I am a nomad but I crave Home.
I am mobile and I move a lot. Since childhood I have lived in Switzerland, Denmark, California and Washington in dozens of places. I seek adventure and I seek new. I don’t have the answer to where I’ll be most at home. Recently, I looked for my childhood home in Denmark and it was gone! Torn down, erased.
I tend not to accumulate things, although I like to be surrounded by familiar objects. I’ve moved across the Atlantic more than once. Drawn to the Pacific coast in California. Returning to my roots in Denmark, where the spirit of common good prevails. I am truly a bi-cultural human, which expands my experience and knowledge, but reduces my sense of belonging, my feeling of home.
Then again, whether I’ve lived with spouse and children; with mom and dad; with room mates; or by myself, I create a home. I need to feel at home. How do I do that? I look at the space I have available, and I start collecting items that will fit. Some items I already have, some I create, and some I find. My latest move across the pond meant letting go of many items: bed, furniture, antiques, art and design. All items that had been with me for decades.
The process was liberating. After all, something happens when we attach ourselves too tight to things. They become us and we become them. Inseparable. As in relationships, especially wedded relationships. Saying goodbye to dear and familiar objects reminded me that the world is not short of things and that anything can be dear to me. So much to choose from.
With some memorabilia and art that is meaningful to me I left all the big stuff behind. Sold, donated, passed on to my children. A new chapter, a new beginning was to be had. And I set out to create my next home in a space of 750 square feet. I knew the importance of choosing not only the right size furniture but also furniture to enhance the space. Forms, shapes, and colors mattered. The fit had to be right. Otherwise, it would not be my home.
The first thing I bought was a round dining room table fitting four comfortably. I paid $30 in a thrift store. Actually, the bed came first, bought at IKEA. Large, comfy bed with storage drawers underneath, practical. Another small corner table from the thrift store, $10. Some more IKEA stuff: two person couch, wing chair. Family members had unused stuff: four dining room chairs, lamps, pots, pans, china. In an antique store I found a dresser from the 1780’s. I did bring my grandfather’s one piece oak table top that rests on two IKEA book cases. My work space.
The final touches put it all together: yellow bed spread, curry colored lamps and brass candlesticks in the bedroom windows; teal couch cover with golden pillows and a collection of drawings and prints above; personal art and memorabilia in book case and on window sills.
I am well aware of the impermanence of life, perhaps, because I’ve moved so much, but creating a home gives me a sense of permanence, a sense of order that is mine, if only for a time. And putting my sensibilities and aesthetic sense into my space is invaluable to me. It gives me pleasure every day.