“How easy it is to lose sight of what is historically invisible –
as if people lived only history and nothing else.” John Berger
A people of persons,
despite the ebb and flow of their diaspora.
With feet on the ground,
a shadow cast is home.
Under the sun,
lying on the ground,
the smell of the earth,
song of a bird,
a fleeting cloud.
This is my real home,
my spiritual sense of being breathes slowly, deeply.
My architecture is for when it rains,
when the wind blows,
when darkness invades my heart,
when I have been on the move
and am not allowed to rest with my shadow.
If I have the sun and if the night is warm, I am content in the grass.
To find my shadow,
my delight in my architecture,
is to allow my soul to meet my momentarily still fleeting self.
This is my home,
my sanctuary in a hurry-hurry noisy-noisy rough-tough world.
This is where my shadow and I shelter,
inhabit, with my habits.
Perhaps my habits are the expressions of me,
my freedom to repeat them,
to know them,
to live with them an essential part of my being and my identity.
Perhaps I inhabit my habits rather than my architecture,
or the grass slope of a hill under the sun.
Perhaps my habits are simply me building memories –
a digital camera in my pocket,
a sketch book open –
writing these words,
a conversation over a nice meal and a delicate wine.
Who will remember my habits?
keep my memories –
surely not the walls or spaces of my house?
The future can only recall that I ‘lived’ here - a name plaque on a wall.
So it is a habit and memory,
encounter, love, laughter and tears
that forever holds the spirit of place –
is this why there are so many ghosts in theatres?
When we leave home, we have e_migrated,
and we are changed forever when we migrate.
We have decided to leave,
we have left, and even if we do return
it is to the place we left,
not the home we knew,
not home anymore.
This is the century
where city urbanites outnumber the agrarians
for the first time in human history.
Present agrarians have not migrated.
They know their soil, their home.
Every modern nomad knows this.
He also knows that the whole world is his home
even if he cannot physically travel there.
The nomad is not bound, or blinkered by owning his bricks and mortar!
He belongs to one earth (a global society)
far more than the jet-travelling businessman.
© Ian Ritchie 2005