I’m a storyteller, and a doctor of fairy tales, and this is my blog about making home and telling stories. What is the connection between home and stories? And why am I writing a blog about them both?
I’m not a particularly domestic person. The only dessert I can make is a crumble, everything else comes out like unprepossessing mattress foam. Cleaning is fine, when I’m in the mood, when I’m not, dust is also fine. Ironing is a waste of time and energy; cooking is enjoyable, as long as it excludes any pretensions to puff, blanche, broil or flambe.
I’ve just been thinking a lot about time, ecology, and the way we live our lives. I’ve been thinking about the bizarre paradox that we feel hopeless as the world slides towards environmental disaster, when every single day, we alter the world by consuming it. Consuming’s not bad. It’s what we’re here to do. I wish there was a way in which we weren’t trapped by the illusive necessity of speed, efficiency and efficacy to keep space for our ingestion of the world as sacred, and, in doing so, realize the incredible ecological power that simply eating, building, loving and surviving involves.
In June, I’m going to be a mum for the first time in my life. That’s going to involve a lot of homemaking. As a woman with a fairly single-minded ambition to teach, write, and change the world through stories, I’m immersed in another paradox. How can ambition and the slow space for home-making speak to each other? Where is the connection, the marriage, between the cyclical acts of domestic care, which have no transformative permanence – i.e. washing nappies, washing dishes, washing – er – windows and other things – and the mattering acts of creation and coordination that we do in our workaday lives to make a difference and to change the world?
Let me get this straight. I’m not writing a blog about women and domesticity. What I’m writing, what I’m asking about is, how we can separate domesticity from any tired, historically-bleached question of gender binary, and explore it as a way of being here that has the power, by reinvigorating our attention to the slow materiality of unfolding existence, to re-empower our being in and with the Earth.
I’m doing this via stories, because stories is what I do. Welcome to my blog.