My Favorite Oxford

For this week’s blog post, I decided to analyze my favorite Oxford shirt as a follow up to my original blog post on the Konmari Method. After reading the “describing objects” article for this week, I sat down with my Oxford and asked myself the various questions posed in the article.

 

What is it?

My object, most generally, is an Oxford shirt. A button down, which has the shirt divided down the center, and with a buttoned collar that rings the Oxford’s neck area. Made of cotton, the shirt is a checkered plaid in navy blue and sandy brown. Each square of the checkered pattern is about an inch-and-a-half by and inch-and-a-half in area. There is a single pocket on the left chest of the shirt with another button centered in the top of the pocket, to close and secure it. There is a velvety, and oval shaped elbow patch in a dark brown on either sleeve. The shirt is sewn together at its seems by a sand colored stitching, which lines the inside of the shirt. The shirt is a size medium. The textile the shirt is made of is moderately thick, which helps retain heat. The shirt has long sleeves that cuff at the ends, each with a single button to close the cuffs. The shirt tapers off with a circular shape, perfect for tucking into pants.

Where is it now and how did it get there?

My shirt tag says it is made Mauritius originally. I happen to have bought it from my local J. Crew store in the Columbus Circle Mall in Manhattan. When I’m not actually wearing it, it sits in my closet in my dorm room.

What is the object’s function?

The object is a business-casual shirt. It is used to cover the upper half of the body. Stylistically, it is worn in casual social environments. It contains a decent amount of functional qualities that are worth noting as well. The first one is the array of buttons that are all over the shirt. There are buttons lining the center to close the shirt all the way down. There are buttons on the collar to fasten the collar’s corner to the body of the shirt. There are also buttons on the cuffs and pocket of the shirt, to fasten those as well. There are also sizable elbow patches on either sleeve, which provide a heavy-duty work function to the shirt. The pocket itself also helps hold small objects like pens and coins.

Who made, owned, or used the object?

Since I have owned the shirt since I bought it, so far I am the only one to have used it. I am assuming the shirt was made in an industrial factory like most other ready-to-wear pieces, this one specifically in Mauritius. The person who made it was most likely an industrial worker, who was probably getting paid a bare minimum wage. The shirt will most likely be passed on to my younger brother when I grow tired of it, like so many other pieces in my wardrobe have.

 

Just to mention, after answering all of these analytical questions about my piece, I understand it now more as an object with its own unique story, rather than just something I wear. The shirt has traveled long distances, has sat on a shelf in New York City, until I happened to have picked it up and purchased it. Having analyzed the shirt in detail, I realize the significance of the shirt, even if it is mass-produced and fast-fashion. It is still my own, and part of my own individual story, not to mention part of the stories of all the other people whose lives it’s crossed on its journey to my closet.

 

Venetian Mask

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This is a Venetian-style mask my mother bought when she worked at Spirit Halloween. It currently hangs on a curtain rod in my bedroom, and its color scheme matches the rest of its surroundings.

The mask is relatively cheaply made, fashioned from a plastic mold and artificial feathers. Two almond-shaped eye holes were cut into the mask; the left eye hole is the only part of that side of the face. Most of the mask is sea-foam green; the paint has been artfully cracked. Some of the paint has brownish discoloration as well. I can’t remember if the mask was originally like this, or if it’s due to the cheap paint oxidizing.

Silver is a big component of the mask as well. The right eye is painted completely, with a border of swirls which protrudes from the surface. Other swirls are on the cheeks and forehead. The lips are painted silver too, giving the mask a creepy smile. Nostril holes provide the wearer somewhere to breathe through. The face has a rounder, feminine look to it.

Next to the right eye are several layers of feathers; all of these are artificial by touch. Peacock feathers are arranged in a set of three, with blue feathers as a background; all of this is held in place on the back with hot glue and white felt. On top of this is a plastic blue diamond bead, which has holes on either end for string. If you look closely, you can actually see the blob of hot glue holding the diamond in place.

In lieu of feathers, the other side of the mask has black and silver looped trim. This trim covers the rest of the mask, and feels somewhat itchy to the touch. It is held in place with a thin layer of transparent glue, which can just barely be seen around the edges.

The mask has a relatively thick, stretchy elastic band around the back, in order for the mask to be worn. Like the feathers, it is held in place by glue and white felt, in order to provide a level of comfort to the wearer, I suppose.

The back  of the mask is white, and it has a matte texture to it. The “forehead” of the mask, while not painful to wear, protrudes far into the hairline. It has sat in my room for so long that it does not have any kind of scent to me. While trying it on, the wearer quickly notes how awkward it is to breathe, and how much heat quickly builds up. It seems almost as though the piece functions as wall art, rather than a piece to be worn as part of a costume.

From far off the mask appears beautiful and eerie, but up close you can see how cheaply it was produced.

 

The Shogun

I’m going to write about the living environment of one of my roommates, Shogo; hopefully he wouldn’t mind. I live in a Lenape suite, so I have another roommate as well. The latter roommate is very similar to me in a lot of ways: we grew up in similar settings, have similar ideas about things, and live within object environments of similar magnitude. Even though we try to limit the amount of objects that we bring up to college with us, it never works out, and we always end up with more crap than we wished to bring. Our spaces begin neat and then slowly degrade, and after a little while we get tired of the encroaching chaos and clean up—this repeating inexorably. Shogo, on the other hand – though he has slowly adopted some of our living practices – still differs greatly. He is an international student from Japan (and yes, his name derives from the feudal position of Shogun). As a result of this, he was constrained to severely limit the objects that he brought with him, and this has led to his space being populated by the things that are most important to him and most integral to his functioning and happiness.

A little more background on Shogo. Firstly, his work ethic is impeccable: he is awake every morning by 7:30, regardless of whether or not he has class; and, once awake, he immediately gets on his laptop – his portal to the realm of incessant scholastic exertion – and starts getting stuff done—sometimes even before he is fully awake. The stuff on his desk is (almost) exclusively school work related, and it can sometimes seem like he is working perpetually, merely suffering to take food, sleep, and friend/fun breaks; while my other roommate and I seem to do, perhaps, the opposite. Secondly, he’s a stylish dude. His wardrobe is one of the object networks that is most important to him. In the past, when I’ve commented on his dope ass style, he has claimed that it’s a Japanese thing: apparently in Japan his sense of style is average, and we think he looks good because Americans, in general, are lacking in the style sense department. I was going to argue with him on this point, but a quick glance in the mirror disarmed me. Anyway, as I was saying, his wardrobe is important to him. All three of us are moving off campus next semester, and though Shogo is by no means whatsoever a picky person, when we were looking at apartments it was obvious that closet space was a significant selling point with him—even more so than personal space itself. He didn’t care too much about the size of the room he would be living in, just as long as it had a decent closet to house his superior threads. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love nice clothes—and when it comes to suit attire I’ll give the Shogun a run for his money; but as far as the remaining clothing categories go, I suppose I am indeed afflicted by American stylistic inferiority. Oh well.

Our objects – just by our being related to them – reveal an incredible wealth of information about us as people. As seen in Miller’s The Comfort of Things, the information broadcast into the world by our objects is often so substantial that, with careful consideration, it becomes possible to paint a portrait of us based almost entirely on information discerned from our relationships with objects.

Having come to know Shogo pretty well now, I think the objects that are important to him speak very much about him as a person. His wardrobe, the centerpiece of his palace, displays a taste that fits his kind personality, intelligence, and strong character beautifully. Shogo is also one of the most hardworking people that I know. His laptop is one of his most used objects – perhaps even rivaling his phone – and its screen is nearly always filled with something school related; he even leaves it open with the screen on when he leaves the room, as if he wouldn’t be able to return to the task he was working on if he were to shut the lid.

Moving and How it Shapes Our Possesions

The sentence that really struck me the most on a personal level in the reading was,”Moving house allows for a kind of critical realignment of persons with their possessions.”Since I’ve been slowly moving out my my home on Long Island, and preparing to move to New Paltz, I’ve felt this realignment that Miller is talking about in the past few months. I’ve realized how many things I own are simply in my room taking up space; they have no actual function nor bring me any sort of happiness. I started feeling overwhelmed by this thought. “Why do I even own this and where did this come from?”, I kept thinking to myself. After filling bags and bags of garbage and stuff to donate I felt more connected to my room and the stuff in it. I became aware of what the things I decided to keep, actually meant to me. Looking back I practically used to Konmari method without even knowing what that was at the time. Everything that was left was either for functional use or what made me happy. While doing this, I also picked out my objects to use for the first day of class, which were my boots and stuffed animals. Connecting these objects to my room now makes a lot of sense. These two things I picked out, specifically my stuffed animals, were my comfort objects and my room has always been a place of refuge and comfort. My room contains now mostly, lots of stuffed animals, memorabilia,pictures of friends, posters; practically everything that makes me feel happy and comfortable. Outside of my room, these objects separated wouldn’t create that same feeling. Yet together, they encompass me as a person. It shows my interests as a person, my background, and what I value. This shows specifically by my stuffed animals Sparkles and Sam. Out of context they’re just stuffed animals, but in my room they have a completely different meaning. They always lay right next to my pillow, being right next to me while I sleep. It shows their importance to my life and the comfort they bring me. The rest of my stuffed animals are shoved underneath my bed or tossed around and the juxtaposition of how I treat them in my room shows the value I put on them.

Millers explanation of accommodation also hit me personally cause I’ve always felt a sort of frustration with the objects in my room, practically the furniture because I’ve been accommodating living within my parents house. I’ve had to keep my brothers and sisters furniture in my room and it’s obvious that it wasn’t my choice. The stark white dresser that had been once been my sisters I attempted to make mine by covering in band stickers, which didn’t make my mom too happy. I tried covering the bright blue walls with millions of posters to personalize that too. Yet they’re was always still the frustration that my room could never fully be mine. I’m super excited to move and finally get furniture of my own that I choose and hope that my room and the objects in it will finally “feel” me.

Daniel Miller’s “Habitus”: A Reflection on My Mug

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The item I’ve chosen to analyze is my Ile-de-Ré mug that I got as a gift from my boss upon completion of an internship I did on the French island, Ile-de-Ré, in the summer of 2015. This is the same mug I brought in on the first day of class as an object that makes me happy. The mug is decorated with an image depicting a typical street on the island, and whenever I look at it, the corners of my mouth involuntarily start to curl up to form a smile. I recall the gentle, ever-blowing breeze, the wide open sky (no building there was taller than three floors high), the scent of the ocean, and the color scheme to which nearly all houses on the island adhered: white walls, a terra-cotta, shingled roof, and a pair of shutters for every window, each painted some shade of turquoise. This last memory—that adorably ubiquitous color scheme—is rendered in a faux-watercolor on this elegantly crafted, albeit cheap mug, so I never forget how Ile-de-Ré island looked (as if I could really forget such a place). In addition to the beauty of the island, the mug brings to mind memories of how independent and capable I felt when I was in France: I learned to cook for myself, I explored unfamiliar places by myself, and I traveled a good bit, sometimes alone. I associate those feelings strongly with these more sensory memories.

At home in New York, the Ile-de-Ré mug resides with all our other mugs, in a cupboard in the kitchen. When I’m on campus, however, its place is not in hiding, but on my dorm room desk with two other mugs I’ve collected since my time abroad. I typically place these three mugs together in a cluster, and together they stay unless I happen to use one, which, as I am a fan of tea, is relatively often. I’ve noticed that when I make tea, I’m more likely to pick up my Ile-de-Ré mug than my other two; I credit this to its unparalleled ability to calm and console me when I need it, evoking the memories mentioned I’ve described above. Reflecting on the mug reinforces what I already know—that I am a particularly sensitive and sentimental person, the kind of person who cherishes items like a souvenir mug because of how dearly they cherish the memories associated with them. Unlike the other two mugs, the one from Ile-de-Ré is special in that it reminds me of a particularly special point in my life. While it offers physical comfort when used as it was intended, even just looking at the pictures on it can do the trick. Maybe that’s why I keep my mugs on my desk, but all my other tableware in my closet: when I need to center myself, I just look over at it. When I need a cup of tea to relax, I need not search for it in my closet because it’s already out, on my desk, front and center. Admittedly, I’ve never questioned my choice of placement of these mugs until this assignment. Still, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense why I chose to keep them there. After all, what’s the point of owning a comforting item if it’s potentially a pain to get to?

A Reminder of a Former Home

One of the objects that I brought with me to class on the first day was a picture that my sister drew. An eight-year-old girl with a hugely active imagination, my sister is constantly drawing. I have a million drawings that she’s given me, but when faced with the decision of what object to bring that really says something about my family, I snuck this one of my mother’s wall in her office. Part of the lure is that the picture contains all of our immediate family members, but even more than that, the picture contains an eerie sense of who we are as an entity. img_20170210_162525

In the foreground, there’s the artist herself and our four (now three) cats–who, if you ask my mom, actually do run the house. Right behind the five of them are my mother and stepfather. These are the people that my sister sees every day, so she’s obviously made them the biggest. One of the cats, though the photograph I took doesn’t show it, is actually in the process of peeing, since that particular cat likes to pee on things when he’s mad at us. In the background, my grandmother, who’s identifiable by the wrinkles on her face that my sister kindly drew in, standing next to me. My grandmother and I are, I suppose, more further removed from my sister than the rest of our family members. My grandmother lives next door, and I live all the way in New Paltz.

What’s interesting to me in regards to this picture as it pertains to a “habitus,” however, is that this picture never leaves my person. I have fitted it into the back of my binder, opposite a schedule of all the assignments I have due that week. img_20170210_162956

In the binder, I keep all my syllabi for classes and manila folders in which I store my readings for each class. I had first put the picture in there as a way to make the binder as a whole feel less daunting, but now I am more interested in this idea of the picture as a transient object in my habitus, just as I am a transient object in the unit of our family.

I didn’t frame the picture and put it on my wall, or skip the framing all together and take it up there like a lazy, broke college student. Instead I made sure that it would come with me wherever I went, that when I was in the library working, all I had to do was look over and be reminded of where I came from, and of whom I’m always trying to make proud. What does that say about me? I’m not sure, except that my whole habitus has become a habitus of convenience. Living in a dorm room, one is always aware that one’s living space isn’t permanent, isn’t even theirs. There are so many restrictions to what we can and can not put in our space that it often feels sterile and lifeless. The furniture is hard and uncomfortable, and we’re not allowed to bring any extra in (though I’ve cheated that rule and brought a folding wood bookcase for the past two years). I’m always aware that my area is one of transition. I’m never stopping for long there.

And even when I go home, I’m aware that it’s not really my home anymore. There’s my family, of course. And I have my own room. I’m lucky enough even to have my own office. But there’s always a sense that it’s a place I’ve left, and that in doing so I’ve also left an irrevocable chasm between my family’s space and mine. So perhaps the conclusion is that, without even knowing it, I’ve converted my entire habitus into something transient, that can be moved when I need it to. It follows, then, that the most important things follow me around, even in my micro-travels across campus from day to day. Maybe the object of the picture itself shapes the way I interact with this transience, letting me leave behind the anxious nature of never having anywhere permanent by allowing a physical representation of those I love come with me to all places. That picture is the thing that’s permanent, and maybe it makes every space a kind of home to me.

His name is not actually John

John is a friend I met last year through a job, and ever since then we have had one of those friendships that blossoms against time. What I mean by that is that our relationship defies all the notions and conventions of becoming friends because of how quickly we were to open up our living spaces to each other. In a matter of days, I was already hanging out in his room and he in mine. I have decided to write about John’s living space because ever since meeting him I have been puzzled about how he manages to live and function undisturbed and surrounded by heaps of clothing on the floor and on his bed. When you walk into John’s room the first thing you notice is nothing, everything is all over the place and there is no focal point in his room that particularly draws your attention. He has clothes on the floor, his dresser, his bed, his closet and even on his desk and they are not arranged in any specific manner. John has some wall decorations but the one he always mentions and perhaps the only part of his room that is put together is beside his bed. The wall is a collage of pictures with people he unconditionally loves. John would always point this out to me when he caught me staring at the unfamiliar faces on his wall.

Part of why John and I clicked is because we had heard about each other from a mutual friend but most importantly because he is one of the most hardworking, competent, amazing and the most careless person I have ever met. From the start, this combination of qualities was unheard of for me because I always associated smart, intelligent and amazing people with organization and structure, but John did not just fit that narrow box of mine. Picturing John’s room as I write I can now understand how his living space is a direct reflection of him. John is one of those people that has meltdowns the night before an essay because he had procrastinated for too long but he was also one of those people that would wake up at 6am to go visit grad schools across the nation. Again, it almost seems like I am writing about two different people but this is the type of person John is, and his messy and chaotic room reflected his character and how nonchalant he is. From having his clothes thrown all over his room, John demonstrates that he is a carefree person that does not need too much structure for him to feel happy or at peace. The collage of pictures on his wall show that he is a person that values friendships and his family while the amount of clothes he owned shows his love for looking and feeling good.

John has a certain nature of urgency about him because he would always put himself in situations that required him to be nervous and act fast and his room was exactly the same way. His belongings were always scattered and always required of him that sense of urgency he lives off. After knowing John for a couple of months, I came to realize that John is a person that does not plan and does not need to because as long as he knew what he had to do he did it, but in his own way. John’s room is a reflection of his personality but it is also a reflection of his upbringing in a society that requires so little structure of men. We live in a society that thinks that masculinity means being rough and having imperfections and part of that is carried into their living spaces and John’s room exemplifies how our place in society in addition to our upbringing and personality affects the way we arrange our living space. I say this because I know that part of me being a very organized person is that it was expected of me as a young girl to not be messy.

Luke and His Books

I thought it’d be interesting to reflect on how an object in my friend’s room is situated within it. My friend’s room is a lot different from my own–he lives in the dilapidated, muted pink house on the outskirts of Main St. When pulling into his driveway, the radio station you’re listening to automatically cuts out due to interference from the heavy amounts of led used in the gaudy pink paint. The front door is always unlocked, and a faint smell of cigarette smoke is omnipresent. It’s easy to see how Luke’s living situation heavily contrasts from my own–this unruly house seems to have few rules set in place aside from probably flushing the toilet after you use it.

Luke’s room is almost overflowing with stuff, and I’m envious of his proudly-mounted Cocteau Twins poster and his wood-carved incense holder. The thing is, while Luke’s room is filled with trinkets, papers and clothing, I find there is only one object that will be moved around, replaced, and handled extensively on a daily basis.

While his books are technically more than one object, I find that he treats them as a sort of homogenized entity in his room, as they form a cohesive wall which he has to actively switch around and tinker with depending on what book he is trying to extract from it.

As an English major, he is constantly leafing through one book or another, whether it’s The New Oxford Annotated Bible or Don Delillo. There are plenty of juxtapositions of books of differing subject matter and genres in the wall of books.

Although Luke has about 30 hefty books stacked up in his room, the reality is that this is only a small fraction of them. He has about 70 books strewn about his childhood bedroom that he felt he could live without up here. The books he ultimately decided to bring are extremely revealing of the overall aura that he wants these books to project–many of these are the books he is currently studying, that are taking up most of his critical capacities at the moment. There are also books that are always useful to keep on hand as an English major, such as  Introduction to Literary Theory by Terry Eagleton or Norton Shakespeare. Finally, there are those that are just his favorites. Those that make him happy to talk about if one were to see it proudly displayed in his wall of books and ask about. These for him are The Fact of A Door Frame by Adrienne Rich and The Tennis Court Oath by John Ashbery.

So, Luke’s small, varied possessions really don’t need to be there at all. They really seem to be there less for decorative purposes and more as a product of the seemingly Sisyphean task of moving in and out of one’s childhood home between every semester. All the emphasis in the room is really placed on the books, and those who enter are immediately drawn to the book wall, furiously scanning it in the hopes that their favorite book might be there. And that’s the point–nothing makes Luke feel more like himself than talking about what he knows best. It’s a safety net that allows for him to keep the ball in his own court so to speak, so that when new people enter his space he doesn’t feel vulnerable.

Residence & Resident.

 

The concept of “Habitus” within the scope of sociology had previously eluded me as an ambiguous sidebar, but Daniel Miller offers distinct insight on a psychological level and as societal mechanism worth mentioning. Small or large, homes can offer us great or little detail about the person and their background, but with a different scope, how they adapt and manipulate the environment, or conversely, how the environment changes them physically and emotionally.

As a child, I most admired my great grandmother. She lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment and was the only person I knew who kept art on her walls. Admittedly it was dated 40’s-70’s deco art (I mean this in the most affectionate sense possible), some curtains that undoubtedly matched her shirts, indicating she’d made them herself, and some hand drawn portraits of Jesus, John F. Kennedy, and Millard Fillmore. I understood the Fillmore, as he is a not so distant relative, and later the JFK (a Catholic staple in any Irish home) but the rest seemed puzzling, but enjoyable. I was determined to have her hang my precious works of art, which of course she did. Daniel Miller recognizes the differences in homes and the value of personalization, much like I had as a child. My stepmother’s ability to hang the most delicate porcelain masks, my mother’s metal butterflies and wooden spoons, and my grandmother’s bric a brac seemed so impersonal compared to my matriarch, Eleanor.
I am an art pusher, mainly because I can, let us call it a humanitarian effort. The idea of a bare wall translates to me as a vacant person, I’m rescuing visitors, if not the people themselves from boredom. My grandmother, Cheryl bought a painting from an unnamed angsty twelve year old and hung it at the top of her stairs for ten years. Just long enough for my embarrassment to become sentimental and spark some larger ambitions. She and I created together and found we had quite a bit in common. It changed the nature of our relationship. My mother, claiming her tiny brick wall would be sufficient decoration recently, received a 3′ x 4′ painting for her home warming from an anonymous source in the mail. Again, how could one throw away these precious gifts? Since, she’s invested in some “modern art” she found at a garage sale for her front room. This is not because I’m an artist and she feels that there’s a segway in the former hotel-esque art, or because either of us have great taste. “The room felt so cold and impersonal, and it matches the stucco outside, for flow…” says the former brick enthusiast. It gives the occasional visitor something to look at, another story to tell, a judgement to make about pleasures and interests, or as a color transition. As a story, perhaps about the person who inhabits a home, or a narrative of the home itself.
My walls will tell you loads of stories about how tasteless art can be, but it also reveals how daily habits and interests are integral for my well-being, and even remind me to be more conventional.
As an example, here’s a tiny (5″ square) shameless story from my bathroom about how I came to meet my current dentist and found I needed 1, 2, 3, wisdom teeth removed, which might as well serve someone else as a reminder to brush their teeth, or not use their mouths to open sealed pistachios:
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Through this journey, I’ve mostly bound myself to learning the fine art of repainting and mastering the skill of spackling, with promises and deliveries for landlords so as to not lose my deposits (i.e. ask me about NY State rental laws). Fortunately, I’ve never lost a deposit or had a landlord who fixed anything him/herself. In homes without anything on the walls, I find myself disturbed, without distraction, and a detraction from my initial “belonging,” or welcome within the space. I have since forced several minimalists in my life to accept art as gifts from their favorite artist(s), knowing they would feel obligated to display it. Having been given a speculative gift in the arts, I have maintained this empowered tradition of hanging things on the wall. From Sid Vicious posters to show flyers, friend’s drawings, gifts of paintings, to what I now believe is my own private gallery of mostly my own unsold works, some paintings from very talented people that I’ve bought over the years, and Dalí reproductions. The nooks and spaces within my apartment of so constrained in comparison to other places I’ve lived that I find myself painting smaller pieces, more to the needs of certain spaces in case a commission falls through, or I find something small and affordable to put into a particular space. In this way I accommodate the peculiarity of the walls built around posts and the lack of forethought of the builder. Much like the space drives me to endeavors and work smaller than I used to, I enjoy the tasks as a challenge.

As Miller dances around the definitions of accommodations, I would agree that it is a compromise between resident and residence, that we place our Stuff. I would like to add another definition by Merriam-Webster (a much less wordy definition than my perception textbook), ” the automatic adjustment of the eye for seeing at different distances effected chiefly by changes in the convexity of the crystalline lens,” which I think frames any encounter with art quite nicely. To see the whole of a painting is to see the entire home, but if you stand close enough you can see the complexity of the color, stroke, and ultimately the artist, much like an object tells about an inhabitant.

 

Reclaiming Agency Through Movement and Change

While reading chapter 3 of Daniel Millers, “Stuff” I identified with the the idea of accommodating oneself in a space through movement and change. Our bedroom, living room, kitchen, etc. and the objects that exist within them not only represent our connection to others around us/ world but, their arrangement demarcate periods of time in our lives. For this post I will be exclusively talking about my bedroom. By providing personal anecdote I seek to contribute to the notion of how the movement of objects can ultimately create change the transcends the physical domain and reconfigure our outlook on life as mentioned in the reading (pg.98-99).

In the space between objects I have displayed in my room and the orientation of the furniture I have live the experiences I have gone through, although silent and not physical they dwell within the crevices of my room. Every time I come home and sit on my bed, there is a release of this emotional energy and without my control they find their space in my room and settle. I bring to my room the happenings of each day, whether a good day or bad. But, what I find for me is that negative energy takes up more room than positive. The positive feels light and airy and the negative feels dark and dense. After a while the dark and dense builds up and the my space reaches a point of stagnation. I usually prefer to live in a space where I feel movement, leading me in a direction where I will eventually find relaxation, motivation, and most importantly clarity. The stagnation the begins to manifest itself in my room is a direct reflection of where I am in my life, stuck. Stuck in a particular mode of thinking, stuck in a routine, and so on. For sometime I will live in a space like that because I don’t have the ability yet to lead myself out of it. Additionally, I have the feeling like Miller was saying that “things are never going to change”. While this is all going on my objects remain in the same spot, in a way observing every move I make or lack thereof.

Nonetheless, the day will arrive where I throw my bags down and begin to rearrange everything. This day usually happens every couple of months for me and for a while I thought I was just being neurotic. I needed control over something because everything around me and within me felt out of control. What better way to do that then through picking up and moving things that you have complete agency over? (Also what I explained above was not apparent to me when I first began this habit of rearranging my room every couple of months. I wasn’t think about the dwelling of my emotional energy overtime, I was just thinking about reclaiming control.) My friends would always make fun of me–”There she goes again” or point out this habit I have and call me crazy and to be honest during this process I do feel kinda crazy–but I realized it’s part of the overall catharsis of rearranging your bedroom. Moving my furniture/objects begins to break up the shear build up of emotional energy over, in this case, a couple of months. After hours of moving things around I finally sit back down on my bed and I can feel that lightness, I can feel the openness between my objects. It is a feeling that language doesn’t seem to do justice. I feel invigorated afterwards–I may not have figured out how to exactly fix whats going on in my life, but I have a regained a sense of agency that I thought I was lost. In my current apartment I have gone through this process two or three times now for different reasoning. When I look back now and reflect on the emotional fluxes I have gone through, they are indefinitely attached to the orientation of my bedroom during that time.