The Room of Requirement

My father and I do not have a real relationship. He sees himself as a failure and I have no patience for his negativity. When I need time, he needs to talk. When I need to talk, he is too tired. Therefore, we do not make much progress. We are a big mess.

Have you read the 7th Harry Potter book? Or watched the movies? Do you know about the Room of Requirement?

No? Well, it’s a very magical room in a very magical boarding school for wizards and witches. It is not easily found. And it takes a different form for every person intent on finding it. The Room of Requirement, or the Come and Go Room, can only be found by someone who is in need. They have to walk past it’s location 3 times, concentrating hard on what it is they need. In the books, a house elf found it when they needed a nap. The school’s janitor found it when he needed cleaning supplies. The Headmaster found it filled with chamber pots when he was desperately in need of a bathroom.

Sometimes I feel like the love for my dad is in a room of my heart like this. It takes extra concentration and mindfulness for me to access it when I need it.

If Dad and I entered this room together, I wonder what we would come to know about each other?

I think my baby blanket would be in there. While my parents did yardwork, they would allow me to crawl around on my blanket and they knew I would be safe there because I *hated* the feeling of grass on my skin. It tickled! My dad would come over on hands and knees and drum roll on the blanket. He says it made me laugh so hard!

I think bags of skittles would be in the room, too. He always brought back skittles after a business trip. My siblings and I would hide around the corner of the fridge and welcome him with our sudden jumps out of our hiding place. We were quickly rewarded with a rainbow sugar treat.

So many nights, before falling asleep, I would ask my Dad to tell stories “about when he was a kid”.

“Did you ever get in trouble, Dad?”

“Tell the story about burying the boom box in the sand again!” Dad was and is a hilarious, expressive, belly-laugh-inducing story teller. I’m sure I would find a comfy bed to be tucked into and told another bedtime story….probably the one where he got a BB gun for Christmas and shot all of grandma’s antique ornaments off the tree. That was one of my favorites.

These are all things and memories from when I was little. I’m having a very difficult time imaging what I would find in the Room of Requirement from my adolescence and adult years with Dad. What would I show him? What memories are stored there? Where does the love live?

I would show my Dad things we’ve never talked about or experienced together. I would show him that afternoon in front of my fireplace when I was shocked and didn’t know what to do. I would show him the nights I slept on my balcony, hushed to sleep by the sounds of the city not too far away. I would show him the photography I patiently, lovingly, carefully developed, tweaking the exposure a little bit or burning in a background a bit more. I would show him tango. I would show him my tango family. I would show him the tender moments with special four-legged friends in my life. I would share my new recipes with him (but not mention that they are vegan—he would surely not eat them if he knew they were!). I would show him the crazy crow pose I’ve worked on in yoga. I would show him the books I’ve read, and he would read a little bit of them, too.

But where does the love live? How can I know my Dad today? How can my Dad know me? How can we feel safe to go there, to be vulnerable, together?

“Place attention on the intention and it will manifest itself in your life.”

I will focus on the love for my Dad and, if the statement is true, it will be there.


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