a place to write


A place to write, or to write about? Or a place to write about other places?
This virtual writing place is a strange one - accessible from everywhere, still undefined, immaterial, without a clear shape or size. It is unlike any other writing place I used before.

My writing places were on attics in historic canal houses, on rocks at northern sea shores, or in silent bars, sitting at a wooden table, looking at a rainy street outside. Two times seven years, I lived on attics. In Delft, a room on the attic of a canal house. Nowhere else have I seen such a construction of bended wooden trusses, the perfect shape of half a circle, crossed by a double horizontal beam on both sides. They were painted in light yellow. Small windows in the tilted roof allowed the light to come in from three sides, a dormer was facing the street. There, I had built my desk, between the two secondary beams that formed the construction of the dormer. It was high, rather like a bar, and I used a bar stool to sit at it.  Sometimes, when the light was beautiful and when I had opened my windows on a summer night, I climbed on the desk and sat there, my notebook leaning on the window frame. Invisible for the people passing below, I would look at the city and write. The second attic was in The Hague, where I lived on the two upper stories of a corner building. Built in 1885 and never properly renovated, the house was not insulated, nor centrally heated, but the space was amazing, with a wooden floor and large windows on the north and west facade facing the small streets of the historic urban centre and the Royal Gardens. When storms coming from the nearby sea attacked the thin windows panes and the rain hammered on the roof (and sometimes even came through), this was a perfect place to write.

Two places added. Rocks and silent bars and more to follow. Our virtual writing place is so general that it allows our thoughts to float to other places: remembered ones, imagined ones. This writing place will become filled with other places, like Borges’ Aleph, it can contain all other places, seen from all perspectives, simultaneously.