ROOM, and through the voice of 5 year old Jack, I pondered motherhood. All kinds of questions flooded my mind, "would I be able to create a safe world for my daughter in an 11 X 11 foot room with a TV?" Or would I just give up, and allow my child to die? It was interesting to watch the instinct or was it desire, choose life as exhibited in the book ROOM. I watched our heroine, establish order to everyday, from within her woodshed prison. She was the picture of motherhood in action. Some may have disagreed, but I didn't care. She established a safe haven for her little son Jack, and in many ways for herself as she lived through the 7 years of being held kidnapped.
I talked to a friend who was from Germany, and she told me she thought Room was based on the story of a woman who was imprisoned in a basement for several years. This captive bore seven children from the continuous abuse by her captor. She too, as much as our heroine Ma, in ROOM, invented a world that excluded the outside so as to eliminate the claustrophobia, 4 walls created. I do not know if the author, Emma Donoghue, intended ROOM to mimic true life stories so closely, but somehow it did.
Creating order to a place, creating order in our heart, and providing order to our children has become a mainstay of motherhood. I never really thought of "order" as being so important to motherhood. I knew I demanded order for my child's classroom, and yet had been struggling to create order in my own life. I knew if I lived only in one room with such simple means, I would have created havoc. My thinking postulated, why should I clean up, who cares, who is coming to visit except my torturer....However, now, my thinking has changed. Why you might ask? I had discovered I need order for me; not just for my daughter's sake. So, I began organizing my house, bit by bit, these past three weeks, and I have gained insight about my house. As I get rid of the clutter and establish some sense of order about me, I enjoywhere I am. And surprise, surprise, my little Margo has begun to participate in the ordering process. Some of her organizing activities were not even requested, but inspired by what has been happening downstairs in our house. I even read this book, peacefully in my living room, because it was clean and ordered.
"Ma", creates an ordered world for Jack to grow up in, even though it is 11 X 11 feet. Jack grew, and thinks for himself and developed as a little boy. I have been establishing order in my life and as a result I found, my heart is growing and developing, and exploring. My little Margo, has enjoyed bringing her friends into our home to play. No longer has my abode been left in disorder, but has experienced creative moments and activities. Perhaps if we found ourselves imprisoned by our chaos, we could be set free by our acts of order.
I enjoyed reading Room, even though this story described such physcal and emotional hardship, because in the midst of it all, I saw the beauty of motherhood as love, expressing order and peace.
The book ROOM was provided by From Left to Write book club.