an excerpt from
Those Amazing Women with their
A couple of the characters are making
Liona: It's my idea that, if there is a god, we're in the process of creating that creature: someone who takes care of things better than the survival of the fittest, natural selection, evolution. Animals hunt other animals – lots of cats even toy with the terrified creatures they're killing. Cancer eats up people, malaria kills millions, so do Aids, starvation, malnutrition. Cats have litter after litter of unwanted kittens – but until the past century, there was no way of stopping the overproduction. Women have so many unwanted babies, even when there's no love, no food, no home of any sorts. And some religions tell us this is the will of god.
Kay: So god, according to you, is a by-product of evolution?
Liona: I couldn’t have said it better myself. Yes, the kind of caring god people like to imagine. Though if there is anything out there, anything that loves and feels, it wants us to do our damnedest to turn earth, for the first time ever, into something closer to a well-tended, well-protected garden, into as safe a haven as possible for all who live here – into a true home.
Kay: I believe you're actually saying more than that god is, at best, a by-product: you're saying we’re god.
Liona: Nooooo. We’ve made way too much of a mess for that. War, Mass murder. Genocide. Huge holes in the ozone layer. You know the list. Still, while people have done a lot of damage, we’ve done nothing – so far at least – on the scale of what’s “natural.” Like, an all-natural comet smashed into earth, wiping out the dinosaurs, not to mention ninety per cent of all other species. Though with what we've become capable of – mass destruction of the everything on this planet – we're coming close to the natural disasters.
Kay: At any rate, we didn’t create childbirth.
Liona: And many of us are trying, in our own small ways, to make things better. We hurt when we see hurt, and we try to find out how best to help.
Kay: . And maybe we need those some of those tools we've come up with recently - all that technology - to turn this place into more of a home place than it's ever been, if enough of us just keep trying. When I pay attention to the news, t’s overwhelming, for me at least, unless I do my little bit. Then the heart opens.
Liona: To make the world into what so many people have dreamed it could be, a safe place for all of us – that's our biggest project, the biggest human project ever undertaken, I'd say. Home-world bound.
And with that music starts.
To go to the Sexe-Tetes, and another
of their interests,
In My Own, My Chosen Home -
Just what does it mean - chosen home? To what extent do we choose our home, and to what extent is our response to certain places built into us? I remember loving the low rolling hills east of Calgary years and years ago - I felt good there. Now I live on a high plateau, a wide open space with a view over miles and miles of fields and forests. Right now the trees are changing color, much like when I wrote the word piece that became the spark for this project - in my own, my chosen home. The view is not so different from the fields east of Calgary. It feels to me as if there is something about wide open spaces, yet with rolling hills, that evokes a feeling of home in me - chosen home.
I didn't choose where I was born - Vienna a few years after the end of the second world war. My parents were lucky to have a tiny home of their own - one small room all to themselves, with their own entrance to the world. The toilet was down the hall - it was for all the apartments (if apartments isn't too fancy a word for where they lived). But a home of their own - that was something for a young couple in postwar Vienna.
But did my sense of home start there - apparently there was a huge window, bringing in way too much heat in summer, but also loads of light, something I have often loved.
Chosen home - I think this name came to me also because I'm the child of immigrants. To some extent they chose to leave - with dreams of a promised land, a land flowing with adventure, like in the Westerns my father had loved since early childhood, and a land flowing with opportunities, as shown in the films my mother saw at the Canadian consulate. Eacgh of my parents chose to leave, lured by different possibilities, stirred by different dreams, hopes, fears. Yet for neither of them did Canada truly deeply become home - in some ways, one cannot choose to be at home. This was not, deep inside, their chosen home. My father had burned all bridges to a flourishing buisness - he would have had a hard time choosing to go back home, he would have had an emornously difficult time acknowledging that deep inside he longed for another home, did not feel fully at home.
I have chosen to stay. This is a choice - because in my generation masses of English-speaking people chose to leave, chose to make their home elsewhere where English was welcome, where there was no separatist movement.
To what extent, actually, is this my chosen home - and to what extent did I just never make the choice to leave? Did I really choose to stay, that is?
Now my partner and I are rooted in our home - our personal home. Our chosen home is also the closest large city - which was where we lived, home, for decades. To some extent Montreal will always feel like home. Out here in the country is my personal home space. But the city is home in another way - the stores, the streets, the parks, the restaurants, the people, downtown - and my work.
There is so much more on chosen home, but this is the beginning. In my own, my chosen home - thoughts, reflections, word pieces, music. My chosen home, and the chosen homes of many others.
chosen home, home
place, home space, forever at home,
site design, site construction
- Elsa Schieder