No matter where you are in the world or what you are doing in the city you live in, walking at the front door always gives you a deep sense of gratitude and relief.
Having a house like a sanctuary is a blessing. And in different seasons of life, my different homes have helped me in different ways: deepening the community and relationships as a space to welcome others for meals, game nights, long conversations. As a space to strengthen. Or as a place to gather yourself and others, quietly mourn and mourn, and patiently wait for healing to slide around me like a shawl.
And consistently, my home was a place where my creative life flourished and prospered. How we live in our homes and establish domestic rituals has a significant impact on how we live in the outside world and influence our thoughts and actions. ..
I love the work of Polina Barskaya, A contemporary artist based in Brooklyn. Born in Ukraine in 1984, Barskaya paints small works, including his self-portraits and family images. They are like a visual diary of her life, and many of her paintings are placed in domestic spaces. In her 2019 work, Bloomville, she sits naked on her bare bed, raises her hands and puts her hair in a bun. Her light gray palette gives her bedroom a soft and quiet atmosphere. Trees and green meadows can be seen from the window behind her, and light shines through the window with curtains on the right side of her canvas. It is a stolen scene that looks like early morning alone.
Bedrooms began to be separate rooms in the house from the 17th century. And yet, they were used not only to sleep, but also to entertain nearby or important guests, and to do business.
But for us today, the bedroom is the most private part of our home. So much energy goes through the bedroom. It’s an intimate place where many of us also retreat when we’re fighting physical or emotional illness. It’s where we cry, where we wake up in anxiety and fear, where we dream and raise our desires, where we feed our babies and hug our toddlers. Or a place that might remind us that we are alone.
In Barskaya’s painting, the woman sitting on the edge of the bed is where the bedroom is also the stage for the beginning of a new day, from which we can check in and gather ideas. All of this can affect how we treat what the day brings and how we meet the outside world.
I value the space my bedroom provides to me. It is the inner sanctuary of my house. I don’t have a TV there, and the walls are white and bare except for antique mirrors and pictures on the bed. This margin is a rest for my already overflowing heart. No matter what’s happening in my life, I try to practice my morning ritual before I get out of bed. It helps to set the intent of the day and draws both my strength and hope from it.
There are also small things on the bedside table, such as a small thumb-sized cup. This reminds us to leave space in the proof cup for unexpected ways that life may want to fill in unexpected ways. It may seem trivial, but these items by my bed symbolically remind me of how I want to be in the world.
African-American artist Horace Pippin Surviving World War I, he said his experience of war “created all the art in me.” Losing the use of his right hand after being shot, he taught himself to paint with his left hand.
In Pippin’s “Saying Prayers” (1943), the mother sits in the kitchen near a large black stove. Her two children, ready to sleep in a nightie, kneel on her knees as she puts her hands on their heads. There is a simple woven floor covering on the floor, and several pots hanging on the wall. This is a family of discreet means. However, the images provided by Pippin suggest that they are rich in care and love. Her mother bends her body protectively over them, as if they were gathering themselves again. She reaches out to each child and she prays for them and regains them. It’s a powerful image, suggesting that it’s also the one claimed by those who love you deeply.
Our rituals at home can shape us and change our lives in the world. The fact that Pippin puts this scene in the kitchen seems to emphasize its role as the center of the house, nutrition and nutritional place. Inviting someone to join the kitchen is to invite them to another kind of intimate space. There, procedures are left behind, and labor is often mixed with love, creativity, and a unique openness of mind. The kitchen table is often the place where vulnerable conversations take place, revealing our true self in all glory and turmoil.
19th century artist Felix Vallotton It’s one of my favorites. He is best known for woodblock prints and domestic interior paintings, reflecting relationships by how people are represented in physical space. “The Interior of a Red Woman from Behind” is a 1903 painting that gives an intimate glimpse of how someone else lives in a room in the house. As a viewer, we enter the painting from the first set of eggshell blue doors that open the canvas. Through this opening we are given access to the next three rooms in the house: we can see parts of the sofa, chairs and beds, and clothes scattered around each. Women are turning their backs on us.
I entered a scene that was not prepared for the guest. Rather, I caught a woman who was unaware at home. If we remain undetected long enough, we can see how she lives when no one else is looking. We are intruders, privacy intruders who are uninvited. Getting into someone’s house is not an easy task. Love is created, not created, dreams are created, most of us wrestle with some of ourselves, and we believe that it is unacceptable to the outside world, whether it is true or not. ..
Getting someone into our home is about spreading another level of trust and inviting another level of knowledge. The rooms in our homes are, or think we are, or want to be, from how they are decorated to how we interact within them. I’m talking a lot about people I think. They also talk about how we want to interact with others.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to someone’s house for the first time. After showing me the living room, he invited me to the kitchen for a drink. Immediately, we were talking briefly, familiar. After he made our drink, we decided to stay where we were. I knew that inviting me to his house was a real gesture of wanting to know me. I also knew that getting to the kitchen was a promising start for a potential new friendship.
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