Our Home is Art and thus an extension of our identity showcasing self expression!
We hope you enjoyed our last blog. It was such a treat to write. For all the sistas reading today's blog, we love you!
Thanks to the pandemic, many of us are spending more time at home. I don't know about you, but the way I think about the space we call home has changed since the pandemic. It was once a place where we went for shelter and warmth, a place where we entertained family and friends. A place to feel safe. The place where all the family drama goes down! I didn't realise that the very nature of our connection to that space was rooted in optics.
I once read an interesting quote written by philosopher Gaston Bachelard who thought of space and our home as a form of poetry. The quote read...
Our soul is an abode, and by remembering houses and rooms, we learn to abide within ourselves
I read a few more chapters written by this philosopher, much of which went over my head, to be honest! I love philosophical writing, but my gosh, some texts are so dense and overly complex. So this idea that the reader has to struggle with the writing or interpreting and re-interpreting the mystery of each sentence provides true understanding is total nonsense in my mind.
How on earth did I go off on the complexities of philosophical writing? I will never know. Alas, let's get back into the topic of this blog...
Gaston Bachelard's quote really resonated with me. But what I took most from his writing is how we can fill the spaces within our homes with objects that simultaneously produces both wonderful and uncomfortable feelings. This, isn't good nor bad. This to me, means life is a combination of helpful and not so helpful experiences, and our home is also a reminder of this reality.
Memories, experiences and milestones from our past and present with those we shared laughter, tears, joy and pain with can be relived in each space.
Since owning an Instagram home account, the most challenging part I have encountered is the pressure of the constantly changing lifestyle landscape. With each season bringing a new trend showcasing what a 'house' should look like. This season is crush velvet, and before you know it, the next latest trend is neutral colours, mirrored furniture, natural wood, or it's the season for prints. Justifying each change with the infamous "my style has evolved/changed". When in reality, your style is the evolution of what's trending. Before you know it, each corner of your home looks like a copy-paste from different homes across the globe! It's confusing and only depicts the most inflated sense of commodification.
Fast-forward to 2022 "Influencers" professing that to live a quality life requires us to whip out our credit cards and spend spend spend, attempting to brainwash us all into being reprogrammed that house embarrassment is REAL. To live a fulfilling life requires something that sits outside of ourselves and, like a social media oracle, to access the elixir that has all the answers to your existential crisis - you will need to pay.
Think about it: a library filled with historical and present-day information is likely to be less than £10 to access. I mean, in today's society, you wouldn't even need to leave your home to access a library. So how much are you paying each month to listen to someone who doesn't actually have the answers tell you what your answers should be?
Suppose for a moment we held in thought the words of Gaston Bachelard. It might then seem that we are all on the path of becoming empty souls because our homes and the rooms inside them are never genuinely filled with objects that carry meaning uniquely connected to our identity as beings. More an optical illusion of the need to convey a level of social status.
The "I Love You" card in the above image is a Valentines Day card given to me by the fairy (Nailah) a number of years ago, which I now use as a decorative object in our home.
I can attest for that feeling of lack, and at times, those acts for me came out of impulsive buys, not being disciplined, and my absolute favourite one is justifying the spend as a NEED. But, the truth is, the only NEED I have is a warm bed, clean, dry clothes, a little something to eat and a safe shelter, all amalgamating to a home filled with love.
In recent months the way I once viewed my home has changed. I can remember visiting department stores and any Interior home stores weekly as if I was being paid to do so.
Over time, I noticed that I was becoming a collector of things, and I had stopped being intentional about my collection of things. If you missed that line, then I encourage you to reread it.
I once counted more than 70 candles when in reality, I could only ever burn 4, maybe 5 at any given time. I had become a hoarder of things.
All we have are the memories we create in our space through our collection of objects. We can choose to curate memories that represent who we are as people or stretch ourselves and our finances to create a version of art that isn't quite us, but it meets the status quo of what a house should look and feel like.
Our memories are nestled within us and have the power to brighten our days or amplify the stresses of life.
Think about it, the worst feeling we could have is walking past something in our home and regretting the purchase.
Sapere aude a latin phrase that loosely translates to daring to think - Daring to think will sometimes mean standing outside of the social flow of what is current or fashionable, but it speaks powerfully to the feeling of abiding within ourselves and doing that which only seeks to serve and produce a form of blissful contentment within our homes.
What is most important, especially after reading that work, is how we decorate our homes poetically describes how we might feel about ourselves. It represents our thoughts, dreams and insecurities. I would even go further in saying that some of the things we choose for the rooms in our homes may even represent something absent in our lives.
Being intentional about my actions in my home represents being intentional about my actions in my life. Art is a political representation of my identity, and my home is the story of who I am in the here and now and who I will become in the future.
With Love always
Mon & Nai