There may not be a lot of space in your house these days with schools closed and more adults either out of work or working from home. While all that togetherness has its advantages, it can also feel overwhelming at times. Virginia Woolf reminds us about the importance of having a room of one’s own. If space is tight, and that’s not possible, poet Rita Dove says a chair behind the garage will do. We all need a personal refuge – a place we can go to reflect and recharge. It needn’t be big or grand. Today’s poem, “The Sacred” by Stephen Dunn, talks about the car as one such space.
After the teacher asked if anyone had
a sacred place
and the students fidgeted and shrank
in their chairs, the most serious of them all
said it was his car,
being in it alone, his tape deck playing
things he’d chosen, and others knew the truth
had been spoken
and began speaking about their rooms,
their hiding places, but the car kept coming up,
the car in motion,
music filling it, and sometimes one other person
who understood the bright altar of the dashboard
and how far away
a car could take him from the need
to speak, or to answer, the key
in having a key
and putting it in, and going.
Where are your sacred places? Where do you go to reflect and recharge? Wendell Berry’s poem, “The Peace of Wild Things,” looks to nature for emotional nourishment.
“The Sacred” by Stephen Dunn, from Between Angels, 1989. Copyrighted material used for educational or therapeutic purposes.
Photo: How to make Hygge happen in spring. American Greetings