LITERATURE

How I Built Myself a Home

My wife Sophia, myself, and the beginning of a happy line, formerly lived in the suburbs of London, in the sort of house called a Highly-Desirable Semi-detached Villa. But in reality our residence was the opposite of what we wished it to be.

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Men at Home

While the house has largely been the domain of women, men have strong domestic leanings, too. For the 20th century Irish poet, Seamus Heaney, home is the Good Mother who meets our daily needs, gives us our first memory of belonging and sets the stage for our intimate relationships.

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Soothing a Child’s Heart

Our children are grieving; they miss their schools and their friends, their birthday parties and play dates. They miss beloved grandparents and nannies, aunts, uncles, cousins and babysitters. An entire season has been excised from their lives.

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Close Encounters

I lift the beetle and a shriek fills the room—a noise one might expect from a mynah bird or a cat whose tail is caught in a door, not from anything this size. Startled, I drop the beetle. It scurries under the clawfoot tub.

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Keeping a Nature Journal

During the coronavirus, our daily forays into the natural world have kept us sane, and we’ve been extremely grateful for access to a park, a hiking trail, a meadow or a garden. As our world shifts, we keep returning to the landscape for a sense of solace, and more of us are keeping a Nature Journal.

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The Childhood Home as Destiny

Conjure up the house you grew up in and you will instantly recall the friendships you made in grammar school, the scars you got on the playing field, your first passion for poetry or microscopes, the day you felt the first pangs of regret, the moment you realized that you were capable of love.

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Poe’s Philosophy of Furniture

In the internal decoration, if not in the external architecture, of their residences, the English are supreme. The Italians have but little sentiment beyond marbles and colors…The Hottentots and Kickapoos are very well in their way — the Yankees alone are preposterous.

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The House as Storyteller

I was built in Smyrna in 1890, the year of Esma’s birth. A slender, many-roomed Victorian dwelling of wormwood, snuggling against an unworldly, umbrageous rock—obsidian, rumored to have been lowered down from the sky, the rock that gave the district its name. Karatash, or Black Stone. Some believed that the myrrh tree in the garden was the actual Adonis tree.

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Variations on a Home Depot Paint Sample

To mix Desert Sunrise 230B-4, combine equal parts vodka, orange juice, pineapple juice, and troposphere; add grenadine syrup to taste. Throw in blender with ice cubes and a handful of red dirt. Blend. Next drive westward all night along I-80 until you reach Wyoming.

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