I’m a homebody, and wherever Home is, I need to be there. Deeply, viscerally, emotionally, I need to be there. Need to boil the kettle two, three, or four times a day. Need to change my clothes over and over, or not at all. Need to randomly put on a full face of makeup or spend an afternoon washing my hair. And more than solitude, I need to cook or clean the bathroom and put fresh towels up. I need to move furniture, mop the floors, and finally hang those frames. I need the space be the container for my mind as it runs free.
I believe that homes are living, dynamic entities. That they carry the weight of their inhabitants and bear their marks in meaningful ways. Even when home by myself, I’m never really alone. I can see my husband’s attention to detail and his way of straightening up even if he’s not physically here. In the trinkets, dishes, and books that lie in my wake as I move around the house, I see my love for eclectic and controlled messes and my halfhearted attempts to contain them.
This photo is from my grandfather’s house in Nairobi, Kenya. Though the people in that house are miles away, the things left in their absence speak endearingly for them and help me feel close to them.