Monday, June 30, 2014

The Homing Sentiment

“This is the most beautiful place on earth. 
There are many such places.  Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary.  A houseboat in Kashmir, a view down Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, a gray gothic farmhouse two stories high at the end of a red dog road in the Allegheny Mountains, a cabin on the shore of a blue lake in spruce and fir country, a greasy alley near the Hoboken waterfront, or even, possibly, for those of a less demanding sensibility, the world to be seen from a comfortable apartment high in the tender, velvety smog of Manhattan, Chicago, Paris, Tokyo, Rio, or Rome—there's no limit to the human capacity for the homing sentiment.”     (Edward Abbey)
This quote (found among a collection of stray quotes I’ve been keeping on various computers, like a drawer of odds and ends) ties in perfectly with a piece I’ve started scribbling notes for, inspired by a prompt at an interactive exhibition at the wonderful Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe:  “’I feel most at home when…’  Or, ‘I don’t feel at home when…’”

I’ve been thinking a lot about that, and will be sharing thoughts and images and lists.  But in the meantime, just to get these mullings on homing begun, here’s my list as suggested by Abbey of my true homes (because “one true” doesn’t fit me)—
  • Como’s lakefront and the walks around and back
  • an adobe house with inner patio and apricot tree in or north of Santa Fe
  • a fieldstone village in Mallorca humming with goat-bells
  • a cathedral close somewhere in England, with the ruins of an abbey just beyond
  • a cottage with windows and wooden floors and a simple small wooden writing desk in the Carmel valley
  • a semi-detached brick house with fireplace and French doors on a quiet cobbled street in Georgetown
  • a Paris garret, where the artists lived
  • a tiny white stone house with courtyards and roof terrace and sea view in northwestern Crete
  • a room over a bakery in San Francisco’s North Beach
  • a green-roofed attic high above the St. Lawrence River in Vieux-Québec
  • (no basements, it seems…)

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