September 22, 2012


The world is God's desk. From there--here--he works, imagines, reigns. All creative types need such a place, a place where work and play collide, where imagination runs free, where the brain behind perspiring foreheads struggle to think, create, capture.

Perhaps it is our being like God, being in his image, that push some to make a world all their own. I once had such a world. I once had a desk.

Many are messy, some tidy. Some have piles of paper. Others have heaps water-falling into other heaps. Trinkets and doodads are scattered abroad, while favorite art pieces hang on a nail nearby on the wall. Or maybe there are windows, or just one, to bring in the ocean breeze, or city air. Hemingway, Lewis, Dickens, they all had their own version, their own complex ecosystem of books, files, memos, pens, pencils, notepads and typewriters.

I loved mine. It was waiting, opened by a previous owner, though undamaged, in the furniture section of a local Goodwill, one I occasionally stopped by at. I don't recall whether or not I went to Goodwill that day actually looking for a desk. But, a desk is what I got.

Arranged in a large rectangle box, I carried it back to my apartment. It was a drafting table and I would have to assemble it later. Normally, this desk was easily $150. I bought mine for $30.

Later that evening, after screwing in the legs, I slide it around the corner into my room. There wasn't much to it. It was all black with a long and wide flat piece for the top with sharp edges and corners and two pieces of rounded pole for the two legs. It was simple--truly pleasing for any minimalist. I straightened it up next to my window. In both apartments, it was by a window.

The top had a tilting mechanism so it slanted. It felt like it was falling toward me, like it wanted me to sit down at it, and read or write or draw.

Sometimes I would sit and lean my body into it, scrutinizing over some text, making a horizontal dent along my ribs from the desk's edge. I remember reading How (Not) to Speak of God and Is There a Meaning in This Text? at that desk. I remember, too, writing my online posts for my Genesis class while sitting there.

Unfortunately though, I abandoned it. I didn't think ahead. Two summers ago, I quit my job at a shoe shop and moved out of my (second) apartment with my roommate Max and relocated to Nevada City, California where we would work for the summer. Moving out was a frenzy and I hadn't secured a location to store my big items, a huge futon mattress and my desk. There was no room in our car and thus no chance to take it with us.

God only knows what happened to that desk. Maybe it landed in the garbage or perhaps a passerby snagged it on his walk back to his apartment. Hopefully, it's a station for someone else's endeavors.

Now, I have a new place I'm living, but what's the point without my desk. Being deskless is really just being homeless. It was more than some piece of furniture, some decor. It was the birthplace of creativity, the gateway to imagination, the collision of work and play. I abandoned my desk. Imagine if God had abandoned his.