Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nathalie Handel, poet, playwright and writer

We all have reasons for moving
I move to keep things whole.

Mark Strand, from Keeping Things Whole

I liked this quote. It suits my mood. I've been living with a question of late ... why haven't I moved this time. Why am I standing still in a half-life.

When my first marriage ended, I accepted the first home I was offered, grateful that I could pack my pride and courage and move on.

I lived there, in a place I could never call home, until the day that I woke and thought, I don't need to punish myself for an ending.

And fate smiled on me when I arrived in the small store on the peninsula a few moments after my future landlady had posted an advert for her small harbour-edge cottage, the one with windows from ceiling to floor and a view of the harbour and hills. The inexpensive one, odd on the inside with a questionable water supply but a happy home for a while.

And that's how it has been.
I look for a certain things in a home, things that soothe my soul when I find places to settle.

We only live one life, we shouldn't make do with the place where we live unless all choice is gone.

I found the quote on a page with poetry by Nathalie Handal and I loved the way she worked Strand into her poem titled
Strangers Inside Me.

An extract:

as I travel and move

from one continent to the next,

move, to be whole.

You can find Nathalie's website here .


V-Grrrl said...

I tend to define home as my actual house more than the community it occupies. I get very attached to the houses I've lived in--feeling they have a soul, that they hold our lives, that there is something mystical in the way light and air move through them and the view they offer of the world.

I like small spaces, though with children at home I embrace having more space.

When we were shopping for houses over the summer, it was interesting to see how E and I responded to a house. The one we bought, the one that felt like home to me, was the very first house we looked at. But he was slow to see it as our home and was attracted to the bigger, suburban houses with the high ceilings, enormous basements, big windows. Those houses were lovely--but I didn't connect to them.

We still own the house we left when we moved to Belgium, and I still pine for it. When we bought it in 1990, I fell in love with the way the light moved through it, and when I think of it, that's still what I love...

Di Mackey said...

Yes, that's exactly it.

Two homes owned during the first marriage, both bought based on the feeling of being home and never regretted.

furiousBall said...

i love my home and like what V-Grrrl mentions, having the room for the children to get their freak-out on is muy importante.

my house is one that many naturally walk in and plop themselves onto one of the couches in my living room. i like that. i want people to feel comfortable when they come by. i have no idea if that's feng shei or however you spell that, i just like that it is home.

That Mark Strand is popping up every where! I've got Blizzard of One waiting for me for pickup at my library today!

Di Mackey said...

v-grrrl and Mark Strand ... I think I've run into his poetry before but I found his books on her bookshelves.

I'm trying to work out how to create that feeling where I live now. Gert's fairly relaxed when I talk of colours I associate with Morocco, although nervous when I point out cushions I love.

Lol, poor guy - it will be both a great moment when I enter the workforce, and a potentially terrifying one as he discovers Di's taste in interior decorating.

Peter said...

lol - guess Gert is in for an exotic ride when you start decorating Di ;-)

Much like V, I got very attached to the houses I've lived in.

Unfortunately, I lost my house after a rather messy divorce, leaving me in home-near-the-river in the historic Antwerp downtown: nice view, but not a place that will ever feel like the house I had to leave behind.

I must agree with your insight on living: "We only live one life, we shouldn't make do with the place where we live unless all choice is gone."

ML said...

But I loved that house,, the one in the picture, and also the 2nd on in the marriage!! And I like your taste in interior decorating! I bet gert will too!!
And wait till you see my new house.. or rather ours!! I will send pictures soon..

wandering-woman said...

Ah, says the devil, popping in from Spain, how do you separate "making do" from simply always pining for what we don't have?
Nothing wrong with where you live, right now, if it feeds you, and feels like home. Right?

Learning to stay and put down a root seems to me just as enlightened an adventure as courageous and adventurous moving.

All of that said, the only thing I miss from the States is the house I sold to move here. And swore I wouldn't miss.

Di Mackey said...

Ahhh, Hola!! devilish w-w :)

'Making do' ... there's a whole back story that hasn't been and it's been an enormous weight over here and today I recognised that I was doing something like what I had done when I had spent months living in a house that made me sad hence the story.

Where I live now had been a place I was perching and it's only lately that I had begun to make it my home. Even then, I miss Nature and clean air, so that was something I was really questioning in this post.

Staying put is fine but making do is something else. BUT THEN today became truly remarkable and I have both a job interview and my first photography exhibition. Something resembling an income would make such a difference and earning here has been so very complicated.

I miss beaches and space and clean air and some of the houses, not that I'd go back to them in particular ... most of the last ones I lived in were 'quirky'. (Arggh, I'm sure Diede will chime in here if he reads this.)

So ummm yep, today's post wasn't quite what it seemed :)

Di Mackey said...

;) we'll see Peter, but potentially.

You'll be able to see our latest changes next party.

My favourite house was probably the house I lost in the divorce too. It had this lovely wooden balcony and a 100 year old tree just down the path. It was slightly up the hill from the harbour.

Give us 10 years and perhaps we'll both have found new places for dreaming in.

ML, you did love that place, and the house lost in the divorce. I can still remember your face that day you arrived and I went roaring into the garage as per my usual NZ driving ... and you thought we were going to go right through the back of it. Lol, sorry.

I wrote to v-grrrl of coming to the States to see you and her today, and a few other lovely friends I have over there. Hopefully the 10 fingerprints on arrival system will be gone but I'll try to be brave and come anyway.

wandering-woman said...

Ummm..I was just speaking for myself. I loved the post.

And have never made do, and still don't plan to.
But have recently discovered the temptation of an occasional root.

Post seemed like your usual thought provoking lovely view of the world writing, to me.

Di Mackey said...

Did I seem a bit fierce? ;) Hope not, actually writing you an email to explain what was going on a little.