2 min read

Friday Open Thread (with Homes)

Friday Open Thread (with Homes)

Dear Friends,

I'm thinking about homes a lot lately – the inflammation of housing markets over the past 18 months, certainly, but also what I desire from a home, what constitutes a dream home.

I dream about homes – figuratively and literally – a great deal, and over the last few days have had some peculiar experiences: I dreamt the building I'm living in had an embodied avatar I was meeting in the sub-basement (the building has no sub-basement); I dreamt that I was in my childhood home's laundry room, with a specificity of location in space that baffled me in the dream itself.

But I've daydreamed of a particular place for a long time, since I was twelve or thirteen: a huge house built of grey stone in a grey climate, with three floors and many rooms, by a small river that winds through woods. Each of my dearest friends would have a room in this house kept for them, just as they liked it, whenever they wished, to spend as much or as little time in as they needed; the house would be large and generous enough to give us space to be together and apart without imposition.

In addition to my friends' rooms, there would be themed rooms: a room full of bladed weaponry and old armour; a room full of musical instruments; a room full of scarves that have been gifted to me; a windowless night room, its walls decorated in art depicting night-time scenes, beneath a domed skylight only uncovered at dusk to let in the moon and stars.

It's strange to revisit that dream now, because it feels very much like a house built of the stuff of dreams, of a child's evening musings and longings. Adulthood's requirements are much more mundane: on-site laundry, natural light, hardwood floors, a hospitable kitchen, central air and inexpensive heating, all of which soothe my soul fully as much as walls covered in books and art and a room in which to write. I've learned, in the intervening years, that in the absence of woods and river I long for green space and a garden.

This is no shade on where I presently live, which is wonderful, and where I have what feel like the seed-forms of all those things, that need tending into fruit – but it's also temporary, contingent. I wonder – perhaps too much – whether any of those feelings of contingency change when one owns a home, or whether their polarity flips – whether one feels trapped, tied down. "The house is a ghul," I've heard my mother and aunt say, because it's always hungry: always needing repair, maintenance, always liable to break around you at the worst possible time.

So, I'd love to know your thoughts on homes: what do you long for in a home that you don't already have? What do you have that makes your dwelling feel like home?

Postscripts of news:

And that's it for now – I wish you a wonderful weekend!