In one instance, we are in the country, alone, in a space foreign yet feels familiar, and in another, a move to a new home in the city greeted by a mature maple tree. In either instance, imagine the stories told if we scratched the painted layered surface of the wall or witnessed the placement of a picture that had hung. How about digging a hole knee-deep through the cellar floor or on nearby land—a not-so-distant history uncovered by our hand? What fortunes and secrets would they hold? 

It isn’t easy to describe the feeling of placing all your belongings into a box to unpack them again in the new destination. Although the destination may feel new, the house is not, including its surroundings; the land also holds memory, so we must take stock of that. This home in the city is now ours, but it took some time to make it our way. Before, the rooms were vacant and showed signs of those who lived before us. A lingering presence, which makes someone unique, remains alive even in their absence and perhaps rubs off like perfume until you yourself take its place.


Memory, displacement, and connection manifest in all manners of spaces, especially the private. It can become evident when moving to a new home while standing in an empty room, sizing it up to receive your belongings. Or perhaps, the sensation of being in the "presence" of someone when visiting somewhere new, and for whatever reason, you are alone. Looking for commonality, solidarity, and community. Spaces tend to remain still and heighten the sensation of quiet. But if you are careful, there are sounds and most contain a human trace. Especially with rooms that are generations old, the floors that creak and reverberate through walls of remembrance. The windows they whistle on windy nights. Urging a closer inspection, inside moving closer.

a container-my home

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