Maybe you live in a house; an apartment; above a bar; in the country, out in the open and quiet; in a city that screams loud and gray; couch to couch; or the same bed you’ve slept in since you were a child.
Maybe your home is fixed in place, stable, or home space is more temporal, altered states of wherever you fall at night and open your cute-crusty eyes in the morning.
This brings me to wonder how much we carry with us?
Not necessarily based in the realm of physical objects, or merely in the form of a feeling or a memory. I imagine there is a room in our homes for both. We imbue objects with the memories, and our memories hold dear the things we can no longer (or could never) hold.
I wonder what we would take with us if we had only 5 minutes to spare: to consider treasures, things for survival, the objects/memories embodying that which we want to hold close to these little hearts of ours.
Some days, it’s hard to pick oneself up, pull on our socks, and leave the front door to adventure, to work, to interact with a world, which is at times, abrupt, simply complex, drastically difficult to navigate. We are faced with so many challenges inside and outside of a home. Happenings that weather us, and shake our wonderful bones.
Leaving and finding our home(s) is an essential part of reckoning with the world. We meet each other: in community spaces, in coffee shops, classrooms, work, and street corners. What we oftentimes never quite know or consider is how the other lives and inhabits space. Where do they sleep? What is the view is out of the bedroom window? Is there a window? A bedroom? Sunshine? Brick walls? And, does this impact our sense of self: our emotional and physical needs? And, further, do we consider where we lay our head "our home" and if not, then how do we define and consider home?
I had the chance to stay at a friend’s home over a weekend. I’ve known this lovely person for a couple of years, feel close to them, and have spent a fair amount of time in their home. I’ve met the cat, looked out the windows, and have sat in the kitchen, almost always sharing an orange with my dear friend. It’s a beautiful house, sitting on the side of Lake Michigan.
What I haven’t experienced before is being in the house without my friend. I’ve found myself feeling closer to her after staying a mere two nights in her home.
I know what it’s like to wake up and look out the bedroom window, what it’s like to work alone in the studio, what it’s like to sit with a cup of coffee, listening to the wind on the water as I watch the birds fly overhead. I experienced how the sun hits the tree out back so differently every day, and every hour of the day.
I cooked in the kitchen, discovered where things were hidden: measuring cups, spoons, pots and pans, and all of the things that come together to create a warm kitchen, full of the smells of baked lemon poppy seed cakes.
I know the sound of the timer when the cakes are ready. Ding.
I know what the sliding door sounds like when the cat is let in and out of the house. I know where there are little cups of water surreptitiously placed about the house for the cat to drink: one on the stairs, one by the back sliding door, one in the upstairs bathroom, one in the studio, near the window, a green glass that reminds me of my great grandmother.
How do you find words or images to describe these relics of living and existing in a space?
It might be an impossible feat, but let's keep on trying.
I feel so much closer to my friend and it was through not spending time in physical proximity but infact, her letting me stay in her space, my ability to experience both the objects she keeps around her and a better understanding of how her home functions. It was a beautiful way to strengthen a relationship.
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