The Bed

For a writer, an everyday object can take on poetic / prose form, depending on the lens that it is applied. The Bed is one such piece of writing I first encountered whilst on a writing retreat on the Isle of Iona, run by the magnificent Roselle Angwin.

I returned to this prompt recently, and afterwards remembered my earlier writing. After digging through stacks of journals and rediscovering the piece, I thought it would be interesting to put them together as an experiment to see how time changes perspective, and more importantly my writing. 

There's no shame in looking back at earlier writing attempts, as there's always some gold to be mined, and as I typed this out, there were a few lines that I feel can be lifted into other pieces of work.


Monday 23 April 2018

The bed stands silently in the bedroom - releasing me into and back from each day. It has carried me and my body as I've slept; is imprinted with dreams, and nightmares, in equal measure.

The bed has been refuge - a place of retreat to shut away that which is too demanding.

It has seen two bodies become one.

Bed has been den to my cubs, where we have curled up and slept together whilst nursing them with and through my body.

It has been the source of adventure when they've been able to climb up and hid beneath the quilts. Giggling mounds of warm bodies.

Bed has been a source of expectation to be a wife in all its meanings, despite my own reluctance at times.

It has represented divisions in my marriage - there's my side and his - an invisible line drawn between the two.

It has witnessed illness and subsequent recovery, as well as the somewhat naughty feeling of returning to its embrace when the house has emptied of its noise, when I've been able to sink deep, to be reclaimed once more.


Thursday 05 March 2020

The bed: stands alone in a room that's generally meant for a few purposes, but more realistically used for everything.

My bed arrived a few months after my second baby was born. Ludicrous to think about it now, but at the time I was convinced it would solve my sleep problems and those of my baby. It didn't.

The bedframe, so much larger than the last, meant in the middle of the night I'd walk into it and for more than a year, had permanent bruises on the tops of both thighs, as I was too exhausted to remember its exact position in the dim light of the room at 1, 2, 3 and 4am.

The bed has borne witness to many emotions, and serves as a container to hold whoever may need its solid presence and to feel safe.

More recently it has seen the angst of my ageing self, as I view my body by lamplight.

It has held moments of passion, which have lessened over the years - the exchange of mattresses a private joke that they've not been worn out by an over exuberant sex life, more by the expanding waistline of my husband.

At times the bed feels ominous as it doesn't deliver what I feel it promises, which is a good night's sleep. Instead I often approach it with a sense of foreboding at the thought of yet another night of broken sleep and endless podcasts to while away the night time hours.

The bed has been a place of refuge for children, too stressed to be anywhere other than in my arms, cossetted by pillows and blankets.

When I'm away, I dream of being in my own bed, and feel like I've been unfaithful in some way. Waking up in another bed with its pure white 300+ count Egyptian sheets that feel like heaven against my skin. It's like having an affair without breaking any rules. 

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