I live where I live by accident. Other than being with the guy I fell in love with, there was no intent. And it shows. I have no love for this place, though that is no surprise. From the moment I set foot over the threshold, I knew this place was not for me, even if the man was. Quite the conundrum. Worse yet, it was a fixer upper, an emotional and financial strain. But I’ve tried to work with it. We’ve repaired and improved, coaxed and cajoled, and now that it is just about done—I still hate it. It is beautiful. I have no right to complain. But still, I despair when I think of this as my footprint in the world.
Recently, I took a road trip with some girlfriends. Expanding horizons, open land. It was an exploration of time and place and people. “Home” was either the unwitting theme or my subconscious quest. The women I met on the road were driven by the concept. Home inspired them, rejuvenated them, and was an integral part of who they were. Their homes were part of their description and self identification. Blonde or Brunette? Liberal or Conservative? Contemporary or Arts and Crafts? I’ve come to feel that a home that doesn’t suit you is a disfigurement, complete with embarrassment and downward glances. Eye contact avoided just like in the halls of junior high.
I’m old enough now to have lived in a few places, and I’m chagrined to say that most of my life has been spent in places that don’t suit me. I suppose it is classically female to always tend to others’ needs before your own, but this girl is tired of bearing the weight of everyone else’s happiness. This holiday season that we are in always seems to underline Home and Hearth, yet it is never a concept that can be clearly defined. As the halls are decked this year, I will be nesting into the fibers that give me the comfort and inspiration that Home fails to. There will be some rearranging of the emotional furniture, that’s for sure.
The rug hooking class we traveled to attend was entitled Big Lessons, Small Canvas. It seems apt, don’t you think? And as with all lessons and study, the trick is in figuring out exactly what questions to ask and to attempt to answer. A house is the sum of its parts; walls, roof, square footage, lot size. It is a mathematical equation. Home is a piece of art. It is layers of color and texture and process that encompass your emotion. It brings out the best in you and reflects an image of the person you want to be. My question is if any house become a home? More specifically, can this house I’m in become one?
Are these concepts that you have personal experience with? Have you ever struggled to make a place a home? Were you able to turn the corner of how you feel about the place? What did it take? And the artist in me wants to know if you ever created any artwork around the theme of Home, and if you’d like to share.