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I can make myself small in a home

I can make myself small in a home

I come from a filthy home. I come from a home where creative production and personal leisure were valued above domestic labor. Home was filled with a mix of hand-me-down furniture, unfinished project piles, and valuable dumpster finds. Dishes crawled out of the sink along the counter and our dirty laundry was the domain of cockroaches and black widow spiders. The materiality of domestic life was at constant war with the materiality of creative production.

Other People had clean houses but We The Smiths were creatives. We were culture makers, trend setters and gifted visionaries. Other People spent their time mowing their perfect lawns and dusting their china, but We The Smiths recycled concrete sidewalks into mosaic pathways and made our own china. We didn’t have time for status makers like perfect houses or nice yards.

Creativity requires life energy. Energy to think, energy to feel, and energy to make. There is not enough energy to also spend on whether you clean the stove top after cooking.

Creativity requires space. Space to flood into the living room, kitchen and dining room table. Clean surfaces are for non-creatives.

Creativity requires you to put aside social norms and embrace a life of chaos.

The cost of creativity is domestic and personal neglect.

But if you can make yourself small in a home you can find tiny unclaimed spaces to inhabit.

By alexandraross

I am a visual artist in Steinbach, Manitoba.

One reply on “I can make myself small in a home”

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