The alive room

The "Evolution of Man" series is on its seventh year.

A view of our living room from the dining area

Enter through the front door at the right side of the townhouse.  An L-shaped chocolate couch says hello. Dare sit down, and feel the fabric bristling your skin. Sit back, sink deeper.  Catch a whiff of lavender or peppermint. The couch's last occupant leaves traces of her massage oil everywhere.

Look to your left. Behold a series of seven studio portraits lining the room’s length.  Four children are 11, 9, 5 and 3 in 2005. They evolve into adolescents in 2011.

Against the opposite wall, observe two palo-china shelves. The books on them stand neatly but follow no logical arrangement.  Between the shelves sits a 21-inch Sharp television set.  It blares, alternately, the voices of news anchors and documentary narrators.  Sharp crime and courtroom dialogue. Collective laughter of an imaginary crowd in a comedy series.

Three white baskets contain an assortment of disks. Find anything, from Mean Girls to A Streetcar Named Desire.

See a desktop and the essential router further right.  9Gag is the default page. Connected to the computer is an Edifier speaker. When the tv is not on, it is. Mayer, Maroon 5, Spalding, Sting, or Sino Sikat frustrates silence.   

Notice four black bags standing against the wall.  They contain a bass guitar, a classical guitar, a violin, a ukulele.  Their owners play them -- thankfully, not at the same time.

Agree that the room's best asset is the sliding glass window.  It spans half the room’s width. Four panels of bamboo drapes allow the air to move freely in.  They also give some shade.

Hear the stream of children’s laughter from the main street. This, or teenagers’ giggles from one of the bedrooms upstairs.  Shake your head at the occasional chess, Scrabble or Transformer pieces. Be careful. Avoid them as you walk barefoot on the shiny spotless tiled floor.

Marvel at how a mother and her children cultivate their individual styles. Perceive how they bond anyway.

Realize that this room is, true to its name, alive.