Have you said good-bye to a home? It is like losing a close friend, causing you to want to touch it one last time, to trace favorite portions with your hand before walking away. Remember the feel of the front step. Remember the sound of the door opening. This week, as I am creating artwork about home and memories in my studio practice, I am also saying good bye – again – to a home.
I am not a housecleaning fan. I remember once reading a beautiful soulful essay which included words about the meditative power of cleaning baseboards. I thought, “really?” This weekend I cleaned baseboards, and it was, in fact, an act of reflection.
The house I lived in for six years, the house that was a landing place when life changed, is now a house I own and use for rental income. It’s about 900 square feet and not fancy at all. I loved being there. But I left intentionally and willingly when it was time for me to form a new household. It was my home. Now it’s not.
I cleaned baseboards in preparation for a new tenant to move in. This is now the second tenant, so I have experienced the transition of this home once before. It was left in good shape, so the prep work required has not been daunting. I have cleaned, patched walls and replaced carpet in one room thinking about new inhabitants and a new stage for this house.
Images of home and memories of home are so compelling! Home is where our memories begin and are formed. Home is a combination of a physical place and all that happens there. Home shapes us, in ways that may be nurturing or poisonous, or some of both. I am thinking of all these qualities of home as I continue in my current series.
I do not believe I could have created this work earlier in my life. There were too many layers still covered. Now, the work is a way to peel back the layers and dig into the rich soil of all that grows from such memories.
It is my way of saying “hello” to the concept of home.
Here’s a detail from one of the works in my current series, Home is What You Remember, “Something Real To Remember.” The juxtaposition of the child drawing and faded homes in the background suggests the exploration of memory. More about this work on my website, HERE
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