This is my home and I wear it like skin. This is where casual conversation provides sustenance, where triumphs are celebrated, failures endured, where I found solace as my first marriage failed, where my father died despite my attempt to resuscitate him, and where I once shared an observation with my mother before remembering she had died a week earlier.
Evidence of my parents’ lives is everywhere: from my father’s fading notes and carpentry calculations on cracked-paint walls to my mother’s now mud-encrusted canning jars on the cellar’s dirt floor. Cleaning up the evidence would erase some of my parents’ story - my story, too. I yearn for the illusion of permanence. I am all too aware that life is ephemeral.
We all experience the passage and ravages of time. No matter one’s race, religion, ideology or status, we all die. People we love die. We mourn, cope and seek comfort in individual ways. “Home Body” is one way I cope. I memorialize as caretaker, curator, son.
In “Home Body,” I explore imprints of time and family on my boyhood home - and on me. This 120-year-old house in a small upstate New York village has been the family home since 1960. My parents raised my sister and me here. I lived elsewhere for two decades. My wife and I moved back in 2003.