07 Apr, 2015

i think of windows when i think of home…

Sehba Sarwar
07 Apr, 2015

I meet up with my friends Sally, Beverly and Yolanda, who I know through many Houston-based spaces and organizations including Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and the University of Houston’s Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, to view Sally’s new apartment on Kirby Drive, which she and her husband have procured while placing their current house on the market. All three are interested in learning more about my May 9 installation/performance and about my blog. I take notes as they talk about the subject of home:

Sally: When I hear the word “home” I think of people that make your life, people that you want to spend time with — which makes it a bit difficult because I’m in between spaces since my kids are in Santa Barbara and we have a house there and here!

Yolanda: For me, the word “home” brings up family, safety and where you can be yourself, sheltered from the outside world.

Beverly: I think of windows! You don’t give yourself permission to be still. I miss looking out of a window, at a bird-feeder, at greenery, the experience between inside and outside… And of course, family is part of home.

Sally: To me, the people I care about and the food we eat together is what makes you feel at home. I have things that I love, and my home is my own personal culture, the culture of a country or a city. Home is our own culture, and is filled with the things you do in that space and how you decorate: textures, spaces, culture. It’s our personal style. And we surround ourselves with what we’re most comfortable.

Beverly: My memories are on the wall, which is an altar feeling. On one wall is my grandmother’s needlework, the thing that she did. When I walk in, I see that. A lot of cool stuff is in that space. On the wall, we place clumps of ourselves.

And of course, Houston is home, although when I rent a place for a month that place becomes home.

Yolanda: The spaces at home are what make one feel comfortable: the kitchen where you do things together, cook together. And in terms of spaces, the Hill Country is not a city, but it’s an area that I enjoy. And the MFAH’s sculpture garden is another space I love.

And of course, Houston is home. I was born here. When you’ve gone out of town for a while, you come back and you always say: “Aaah, I’m home.” My grandparents are from here, though they’re also partly from Mexico…

This conversation is part of my What Is Home? project.