The idea of home is both definable and deceiving.
As I start to write this post, I sit here at the Library, wrestling with that duality, as our beloved Magic Cottage is possibly being shown to it’s new owner.
I absolutely love going to the Library. I absolutely love being at our Cottage.
Is it the structure itself or what lies within, that makes me count both as home?
Is it a place at all? Or is it a feeling that resonates deep down, when you meet a person that just, fits.
Is it something that you do that fills up those cracks that Life pitch at you?
The longer I am blessed to walk this Earth, I have come to realize that ‘ Home ‘ isn’t just one place, one person, or one thing.
It’s your Dog greeting you at the door. It’s hearing a Loved One’s voice on the other side of the line. It’s that track on that album you’ve played for the millionth time.
It’s where you find pieces of your Heart.
My formative understanding of home, is rooted in my Filipina American experience.
I carried Vinyl Lunch boxes, wore Knee Socks with my Hair Rollers, had Piano Lessons once a week, and spent weekends Ice Skating:
I had Family in (which usually meant a lot of us, a lot of parties, and way too much food) Stockton, San Francisco, Hawai’i and even New York City:
Each and every one of these experiences, people, and places still resonates within me.
I can hear the Aunties ‘ talking stories’ in Ilocano in the kitchen, I can smell the food as they walk by on the way to the dining room. I can feel those rollers in my hair, the touch of satin from my Ice Skating Dress. I can still sink into Grandma’s strong arms lifting me up, and into the smell of the powder she used to dust her skin with. I can taste the dripping heat of the North Shore sun as I play with Princess, while at the same time, feeling the comforting softness of her muzzle.
Pieces of my Heart, all Home.
As I began to venture out into the world, Home was where ever I was:
I found it in NYC in the Mid 1980’s, where I began my life long obsession of parading with my camera.
I found it on the beach after a day of visiting the Ruins + Pyramid in Chichen Itza.
I always find it on this Staircase + in this Hammock and if I say I’m coming Home, the whole of O‘ahu would say, Where YOU been?
And as always, Home is the minute I put feet to ground in the UK:
Pieces of my Heart, all Home.
I left my Childhood home ( I did have a brief year away in the City) later in life, a few months after my 30th Birthday.
In those 20 years, I have lived in three places.
A wee tiny ( t i n y ) 1930’s Cottage on V Street:
In my first foray into ( late ) Adulthood, I became a Musician’s Girlfriend, then a Band Wife, survived running a Homeless Shelter in the not yet Gentrified neighborhood of Oak Park, as well as the aftermath of the brutal Rape + Attack of my Mother In Law.
The meaning of Home during this time of my life was Independence, Refuge, and True Partnership.
My second home was a 1930’s Top Floor Apartment on 24th Street:
The entirety of my/our time on the Upper Floor was all Creative. I had left my Oak Park Job and became a Full Time Working Artist. I started a Semi Popular Blog, Self Published a Magazine, taught at the Crocker Art Museum , and got my first Art Show in London.
The meaning of Home during this chapter of my life was Art, full stop.
My Parents wanted to help us get a House to call our own, so a hunting we went. I vividly remember the Ex calling me at work saying ‘ I think I found us our piece of Heaven ‘. I remember gasping this first time I saw it in the dark, and we walked around the neighborhood feeling like we were on a Movie set.
Financial Issues + Me surviving an almost Fatal Car Accident aside, we moved into our little slice of that American Dream:
We built me a Pink Art Studio with shelves:
He built a Recording Studio:
During this time, I got my first Solo Art Show, ran an Art Gallery, taught Art within the Public Library System, and got my second London Art Show. Home was again a place of Creativity, but it was also a constant whirlwind of activity. The energy was palatable.
But then Home became something else.
It became dark, it became painful, it became something that tore me down.
I changed all that up rather quickly and made my Home a Sanctuary:
And for the next 7 years, with my Beloved Sadie Dog by my side, I began to embrace the pure bliss of being on my own and worked hard at making the house full of light, love, and inspiration:
Visitors would inevitably comment on how the house had this intangible quality, something that they couldn’t quite put their finger on.
Magic, I call it Magic.
And then there was the Magic outside our front door. If you’ve visited me, you know. If you’re anywhere near Sacramento, drive through Curtis Park, then you’ll know.
Pure unbridled, Americana. And just like that first fated night I fell in deep for the house, I started falling for our glorious neighborhood all over again.
Sadie + I loved discovering new things about our neighborhood on our hundreds of walks …
I miss those walks, I miss Her.
In April of this year, I lost the biggest Love of my Life.
My Heart will always be broken and quite simply, there is no Home here without Her.
Along with Her Passing and other extenuating circumstances, I decided it was time to let go of one of the singularly most important chapters of my Life.
To let go of a Home that saw me fall, a Home that saw me fly.
A Home that will always have pieces of my Heart.
And since June, I’ve been documenting and slowly saying Good Bye:
I am trying to fill up the remaining 40 Plus Days I have here with positivity: I am making Art for a possible show in November, writing my Third Issue of my Zine, and planning a Record Party to say Good Bye to 6th Avenue!
Onwards + Always Up,