When I was younger, I used to be able to write everywhere. Park benches, cafes, buses, in bed. Now, I need my own desk and chair, and I need them be just right. I want comfort, and I want to be surrounded by my things, photos of loved ones and art and quotes that inspire me, books and mementos. Of course, it would have been nice an entire room to myself—a room of one’s own—but since I have a family and a small apartment in an expensive city, I have to settle on a corner. In Toronto, I was lucky enough to claim a corner of the living room that was separated by a book shelf, and since the living room was on a different floor than the rest of the house it felt fairly private. Last August we moved to Tel Aviv, and now I’m literally banished to a corner of the living room, writing in the middle of the house, while the kid and her friends run around and my partner is on the phone, or making dinner, or doing whatever. Some days, I try to wake up early to steal some quiet hours to write. I still love my little corner: my desk is facing a large window, which offers plenty of sunlight, breeze, and a nice view of the Tel Aviv skyline. I like having a window to the world and I like watching the street when I write. In the fall and spring, when the window is open, I can hear people talking from below, catch snippets of phone conversations. Sometimes, because I am writing in English in a Hebrew speaking country (in which my work is usually set) it can be disorienting. But I’ve long embraced this dislocation as a part of my life and my writing. The most luxurious item in my writing corner is my electric desk, which rises up by the press of a button, so I can alternate between standing and writing. Once spring rolls in and the rain ends, I plan to find an old desk and an office chair and drag them up to the roof of the building so I can sit there from time to time and write in peace. I’m ridiculously excited about this plan.
Photos provided by Ayelet Tsabari