boston Globe. The table was constructed by my husband of the box of a broken stereo and slabs of concrete, during his concrete phase of object making. The room was an addition to our tiny house. All we really needed was another bedroom and bathroom but the woman who designed it told us we could have a room on top of the bedroom for very little extra money. It has huge windows on all four sides with a sliding glass door leading out to a screened-in porch.