#7 winter solstice 2015

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I took a quick trip to New York City to attend a memorial for Kippy Stroud. The event was held at Omen Restaurant in Soho. Omen is a kind of home for us. We have been making pottery for Omen for over 30 years. Almost every time I would go home to visit my parents I would visit the restaurant, conveniently located only a block away. Sometimes we eat, sometimes we talk business, sometimes we are just there for a cup of tea.  Several times as I struggled with the loss of my father I went there for spiritual insight. I met Kippy there as she used Omen as her New York home for gathering with artists.

On this quick trip I was keenly aware of the sense of going home, the feel of the concrete, the gathering of like-minded artists. I walked by my parents' old loft now owned by another family, but our surname is still on the buzzer. I had dinner with my daughter and her boyfriend, said goodnight to the lights of the Empire State building and watched the sunrise over the Williamsburg Bridge.

I took the train back to Washington and drove west to my current home and studio. On the radio I listened to Rick Moody (on Fresh Air) read from his novel, Hotels of North America. His reading made clear that I have made many homes. I am thankful for my Virginia home, my parents' home, the restaurant home, and the feeling of home in Maine. I was glad to arrive and help Warren stoke the last few pieces of wood in our gas kiln, feeling the connection of making it home.

07-cups.jpg"Home, the place your enemies would wish to avoid. Home, the place your former lovers are troubled by. Home, where you can sit at the quiet table in the morning. Home, the place you sometimes hate that you also love the second you leave it. Home, any address that causes you to tear up. Home, near the metal box that has your surname on it. Home, where almost all the postcards you have ever received have been delivered. Home, where the government of your nation believes you live. Home, where your mother or your father brought you the second you no longer lived in a hospital. Home, where you first sang whatever it is you first sang. What welcome means, this you first learned at home, along with the word home. Home is where your bedroom was in the past and is now, and home is where you sleep more days than you sleep anywhere else, because if it were otherwise, you would renegotiate the application of the word home. Home is what you will describe in your masterpiece, either home or the leaving of home. If you say you have no home on earth, then what you mean is that there was trouble at your home. Home is where go right before dark. Home is where you go when you are recovered. When work becomes impossible, you will long for home. It is possible that in your life, you have had multiple homes, a sequence of homes, and that each of these has required a transition. For example, when you were in a car that carried you from a house where both your parents had lived together to a house where only one of your parents lived, even during that car ride, there was still an idea of home."

--Rick Moody, Hotels Of North America

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