The Local Living Room / Le Foyer Local
Le foyer local
The local living room
The crumbs are always worth it.
To be welcomed. It’s something we take with us in tupperware containers, suitcases, mom’s chocolate chip cookie recipe, family photos crumbled with years, fragrance held in glass bottles, spontaneous phone calls across time zones, a favorite tee shirt and tears scattered throughout the journey. It’s a state of mind mixed with nostalgia and messy feelings. Transition as we go and stay.
The Spirit greets us every time as we come. Beauty in becoming, held in two hands. An anchor tattooed into freckled skin. A place loud with silence. Rivers and roads, ocean horizons and mountain tops.
Right here face to face with you.
I go back to it daily, looking for traces of heaven on earth. From work to rest to communion. Home is being known and knowing others. It’s american sized cups of coffee, Christmas morning and palm sunday. Home is the pillow at the end of the day inviting sleep, tears in public spaces and facetime calls to mom. It’s remembrance and disorganized repacking the night before a flight out. Home is high above and evidence of it here. It’s the one who sees it all. Complicated like the space between us. It’s drawing near choosing life, learning to become a vessel of hope to a dark and broken world. Home is portable and comes with an anchor. The beauty of what was, is and is to come.
I desire to create spaces that invite others to experience the feeling of home are reflect on their own life, community and story. Through sharing my own experience and recreating my own comfort of home in public spaces I hope to see community form organically around me. People and conversation become materials for sculpting a larger narrative.
In the main hall of La Sorbonne arts campus in Paris I rolled out my Iranian rug found last year on the streets of Paris. Hung up a few photos and memories on the wall, plopped two pillows and a small table in the middle and waited to see what would happen. For a week I baked American cookies, heard students stories and experience of home, shared poems and prayers and watched people make connections and conversation. It’s an experience that requires presence and participation. Bringing an intimate space of home into the public means opening your heart to the world. I learned hospitlaity can be practiced anywhere. The final day I packed up a suitcase of materials, shook out the rug to roll it up and found a small pile of gold dust mixed with flower petals, strings of hair from various heads, dust from tired feet and cookie crumbs.
The crumbs are always worth it.
Ingredients for a local living room:
- Space (somewhere local, accessible, and open… just ask!)
- Something to eat or drink (water, tea, cookies *either homemade or store bought work great)
- A piece of furniture, rug or vessel for sitting
- Invitations: word of mouth, texts, social media to invite locals to visit. Invite everyone! The Janitor, grandma, neighbor, sister, teacher, grocery worker!
- Show and tell: bring a few memories, stories, a song, a poem, photos, a scent or gift to share with guests.
Ask simple and intentional questions to guests as they arrive to get conversation moving. Here’s a for for you to try out:
-What’s Your name?
-What does your name mean?
-Where did you grown up? What was that like?
-What/where/who is home to you?