GreenishLady

Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Why I live where I live - Sunday Scribblings.

I live in an ordinary house, semi-detached, garden front and back, in a circle of houses on the outskirts of town. It has a picket fence (in need of repair) at the front, and wire fencing interspersed with mixed shrubbery at the back, to keep the dog on our side of the fence at all times. She’s not fierce. She’s little, and needs to be kept safe from traffic. My house has three bedrooms, a big enough square kitchen, that faces north and needs lighting most of the day, but still manages to be cheerful, a pleasant living-room, and a room with the grand title of Study, which means it’s where my books, computer, “stuff”, all live. Three walls of bookcases, spaces stuffed with files, notebooks, cups of pens, little drawers with crayons, markers, pencils. A hidden stash of paints and papers for “when I get back to the painting”.

I found the house. Eleven years ago. We’d moved to this town to facilitate my husband’s move to a new job. My son and I did all the initial searching, and this house – we fell in love at first sight. I don’t think my (then 9-year-old) son realised it didn’t come with the baby that was in the living-room when we came to view. I overlooked the lack of sun in the kitchen, because out back, looking at it on a sunny July day, there was my haven – a sunken, paved patio area, that I could just envisage packed with pots of colour and above that, the lawn surrounded by a rough stone wall. The garden sold the house to me. It took a few weeks and a few visits to sell it to my husband, and another few months for the purchase to be completed. We moved in on my 38th birthday. Felt even then like it was my birthday gift.

It’s my house now. My husband moved out three years ago. That is a whole other story. My son went off to college two years ago. Now there’s me and the dog. We have our routines. She knows when I take off slippers and put on shoes, I’ll be going out soon, and she slinks into her little bed, where she’ll stay until I come home again.

Why do I still live where I live? Because it’s my space. Because the shape of me is in the chairs and the bed, because I know where my books are, and my black jumper. Because I know what that green shoot is that I see in March, and the one that turns up in August, because I know that the genista will be flaring gold on the slope of the garden any day now, any day. I know the chaffinch with the deformed claw that comes to my back-garden feeder, and the pair of collared doves that arrive in morning’s cool air. I know the frog I disturb when I’m weeding, and the hedgehog that appears on summer nights to help out with the slug problem among my hostas. And I live here because it holds memories. I live here because we lived here, and I cannot contemplate yet, just yet, living anywhere that I can’t say that about. I live here because this is home.


Read More Sunday Scribblings Here.

31 Comments:

At 29/4/06 7:15 pm, Blogger Shuku said...

I was directed over here via Sunday Scribblings - it's my first time attempting that today and yours was the first post up I read. I want to tell you that it's beautiful, and you make pictures rise in my head like pale balloons when I read the words. I look forward to reading some more.

--Shuku from Sunday Scribblings

 
At 29/4/06 7:55 pm, Blogger chest of drawers said...

Hi there! I can relate really relate to this, it seems we have been through similar experiences...you have written in such beautiful detail, I feel like I´ve just spent some time with you in your "home".

 
At 29/4/06 11:25 pm, Blogger Jessie said...

"the shape of me is in the chairs and the bed"...and because you know where things are and where they grow and... this is a wonderful piece of writing. there's a twinge of almost-sadness, but mostly it feels comforting. i can see why you call such a place home.

 
At 29/4/06 11:57 pm, Blogger harmonyinline said...

Sounds cozy...I love doves; their cooing always makes me feel at home. I’ve had doves at several places I have lived, although currently I am making do with plain Rock Doves I enjoy them anyway.

 
At 30/4/06 12:28 am, Blogger Jennifer said...

I love this. So eloquent and lovely. It feels like home. We moved into our home on my husband's birthday and it felt like a gift too!

 
At 30/4/06 12:34 am, Blogger andrea said...

This was beautiful and so detailed. I felt as if I was walking inside with you looking in the cups of pens. If this were my home, I would never leave it as well.
Great post!
a.

 
At 30/4/06 12:42 am, Blogger Nichole said...

That was so well said. Thank you for sharing!

 
At 30/4/06 2:08 am, Anonymous Kerstin said...

I can just picture your house, it sounds like a lovely home, evoking fond memories of Ireland, too :)

 
At 30/4/06 2:08 am, Anonymous tinker said...

What a lovely tribute to your home, Imelda. It sounds so warm and cozy inside; light and lovely outside. Just reading the description of your sunken patio, sold me on your garden, too :>) It's hard to let go of somewhere that has so many memories - and, although it's increasingly popular to "just move on," I'm not completely sure we're always meant to - I think that (at least to a certain extent) humans are "wired" to mark out their territory; put down roots. Even many nomadic tribes have the same travel routes - stomping grounds that they return to, over and over. Sorry I wrote a book here! I should go do my Scribbling on my own page! Once again, your writing has inspired me.

 
At 30/4/06 2:38 am, Blogger paris parfait said...

Such a lovely post! Sounds like your house is absolutely perfect for you and that you have truly made it a home.

 
At 30/4/06 2:52 am, Anonymous Jennifer (she said) said...

i love the way you are claiming this house & your need to be there. i love the last paragraphs, the lines: Because it’s my space. Because the shape of me is in the chairs and the bed, because I know where my books are, and my black jumper. I just love this post in general. thank you!

 
At 30/4/06 3:05 am, Blogger deirdre said...

How lovely, this sense of belonging. I love your house.

 
At 30/4/06 3:29 am, Blogger aithbhreac said...

The "study" sounds like a lovely space. The picket fence, the little dog....I imagine you feeling very relaxed there and a place I would love to pop in for a cup of tea!

 
At 30/4/06 5:26 am, Blogger AnnieElf said...

There is comfort in the familiar and also a sense of safety and protection. I relate. And, OH, you have MY study. LOL Or I should say, your study's twin is in my house.

 
At 30/4/06 5:51 am, Blogger GoGo said...

Lovely. My favorite line is "Because the shape of me is in the chairs and the bed...". :o).

 
At 30/4/06 1:01 pm, Blogger Joy Eliz said...

Beautifully written! Heartfelt!

 
At 30/4/06 2:08 pm, Blogger NuttersNotes said...

Yep..."the shape of me is in the chairs" and knowing when the vegetation arises. Pearls abound in the piece. Imagine writing like that for page on end.

 
At 30/4/06 2:34 pm, Blogger Becca said...

Although our homes are a long way apart geographically, we have very similar feelings about our reasons for being in them! I truly enjoyed reading about your home and life in Donegal.

 
At 30/4/06 3:19 pm, Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

Beautiful post...as they say, divinity is in the details. You led us through your home as a truly gracious hostess and I, for one, was grateful. Thanks for sharing...

 
At 30/4/06 3:28 pm, Blogger Living Part Deux said...

The way you speak of your home, it feels like it has become like a coccoon that has covered you in security through difficult transitions. Lovely sharing. Thank you.

 
At 30/4/06 3:47 pm, Blogger AscenderRisesAbove said...

Arriving from Sunday Scribblings - took a peek at your other blogs; enjoyed your collages as well. and thanks for the 365 link - I may give that a shot as soon as I can figure out how it works....

 
At 30/4/06 4:57 pm, Anonymous ellie said...

The poetry of your space in the last paragraph moved me to tears. As you know from reading mr blog, I've been contmeplating a move, and after reading this today, I settled deeper into my chair and felt it reach for me like only home can. Thank you for reminding me of the hidden price of leaving.

ellie

 
At 30/4/06 6:39 pm, Blogger Cate said...

You perfectly describe a "home:" the familiarity, the comfort, the delights.

Love the description of the shape of you in the chairs. Love the idea that your son thought that the baby came with the house. I could SEE your little dog in the fenced yard.

You have painted a lovely picture with your words here. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

P.S. I cannot wait until your book arrives!

 
At 30/4/06 8:15 pm, Blogger Theresa Williams said...

I'm always amazed at how so much of what women write is about their house, their home. A lot of scholarship has suggested that women's homes are synonymous with their bodies. Thank you for your recent visit to my blog. The dilemma I spoke about comes from many years of teaching freshman composition in a department that doesn't prize creativity. Lately, I'm given more chance to teach outside this department and it's having a good effect on my psyche. I look forward to the day when I will no longer need the teaching blog, and the creativity blog will cover ALL aspects of my life. Again, thanks for visiting.

 
At 30/4/06 8:35 pm, Blogger megg said...

i loved that description of the shape of you in the chairs and the bed. The whole post was a wonderful description of a real home. Thank you!

 
At 30/4/06 10:28 pm, Blogger Jamie said...

What a beautiful home you found and created. I love how you describe knowing that it's your home. I giggled about the shoots that come up because I'm pretty new to gardening and can't remember what I planted where! I imagine that one day I feel that same sense of home. Thanks for opening your doors.

 
At 1/5/06 12:09 pm, Blogger kerrdelune said...

It was so good to spend time here with you, and how I relate to your writing about your own sacred home space. I think of home as my altar and my sanctuary too, my temenos. It is the place I come back to after my twiggy rambles, it is perfect contentment. Cheers, Cate

 
At 1/5/06 3:24 pm, Blogger Amber said...

Hi, I wanted to say thank you for the visit to my Sunday Scribble, and for taking time to read some of my past posts. But mostly for your tip for planting a little patch. I think I will try that. I have the perfect place out front. What can it hurt?

This was a very nice post. I could totally envision all of it. I could feel how cozy and homey it is for you. That is the feeling I want someday, too. Just like this! Thank you for sharing it with us.

:)

 
At 1/5/06 4:00 pm, Blogger Kristine said...

I like how your home "holds the shape" of you. It is such a comforting, melancoly description and yet beautiful at the same time.

 
At 2/5/06 5:31 pm, Blogger vicci said...

I adore this post!!!!

 
At 2/5/06 9:24 pm, Blogger gkgirl said...

i was moved by what i read.

i especially liked how
your home took the shape of you...
great imagery...

:)

 

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