Today I started working on clearing out the closet that will eventually be the incubation chamber. It was full of laundry, spare bedding, old photo albums and a bunch of other things that people keep in closets, including a lot of clothes I haven't worn in years or which no longer fits. So after having cleared out the dirty laundry, I took some photos of the closet in process.
First with general storage and some bedding that needs dry cleaning rather than tossing into the washer. As you can see, it's pretty crowded in there. I moved the hook for the robe onto the bathroom door. The bedroom door, when open, covers part of the closet door, but this shouldn't be an issue for my purposes.
More likely to be difficult is the fact that the closet door opens inward. This means that nothing can be in the path of the door, including cushions and such, unless I move them before the door opens. That may be an inconvenience, depending on where I end up placing the cushions that I'll by lying on. Most likely, that will go along the back of the closet. Altar stuff will likely go along the wall on the right hand side looking in, as there is room next to the door.
The next photo is after I'd pulled out the majority of the stuff on the floor. As you can see, there's still a lot of work to do. Clothing and storage items need to be removed. I'll also need to remove the hanger bars and the shelves. The hanger bars are right at the level where I'm going to whack myself in the head if I try to stand up under them. This is a Very Bad Thing when one is in a perhaps not entirely grounded state, so it's partly a safety issue as well as one of space.
First I'd considered leaving the upper shelves, but they make the room feel claustrophobic when I'm in it and taking them out has made a big difference in how the room actually feels. There were a lot of screws and some nails to deal with. I'll be putting both the shelves and the hardware out into the garage because if I ever sell the place, I'll need to reinstall the shelves and bars for the next owner. I rather doubt they'll find much use in an incubation chamber in the master bedroom!
The third photo is of the room entirely emptied, except for the stepladder. I decided that the off-white was entirely too... something and so tomorrow I'll be painting the room with some sage-green stain. It'll mute the brightness of the room when the lights go on, and help with a more comfortable feel if I have candles burning on the altar for any reason. The bland off-white is a color I don't care for much and the incubation chamber should have as few non-ritual distractions as possible, so comfort and easiness on the eyes is important to me through this process.
I'll be having my Very Tall Roommate and possibly his boyfriend help me with the painting, and it should go quickly. It's cold out and snowed late last night, but I'll still need to open the bedroom window to air the space out while the painting is going on, as well has having the bathroom fan going to help clear the air as quickly as possible. The door to the room will need to be left open, probably for several days, to be sure that I'm not going to keep the necessary out-gassing from happening. Paint fumes are nasty stuff, and that's not the way I want to alter my consciousness. I may end up sleeping with the window open for a night or two, with a lot of extra blankets on the bed!
As you can probably see even just from the photo, having the rails and shelves out of the room changes the feel a lot. What you can't see is that I had to remove a broken light dome from the fixture. That happened quite a while ago when I was trying to get something off one of the high shelves. I'll have to replace the fixture so that I don't have a bare bulb up there on the ceiling.
Another issue is that if I'm going to have sound in the closet, I'm going to have to run an extension cord from the hallway. I have upstairs neighbors who have kids. Most of the time they're not too noticeable but now and then it's like elephants on the ceiling. I'm considering looking for cds with nature sounds on them -- not nature sounds with music but just nature sounds. Flowing water, ocean waves, or birdsong and wind in leaves would all be acceptable, so if any of you have suggestions for places to find this, that would be great.
I don't want music over the background sound because that drives a certain mood and it also presents problems when the sound loops at the end of the piece with a CD or iPod on repeat. I may also experiment with soft harp music or other instrumentals that carry an appropriate mood in them, intended for quiet contemplation or meditation. Harps are certainly a part of the tradition and if there was any sound driver for trance in the Gaelic tradition it was most likely harp, given the three harp strains of laughter, sorrow, and sleep.
I'll take suggestions on good harp pieces as well, and I'm sure some of you will have them. I'm very much open to experimenting with harp music for trance and healing work, and without a harper at my personal disposal at all hours, I'm going to have to go with recorded music. Damn the inconvenience! ;)