I am forcing myself to write this, which makes me angry, because I feel like this shouldn’t require an effort.
I’m stretching myself too thin again, and its making me feel overwhelmed and uninspired, and I don’t even want to leave pieces of myself here, because it feels like too much to give away right now. But I feel guilty for not writing, and angry at myself because it isn’t coming to me naturally.
I’ve always enjoyed coming into a person’s home for the first time. I think it’s fascinating, the way people reveal their private world to you, and I think our homes say so much about us. The tiny artifacts we choose to display, the messes we hide, or clean, and the messes we feel are acceptable left in plain view, the state of our refrigerators, the art we select, the things on our fridge door, how many plants we can maintain, or not, the colours we choose – these all speak to our character, I think.
When someone comes into my home for the first time, I’m very at ease. I’ve become much more comfortable on my own turf than I am anywhere else. I like to make sure they have snacks, and then it’s usually carefully selected music, and good conversation, with a sleeping animal somewhere near by. I try to be very aware of how my apartment smells. I’m paranoid that it smells like cat. I hate the carpet leading up my stairs, I need to paint my landing and a couple of doors, and I need the help of a burly friend to clear some old planters and furniture off my patio. I need to hang a couple of pictures, and a mirror, and some curtains in my bedroom. A once over with the broom to clear the cobwebs from the overhead rafters would also be a good idea. I love my home though. It really, really feels like home to me.
I think it’s beautiful when you come into someone’s home who isn’t used to having company. Typically, these places are really fascinating. They are usually neatly organized, and filled with interesting bits of personality and history. Friends who are used to solitude, who invite me into their space typically want to reveal something of themselves to me, and I love this. Old photos, family keepsakes, favourite albums, travel stories, snippets from favourite movies. There are so many things we can give each other that are free, and so valuable.
This weekend, I was at the home of a new friend, a remarkable friend who I find endlessly fascinating. He pulled out the guitar he hadn’t touched in a while, and I noticed he’d grown his fingernails. I was really surprised that he wanted to play without me having to convince him. He strikes me as incredibly shy, so it suddenly was clear to me how deep and comfortable his relationship to music must be. He played beautifully, and I hope he’ll continue to play more frequently now. I wonder if he had any idea what such a gesture meant to me? I could listen for hours to someone with such effortless skill.
I haven’t had anyone here who I have played music for. I haven’t dragged out my box of old photos, or my scrapbook of my artistic history. I haven’t shared stories of old hankerchiefs, or let anyone feel the fabric of the costumes I’ve made. I haven’t let anyone really come into my space.
My home has been filled with friends, and food, and music, and this has all been lovely of course, but theres’ a box filled with newspaper clippings, faded letters, and sepia photos that continues to gather dust, and I can scarcely bring myself to look at it some days.
Some people believe that there is no such thing as fate. That the people who enter our lives do so merely by coincidence, and that these meetings are completely random. I believe that each person who touches us, who has impact on us, is there because they have something to teach us. I believe that we in turn have something to teach them too.
Am I open to the lessons that I ought to learn?
Should I consider home schooling?