Monday, September 12, 2011

For Adebanji's Journal: Mug Shots

4"x 4" ea. acrylic on paper

We comfort ourselves by reliving memories of protection. Something closed must retain our memories, while leaving them their original value as images. Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home and, by recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.
-Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (1958)

Bachelard contends that our first home is forever imprinted on our soul. It is the place where we feel safe and free to dream.  I think, beyond shelter, home is a condition of feeling loved and secure. Of belonging. At home, true home, the world makes sense.  The act of being uprooted, whether through economic hardship, natural disaster, war, abuse, mental or physical infirmity, sets the stage for anxiety, fear and desperation.

The young married couple above were homeless before being arrested for and convicted of theft. For the next year and a half their home will be the Frederick County Detention Center. I don't know what combination of choice and circumstance led to their current predicament. I do wonder what dreams they may have for the future.

Adebanji, your book is on its way home.

May you all feel loved, and safe to dream.