I love this desk. I sit at it now under the arched window in my office. The smoothness of the tan colored leather writing surface now shows its age from years of sunbathing in front of various exposures and the burgundy colored trim has faded to a quiet mauve, but the fine lines and cracks that now accent the textures, add to the character and wisdom of it’s history.
This, was my mother’s desk and my first memory of it was as a little girl, playing in her bedroom of our house in Beverly Hills. I loved spending time in that bedroom. The rich fabric walls in cream and burgundy colors were made more intense by the warmth of my mother’s scent. I would lie in her bed and take in the sights, the cool satin sheets draped over me. Her bedroom was open, yet cozy with a balcony on one side of the room overlooking the pool, poolhouse and garden. In the summer, the smell of night blooming jasmine would linger in the rays of the sunbeams. In the corner, stood the top of an iron spiral staircase I would avoid, it’s coldness always scared me and it led down to her dungeon-like office, which, even my mother rarely used.
Instead, she did most of her paperwork and writing at this desk, that gracefully sat center stage, next to her bed, in front of a sunlit, bougainvillaea covered window that faced the front courtyard. Folding doors opened from her bedroom to the bathroom, which continued to another set of doors leading to a two room dressing area. Soft white plush carpet carried you from one room to another and I felt like I was floating on clouds as I ran, playing through those rooms. Stairs from the dressing area led to a large narrow open space that housed floor to ceiling closets on one side and equally grand windows above dresser drawers on the other. The maze of doors continued back around to the same balcony, completing the circular connectedness of the entire bedroom suite.
This was a magical world to me, filled with costumes, high heeled shoes and false eyelashes. I would wrap myself in a long fur coat, close the folding doors and announce my arrival to an imaginary audience. My internal crowd would roar as I revealed myself opening the doors to the beat of the music in my head. My mother would turn from the work at her desk and give me her undivided attention as I broke out into song, my favorite being ‘Hey Big Spender’ from Sweet Charity. I had seen that show in Las Vegas at least twenty times, when my mother was performing at Caesars Palace. She would always roll with laughter at my rendition, finding my selection of that song charming. As my performance ended, I would take my bows and race back to the closet in search of a new character to portray.
No matter how many times I retook my stage, my mother was always happy to be distracted from her work, eager to see what unique creation I would come up with next, her delight and parental pride with my artsy imagination always at the ready.
My mother wrote three autobiographies and one book on fitness and health at this desk. All in longhand. If it could speak, this desk could write a book of its own.
The desk’s companion chair is covered in needlepoint done by my mother, the fabric still able to hold the rich colors the desk once possessed. My mother’s hands and spirit are ingrained in this furniture I now have chosen to use to discover my own voice. As I hold my pen, the imagination of my childhood now puts me in a movie scene where a young girl sits at this desk and is possessed by her mother’s spirit, writing effortlessly, words freely flowing as if she had been born to set them free.
I guess it is now my turn to honor that young girl that was me and give her my undivided attention.
Remember ~ Treasure ~ Love… Kitt