Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Desk Chronicles, Part One: On the Surface

Behold, the cluttered writing desk:

I took this picture of my desk yesterday, and it occurred to me that it might be fun to chronicle some of its contents.  Today we'll look at what's on top; next time I'll show you what's inside the three drawers, and then the extended office: a bookcase just to the right of the desk.

Here we go.

My desk isn't always this cluttered.  The stacks of my poetry book, for example, are only there because I got them out to take with me to the Oregon Christian Writer's conference today.  And the three stacks of books and papers in the back of the desk to the right of the red lamp base only appeared at the beginning of this term; it's all school books and papers.  And also one random non-school book.  The stack of books on the far right is currently taller than usual, and my Mom's paintings are a brand new addition.  The notebooks and folders underneath the watercolors are for school, and spend most of their time in my backpack.

But there are some things on the desk that are more or less permanent residents.

On the far left side of the desk, I have a stack of some excellent books, standing between two owl bookends.

I discovered I liked owls a couple years ago.

I haven't read all of these books yet (see last week's post), but the ones I haven't read are all related to the ones I have read, which were truly excellent.  I have, for example, read Tramp for the Lord, Orthodoxy, The Spirit of the Disciplines, The Mind of the Maker, The Screwtape Letters, most of The Weight of Glory, much of Mere Christianity, Your God is Too Small, The Grand Weaver, Walking from East to West, Recapture the Wonder, and Trust: What A Horse Taught Me About God.  It's a great collection of books holding this prime spot.

On the far right of my desk, I have a stack of three books:

My current journal, my Bible, and my devotional.  Good stuff.  At present, they are resting on a stack of commentaries of the Psalms which I recently acquired and haven't yet shelved.

In the center of my desk is the big calendar:

I never used to have a big calendar on my desk.  But I got used to having one at work last year, and since I have so much more on my at-home calendar now that I'm a full-time student, I find it a useful way to keep track of everything.  And it's a thin, flat surface, so I can still put a notebook on top of it and write as if it isn't there.

Every good desk needs a pencil holder.  This one's from China.  I got it on a visit to Inner Mongolia when I was teaching English in Baicheng, back in 2007.  Good times.

The obligatory desk lamp.  I don't use it often, but I keep paper clips and the like in its handy base, and if I'm sitting there reading or writing for long periods at night, it's a handy supplement to the main room light.

Oh, nothing.  Just a polite, encouraging note from RZIM and a Cocobolo MoBa clarinet barrel from Backun Musical Services.  No big deal.

Three of the nice, cozy, sandstone coasters I got in Colorado back in summer 2005.  I was at Estes Park with the Navigators for their Summer Training Program, and these were my main souvenirs.  I've got one with a pine cone image at my computer desk in pretty much constant use.  These three wander around in the vicinity of my desk.

Even when I've cleared away all the surface clutter, these things remain.


  1. I love the post. Love that you mention Marie's book. Love that you have one of my paintings in the photo. Love the list of "permanent residents" you talk about, on your desk. Just fun all the way around! Thank you.

  2. I feel so contented reading this. what you surround yourself with brings me joy.