Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Who lives here?

Who lives here within the skirts of the deodar cedar?

I found this Audubon box nestled in an environmentally-protected park and let my imagination run. No clues came from surrounding sounds:
crows caw, ducks yak-yak,
thrum of water over stone,
whistling songbird

It’s early for nesting, of course, but looking at the tiny, empty home made me remember the excited sensation I had as a kid whenever I discovered some secret place where an animal or fairy might live.

Places-we-live is on my mind a lot lately. I’ve moved my mother to a board-and-care, because her condition deteriorated and she needs 24-hour care. I spend half my time at my home and half at hers, where I’m sifting through a lifetime of memories, good and bad.

Can a home be built of memories? I think it can.


Donna said...

Yes, definitely. Memories are a home.

Golden Eagle said...

I agree--it's often memories that define a place. :)

Jemi Fraser said...


I used to look for fairy rings and bird/animal homes often when I was a kid - pure magic :)

Phoenix said...

It is indeed memories that make (or break) a home. I'm glad that when my parents divorced both my parents moved out of the house, so we all got a fresh start. There were too many ghosts in that house, too many memories.

Wen Baragrey said...

This has to be a really tough time for you right now. *hugs*

The day you move into a house, it's nothing but bare floors, walls, bricks and mortar. But the day you move out, when it's once again as empty of furnishings as that first day, it doesn't seem so empty because memories fill all those spaces.

I guess what I learned from moving over 60 times in my life is that even though a building houses your memories, it's just a frame. The memories live inside your head, first and foremost, and you don't need a building for that.

Yvonne Osborne said...

It seems a lot of us are dealing with aging parents. Homes are definitely built around memories. Sometimes I wonder if imagination and memory get mixed up. I mean....can a memory be imagined?

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Donna: Yes, that's what I feel.

Eagle: 'Define' a place is a good way to put it.

Jemi: I'm feeling the need for a long trek into the woods. I need a little magic about now.

Phoenix: It's funny how the ghosts of events linger in a place, as though absorbed into the walls somehow.

Wen: wow, you really put that beautifully. There is such a difference before and after you live in a place. Sometimes, I need to just stand alone in the empty house before I can leave it. Say goodbye to all that happened there.

Yvonne: OOOOO, yes, I do believe you've hit something. I think we are quite capable of making up memories or, at least, altering them over time.

dolorah said...

I can see how this image could inspire nostalgia and curiosity both.

I hope your mother will be happy in her new home.


Stephanie Thornton said...

My daughter and I love finding spot where animals might squirrel away in the woods.

Memories can definitely make a home. Otherwise it's just a house, right?

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Donna: Thanks for the good wish. Much needed.

Stephanie: Exactly. It's amazing how human interaction becomes something tangible, really.

Liza said...

A home can be enhanced by memories at the very least...

Oh you are going though a lot. Wishing you continued strength.

Donna said...

I thought of your latest post today, Tricia, when I read the last line of this interview with Stephanie Vaughn, author of SWEET TALK short story collection: "It was a line ['Every so often that dead dog dreams me up again.'] that came to me after I’d been working on the story for a while ... I went home and wrote it down, and then the story began to unfold itself. All the little scenelets that I had written without knowing where they were going finally started to mean something and found an order. You are as much an invention of your memories as you are the author of them."

Suzanne Casamento said...

Beautiful question - Can a home be built of memories?

I agree. I think it can.

Sending you and your mom good thoughts.