Page One.Posted: 05/06/2012
#nowplaying Wilco, Wilco A.M.
I’m now three weeks into my Writing+Art class at PNCA. I am enjoying it very much and have made a nice little post-work routine for myself in the hour I have before heading to class at 6:30. Just being able to say &/or write “class” in relation to myself again feels really positive. It has been great to get my hands dirty during the art projects, to forget the thoughts that plague me all day, to NOT be in front of a screen. Since writing– what I’d consider my ‘hobby’ in life – has been strictly a solitary activity for me thus far, it’s also nice to be sharing and reeding what I’ve scribbled in the company of a small group of people.
During the first class, we read a short piece by Stephen S. Hall called “I, Mercator.” It is dense despite its short length, the kind of reeding where you find yourself underlining so many sentences that eventually entire paragraphs and pages are marked up for frequent revisiting. What resonated most with me from Hall’s writing is his assertion that none of us ever travel – near or far – without some sort of map. Our personal maps are constructed from nature and nurture, and pull from memory, nostalgia, and visceral desire to form the latitudes and longitudes that guide all of our actions and decisions [most of the time, subconsciously]. The following excerpt speaks to the need we all have for a “home base” of some sort for our wanderings:
“…we need some secure oasis of order, even if only a memory (or a fiction), as a home port for our various explorations, our attempts to make sense of the unknown. This is the place we call “home,” which appears on page one of every private atlas. Home can literally be home, an abode, or our notion of family, or even a comfortable spot apart from our dwelling place, like work; whatever it is, home is where the lines are straight, the order clear, where even disorder seems predictable and the displacements tolerably temporary.”
I guess I love these lines so much because quite simply, I wholeheartedly agree with Hall and can relate to needing a “page one” for my own life’s atlas. Where it is for me I don’t exactly know how to explain, but I do know it isn’t a physical place, but rather an idea of family but also of extreme autonomy. I might even say it is the possibility and comfort I see in a blank page. I feel safe there and my thoughts make more sense when I acknowledge them in writing. I also think that each person’s page one can be fluid, morphing and adapting as we grow older, hopefully also wiser.
I imagine that moving often as a kid or moving far away as I did in young adulthood can really affect the idea of “home.” I know it has for me, yet I still feel strong ties to where I grew up in Indiana. Which brings me to a recent acquisition. You didn’t really think I’d let a whole post go by without some bling action, DID YOU?! #offended
When I saw the array of State Quarter rings in the glass case of jewelry at the downtown Animal Traffic, I knew one had to be mine. I inquired about an Indiana version and although none was already made, the extremely helpful woman offered to get in touch with the designer – AutopilotEmpires – and have one made for me. SWOON!
I picked it up a few days after reeding the Hall piece and my mind immediately linked the two. Surely my affinity for home state memorabilia is more than just an obsession with accessories and ephemera, right?
Before I sign off and leave you to ponder your own 1st page, two important occasions to note [important only to me, yes, but hey, it’s MY blog!]:
1. May 1st is my journa-versary. Don’t ask why/how I remember, but on May 1, 2002, I started very purposefully documenting all my days. I have many journals from before that date and there were definitely very consistent writing periods in my youth, but none as purposeful as the past 10. TEN. I don’t recall what, if anything, sparked such a desire to diligently document, but I’m sure as hell glad I did!
2. The first weekend of May marked one year in my current apartment. Cheers to #6!
Until next time,