Sunday, June 16, 2013
Some houses inspire you. The kinds of houses that have tiny attic windows that you can't see into but desperately want to, because on the other side you expect to find something charismatic, like an elderly woman perched behind an antique wooden desk in a room only big enough for her, her sewing machine, and a lethargic metal fan that keeps her cool during the heat of the day. The kinds of houses with yards manicured to indicate care and indifference all at once, whose inhabitants are rarely seen and thus invented by each passerby. The sorts of houses where each room is an individual, where an upstairs bedroom must be found by word of mouth, where trinkets and ornaments have stories behind them. These are the kinds of houses that have yellow siding that is either the result of repainting or wear, that make you feel reminiscent and melancholy, because their ripened charm reminds you of long forgotten summer evenings at your grandparents' house. You write stories about these kinds of houses. Stories with little girls in white sundresses running in and out of patio doors onto wooden porches, and adults in rocking chairs drinking lemonade out of a jar and gazing at the sunlight reflecting off the mist of the sprinklers. Stories where, outside, the rain is pouring or the sun is blazing, but never anything in between. Stories with characters who change when they move in, who discover a new side of themselves, who find their favorite room before they even know what furniture it will hold. And in these stories, the house means something, something that shifts and is yet unchanged, something that is built on eroding soil but has a solid foundation, something that represents the permanence of home.