Thursday, September 10, 2009

Home connects the poetics of everyday life

Judith Fertig writes "Coming Home to Yourself: When Your Home Expresses Who You Are" for Natural Awakenings, focusing on our associations with the word home.
"Regardless of whether home is a room, apartment, cottage or mansion, how homey it seems depends first on two physical factors: light coming in on two sides and a view of greenery or sky, according to Clare Cooper Marcus, professor emerita of the departments of architecture and landscape architecture and environmental planning at the University of California, Berkeley.

"We yearn for nature," she observes. “"Houseplants or a view of a garden is a universal desire." In her seminal book, House as a Mirror of Self: Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home, which resulted from her work on a low-income housing project and a series of case studies, Marcus came to understand that "People consciously and unconsciously use their home environment to express something about themselves."
Fertig also quotes Jill Butler, author of Create the Space You Deserve: An Artistic Journey to Expressing Yourself Through Your Home"The whole idea of a house became skewed when we worried more about resale value than actually living there," she continues. "It’s time to consider their return on our emotional investment." When writing about rediscovering who we are now, Fertig includes:
"Thomas Moore, in Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life , recalls a "reading" he did of one woman’s dwelling. "My idea was to see the house’s poetry and alphabet, to understand the gestures it was making in its architecture, colors, furnishing [and] decorations, and the condition it was in at that particular time." After the exercise, he notes, "We both felt unusually connected to the place." More, "I was motivated to reflect on my own home and to think more deeply about the poetics of everyday life."
The second half of Fertig's article describes creative renewal through thoughtful decorating.

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