…I can perhaps forget for whole minutes at a time that I am brown-skinned but I can never really have total empathy for, say, a white man cause I can never fully don that mantle of that certain type of privilege.
Reading back over what I wrote yesterday, I’m a little surprised that I wrote it out loud. I mean it’s the kind of post that could invite a slew of naysayers and enduring naysayers takes a kind of fortitude that I keep forgetting I’ve finally developed.
I was thinking today about the name of my blog—The Home Beete. When I first started it in May 2009, I thought it would be a good place to deposit my mania for interior design. But even as I posted pics of couches I adored or wallpaper I wanted to hang in my mythical house, I found myself also wanting a space where I could just write about whatever was in my head. Some place that was more than my journal. I read a wonderful quote from the visual artist Ann Truitt on Brain Pickings today: “…artists have no choice but to express their lives.” So it’s probably inevitable that this blog would become my sounding board, my workshop, the place where I experiment and tinker. Which sounds a lot like home, actually.
Home is the place where I don’t shower on weekends or days off (I know, gross). Home is where I pick my nose obsessively (I know, gross). Home is where my only exercise sometimes comprises moving from one end of the couch to the other. (Look, if you had my couch, you’d stick as close to it as possible, too.) In other words, home is where I can be utterly and completely myself in all my groovy, gross, lazy, manic, high-brow, low-brow selfness. Which sounds a lot like this blog, actually.
I think in addition to the Home Beete evolving into a place where I feel at home, it’s also the place where I find myself becoming more at home with who I am. With the sound of my voice. With what that voice likes to talk about, to scream about, to sing about. With how often that voice comes back to the same subjects. With how the courage of that voice waxes and wanes across a spectrum from sorta courageous to “Y’all motherfu**ers need to listen up now!”
Virginia Woolf famously wrote that every woman, in order to be an artist, needs a room of her own. I think Mrs. Woolf will forgive me if I rewrite that to every woman artist needs a home of her own. And in that home, as she paces its many rooms, filling them with this and that, rearranging the furniture willy nilly, throwing the occasional dance party, losing the vacuum and forgetting to do laundry on a regular basis, investigating what she’s lost under piles of dust and junk left behind by others, she will somehow stumble into the hiding place of that one need even greater than a home of her own—a voice of her own.
To be continued…