61 Miles is an exploration of my need to find the anchor of what a home is, based on the memories of my childhood home.
I run through the grass barefoot dancing through the laundry hanging on the clothesline as it flitters on the summer breeze. The sunlight makes the earth warm; the clothing glows like daffodils illuminated by daylight. I run up the creaking wooden stairs and open the porch door, which never shuts tightly. It scrapes across the warped wooden floor and lets the bugs in. The smell of freshly turned oversaturated earth from the flower beds in the air. I run down to the basement to carry the next wicker basket filled with clean, damp clothes to hang out to dry.
This memory of a mundane summer chore plays like a VHS tape in my head, that is constantly on replay. I yearn for the nostalgic fantasy of my childhood home.
61 miles stems from the psychological need to feel connected to the places we inhabit. Childhood homes hold the memories that shape us. When anchors no longer exist or have been altered, painted over, rearranged, we tend to feel lost. In my childhood home, my former bedroom has been painted over, the living room doubles as my dad’s office, the family room is now my room as well as my mom’s “work from home” space. The places I once knew no longer hold the same gravity. The places I am going to have so much uncertainty, they bring out the desire to find a permanent home. Life is transformative and the need to find something concrete can be consuming. Life's uncertainty makes having constants all the more important. Family and friends and home are that constant for me. However, my home is no longer my anchor. The people that I love are still there, but the nostalgic wave of going home fails to wash over as it did from childhood. The rooms have shapeshifted, but my thoughts of their original state haven’t. The people in our lives can make our spaces feel important, but distance can create an ache for what once was.