I am missing home. I went to say goodbye to my childhood home and the visit was cut short. Luckily, I took lots of good video of the place I grew up in before strangers moved in and called it their home. Watching the video jars my memory. Things I might otherwise forget will resurface as I see different images: the old radiator, the tiny bathroom with my mom’s oddly patterned contact paper covering the walls, or the side porch in the summer sun. From the present moment, I am swiftly swept into yesterday. It is from this place that I think about a tomorrow that no longer comes with a way to physically visit a place full of rich memories. It’s a strange experience of time and space.
I like to paint it all. It’s soothing. I feel like I am back at 323 Buena Vista Road. I am lost in the past, and I am happy. I gently float back and forth in time. Honestly, I don’t always have an easy time returning to the present. I have to switch gears emotionally and even physically. It’s almost how I would imagine returning to earth from space: I have to prepare for reentry and know that the transition is going to be a little disorienting. After wandering about in the past, I have to reground myself in the realities of the present moment: groceries, making dinner, work, other people’s needs and daily chores. Time to come back to the moment at hand. The liminal space I’ve been drifting in dissolves.
I like to visit the past. I like the way I can go to another time and place and then return to the present moment. The disconnected, far away place I go in my mind when I paint might be disorienting and uncomfortable for some. I find the journey fascinating and calming. It’s odd and strange but surprisingly satisfying. I am missing home, but with my canvas and a paintbrush it all comes rushing back. I can go back whenever I choose.
Consider the power of art to transcend time and space. By engaging in the creative process, you can go just about anywhere. Think about what you can capture with imagery, memory, and an expressive tool. What can you photograph that speaks better than your words? What can you create that captures a moment you don’t want to forget? You can discover new ways to define your experiences of any time and any place. Art has the power to speak within your liminal places and spaces.
Missing Home, 2021