Wednesday, October 31, 2012

an inhabited space

The house constitutes a body of images that give mankind proofs or illusions of reality. We are constantly reimagining its reality … 
GASTON BACHELARD – The Poetics of Space

It's thirty-four degrees. The sun is blazing. But I have work to do. I am perched in my first-floor office like a bird in a cage. I peck at my computer. Little follows. I twitch my head to the side, distracted by movement and sound. 

          The windows are open; the wind sweeps in, papers rustle, the curtains billow like a full skirt on a party dress. I look out through the window frames. The world is captured between parallels and perpendiculars. The windows themselves offer the taunt of transparency.

            I attempt to convince myself this scenario isn’t so bad. It’s the only way I can keep myself inside, at the computer, ‘working’. I focus on the immediate space, the domesticity that houses me against the liberty of the outdoors. Every day I awake in this house, within the same four walls. I am someone who is easily bored, yet I am not bored with this repetition. 

             This structure around me is more than a sum of its parts. More than joists, bricks and architraves. More than stairs, ceilings and drain pipes. It is me and I am it. 

              I've been reading some of Gaston Bachelard’s thoughts on intimate spaces. He sums things up as neatly as the structure itself: A house that has been experienced is not an inert box. Inhabited space transcends geometrical space.

                                      Here is my space, in abstract, in response to a warm spring day.