Wednesday words 3.23.16: Home





I think most of you who read followed me here from my now-defunct home blog. If so, you know that questions of home have been at the core of my being for a long, long time.

I suspect I have much to say again on this topic, but not yet.

The images above are from something I’m working on. I don’t know yet what it will be, what form it will take. I don’t know what it will say–about home or anything else.

Sometimes, I start to write because I have something I want to say, and I work hard to get the words to convey what I mean.

Sometimes, I don’t know what I mean, and I work hard to get the words to help me figure it out. Right now is one of those times. This is a different kind of “writing” than I’ve done before. It feels almost like reading Tarot cards, or looking for meaning in my dreams. (In other words, way more woo-woo than feels comfortable for me.) Instead of producing words and looking for some kind of sense in them, I’m looking for words and seeing what kind of sense they make. Or might make.

Clearly, I am not far enough into this to articulate anything clearly–about my topic or my process. But one thing I’d like to do here is share process. I wish I’d been able to see much more of others’ processes when I was younger. So here it is, nebulous and messy as it is:

I’m looking through books and cutting out words that seem connected to my questions of home–what is is, how we make it, what we need from it, how we will know when we’ve found it. 

I’m trying not to think too hard right now, not to force anything. I’m trying to trust my process, and myself. Like so many things right now, it feels both very uncomfortable and necessary.

14 thoughts on “Wednesday words 3.23.16: Home

  1. Marian says:

    “All she needs is a place where the eggs will not roll away” — this one made me laugh, Rita — I can’t decide whether to picture a woman trying to bake in a kitchen with very crooked floors (and thus a slanted counter/table) or a hen wanting to lay an egg but only finding slopes 🙂 .

    The snippets seem very poetic to me right now, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with (if anything more structured comes out of the process, I mean). Home (in all its various meanings) is something I also ponder quite a bit, most likely because my childhood home was so far from ideal. It’s led to me being rather determined to create something better for our kids, but I have to admit I’m not at all certain that I’ve managed to do this; I often wonder (with some trepidation tbh) how our kids will assess their childhood “home”.

    • Rita says:

      I like that snippet, too. 🙂 I don’t know you, your children, or your home IRL, but from all you’ve shared I’m sure there’s no reason for trepidation. You put such thought and care into everything you do, I’m sure that’s what your kids are going to take away when they look back.

  2. Sarah says:

    I love the egg line, too! I was thinking of it in a more metaphorical way — as if the eggs were ideas or creative projects or even just standing in for anything significant or important. And so the idea of a good home as a place where one can keep the important things close by and safe.

    Are these cuttings from a book about animal homes? I like thinking about the ways in which we humans might make home in a similar way as animals, the ways in which we ARE animals making homes.

    I’ll hold off on more comments for now (for me at least other people’s ideas can sometimes be confusing when I’m in the middle of working something out myself) but I like seeing your process and look forward to seeing what comes of these explorations!
    Sarah recently posted…Finished objects: New dish towels, and a defense of downcyclingMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      Thanks, Sarah. Many of the cuttings are from a children’s book with information about animal homes. There are other topics, too. I think I liked it because, yeah: Humans are animals making homes. 🙂

  3. Kari says:

    I kept being drawn to “each kind of home is a good home for the animal that makes it” because damn if that isn’t the truth.
    I can’t wait to see what you are doing with all of these snippets.
    Maybe making me a desk out of them??
    A girl can hope.
    Kari recently posted…Go Home Pinterest, You Are DrunkMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      No, no desks. 🙂 I would if I could–and then make you come out to Oregon to pick it up. As you say, a girl can hope.

  4. Kate says:

    So many lovely little snippets you’ve cut out! I’ve always loved and admired this kind of art, but I’ve never felt GOOD at it. I’m always afraid what I cut won’t fit together the way I want and then I’ll have wasted the paper – so I don’t even start.

    Ironically, we dyed eggs today and my daughter got frustrated because her first egg didn’t turn out the way she had hoped. We had to spend some time talking about how art making is filled with mistakes and going with the flow before she’d come back to the table. Why is it always so easy to SAY the right things to other people but so difficult to give ourselves the same freedom? It makes me happy to see that you are doing that – even if you are a little uncomfortable with the process. Maybe I’ll need to follow your example (and my own wisdom) and play a little more – even if I’m not always comfortable with the process.
    Kate recently posted…Spring BreakMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      I can certainly relate to what you’re saying. I’ve had all these book innards for quite a while, and they felt so precious to me that I couldn’t bring myself to use any of them. I was afraid I’d waste the best bits on bad works. But I’ve seen (over and over) writerly advice that cautions against holding onto what feels like your best material, waiting for the best use of it. I know this kind of feeling comes from fear of scarcity. That’s something I’ve been fighting in all kinds of ways the past 6 months. So: art as therapy. 🙂 I know I can find more material later, and that it might come to me in ways I’d never expect. And I think the best way to help your daughter see the things you want her to about art is to model it for her with your own experiments. :-)(I loved the photos of your eggs, btw.)

  5. Lisa says:

    I love this way of making art. And one of the quotes I found interesting is the “there is no water, there is no water”….which sort of induces a feeling of panic if one is talking about home. (Or living in CA.) So I hope that you are not having panicky feelings about home. I also see a balance of positive and negative thoughts–“together in a wonderful way” against “poplars are lonely”. I hope you’ll share what it ends up being.
    Lisa recently posted…pink Target lampsMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      Oh, I’m sure I will. I’ve been having a good time using the words to help me think. I wish I could tell you exactly why/how I chose the bits to cut out, but it was pretty much a gut thing. I think I’m having a lot of mixed thoughts, which is probably the reason for the mixed words.

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