What does home mean anymore?
Is home a physical location? Is it the people I love? Is it a hybrid of both, mixed with some nostalgia and memories? I haven’t lived in any one place since I was 18 for more than two or three years at a time, so home for me doesn’t necessarily mean a geographical location. I am a Montanan with a fierce love for my enormous, multi-faceted state, but I’m also a creature who has inhabited the mountains and valleys of Switzerland and the green, lush south part of Vancouver Island. Home for me is definitely when I’m with the people who light me up, but my relationship with the land is strong.
Part of this is because I’ve been alone much of the time. Not lonely. Alone. There is a big difference, and I think that learning to be alone, truly alone, and find peace in that is absolutely necessary. We often live in a weird state of semi-connected isolation in our technology tethered society, but I think that as human beings it is vital to be able to find yourself totally solo and not be bothered. I find that some of the most pure memories I have are when I was alone, whether it was on an early morning walk around Paradiso or sitting on a rock listening to the waves, looking into the ocean. I am alone with the earth and with everything around me. Savoring the taste of a good latte with a book in my favorite coffee shops or seeing “The Scream” at The Met and crying quietly in front of it. These are not happy moments in the sense of joy or exhilaration, but they are serene, smooth, and utterly mine. They were created by me, for me, and I allowed myself to be okay with the fact that there was nobody to rest my head on, to look over and smile at, and that feeling of being alone is terrifying but so good.
We live in a world of wage stagnation, nutter politicans, and dreadful news 24/7. We live in a world where technology defines relationships, where not having internet can feel like a death sentence. We are surrounded by media screaming at us that we are not enough, that we could be better. In such a vicious, often callous world, the ability to go away on a walk or sit and have a meal alone in a restaurant or even just look out the window and (not to be morbid but) we will die alone, and in between we will spend much of our lives being alone. This is not a bad thing but a reality we must face and I and many people I deeply love and respect have chosen to not fight it and find peace and serenity in our autonomy and the human experience of existence.
In the midst of this flooding of fear and preparation and grief for things that haven’t even yet occurred there is the reality- that I wake up, eat breakfast, and live. Exist. Not thrive, exactly, but survive. That is the goal right now.
Clarice Lispector has been quietly reassuring me that slogging through the shit is normal, and that the burning in my veins, this quiet simmering of anger, is an aspect of being human. I read books about other times, the past, times that are not now. I quietly try to avoid the news. I prepare Christmas gifts of donations to organizations that will be helping people who become further disenfranchised or who need medical care or who have other challenges that will become larger as this horrendous transition of power takes place.
I apply my lipstick and drink coffee and watch a parade of servicemen, marching for Remembrance Day here in Canada. I again mentally wish I was home for the millionth time, that I was able to be with people who feel the same thing. I almost cry thinking of my loved ones back home. I write the shoddy, weak beginnings of poems that will be honed and slowly fortified with the correct words. I am unable to do my research and writing at the same pace I was, as I feel like my brain is frozen to only a few subjects. This will fade and it must soon.
There is a ginkgo tree on Yates street that delights me. It is so yellow, unabashedly so, and it charms me with it’s enthusiasm for the season, and seems unaffected by everything around it. The natural world does what it has always done- adapts and moves on. I envy the tidal pools I peer into as the sun goes down. I relish the soft feel of leaves in my hands, knowing the trees do not understand what is happening just across the strait in my home country. It began to rain, quietly at first, after I left the drugstore with a candle, a silly purchase but something about a flame in close quarters is comforting.
It all continues and we hold our heads high and love one another more fiercely than ever before.
Vladimir Tatlin’s Momunet to the Third International might be one of my favorite non-existent pieces of art.
It is considered technically impossible to assemble in the state Tatlin sketched it in. It was meant to be taller than the Eiffel Tower. It was meant to show the aspirations of the USSR, and define the age of modernity, among other things.
Is it a sad thing that Tatlin’s dream structure cannot actually be built? Or is it beautiful that we can imagine it and sort of bask in the wonders of the human mind, in all the far fetched and delusional thoughts, plans, and wants?
Yes. We’ve all heard it.
Doesn’t exist anymore, but made my week a little more glorious.
How I feel about the upcoming papers and finals.
Violet the sloth will judge you.
I’m sort of obsessed with yogurt so this just had to be in here.
This week has been trying: my campus here still rears an ugly gender-biased head once in a while (maybe I’ll make a post about this later), and lately my photographs have felt uninspired. There are a lot of things coming up and sometimes I feel like I can’t handle it all.
Sources: Various Tumblrs- please don’t hate me for not having original sources! GAH!! These have been on my harddrive awhile. 😦