Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Redefining the Home

What is a “home”?

Home and house are not interchangeable words. The words “origin,” “center,” “cared for,” “comfortable,” and “relaxed” are among the terms used to define the term home. All of these words convey a mental state of being, rather than one that is physical. The definition of house corresponds to a particular kind of structure. To demonstrate the best use of both words: One can make a home in a house. (One could also make their home in their car, office, or perhaps even the street, but as I will argue later, a home must be a place where one is capable of feeling comfort, and it is unlikely that the aforementioned dwellings can offer such a thing.)

With the paint dried on my walls and my boxes unpacked, I am beginning to feel like I have a home. Before I moved in, 1402 Pierce was my friend Alysson’s house, and though she has a keen sense of style, few vestiges of her remain. She left me her mattress (as a favor), a pair of red carved wood wall shelves, and a 1960s high-seated red chair. I kept the bedroom blue, but added pink to the walls in bathroom, and a shade of celadon to the kitchen. Sometimes I think Allyson is going to appear with a tray of macaroons, like the ones she made last spring, and offer me some. I wonder when her presence will go away, or if it ever will.

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