This is the second room on my Enchanted Spaces journey, where I focus on one room of my house from the aspect of a fantasy novel and ask what that perspective can teach. I am also, incidentally, bearing in mind a different climate for each room in my house. The climate for my bedroom is forest.
Now, confession time: the bedroom is small, has inconvenient storage space, and is just not functional for our needs. It is often frequented by more piles of clothes and such than I can keep track of, even with a very minimal wardrobe. But today it is CLEAN!
So, forests. In fantasy literature, forests represent both a barrier and a place of transformation. There is a sense that, if you dare to enter into the forest, you will not come out of it the same. It is also a place of ancient wisdom that sometimes takes on a sentience of its own. I like the idea of having the place I sleep be a forest because to me, dreams are also a place of transformation, and represent that barrier between the conscious mind and the unconscious, the known and the mysterious. There is also this sense of tapping into a deeper, older wisdom as I sleep.
I would love to take this transformation further with a trickling fountain, evergreen-scented candles, a moss-style rug, and a deep blue ceiling painted with stars. However, I like slow decorating and I’m not a fan of big, fast, elaborate transformations or designs that are overly “themed.” For now, I settled on a new purchase of a whimsical pillow cover. Isn’t it sweet?
There are so many fantasy stories about going into the forest that it’s hard to choose, but at the risk of stating the obvious, I have decided to focus not on a book, but on the musical, Into the Woods. In particular, there is a line that Little Red Riding Hood sings:
Into the woods where nothing’s clear, where witches, ghosts, and wolves appear.
Into the woods, and through the fear you have to take the journey.
There are so many journeys out in the world that we can be afraid of taking, but truly, some of the toughest journeys happen from within. That is why I like to consider my dreams from time to time. I recently read that dreams help us to create new patterns and associations and to simulate things together that we might not connect with our conscious minds. In that sense, dreams may help us to live more imaginatively and to forge new paths, which can help with problem-solving.
So tonight, I invite you to consider your sleep not as an annoying seven to eight hours of necessary checking-out, but as an opportunity to take a journey through the deepest forest of your mind and to find what inner wisdom may be there.
Bonus: Somewhere in this bedroom, Wooly Bully, the mischievous trouble-making hedgehog, is hiding. Can you find him?
Source: Encyclopedia of Fantasy: Forest