Prague, CZ.  24 January 2010.

Doma (dohmah) is the way you say “at home” in Czech.  The word for house or home is dům (doom) and the word changes to doma instead of adding “at”.  “At home” seems like an appropriate theme both for this week and for the first post of 2010.  I have lived in the Czech Republic for almost a year now and I can genuinely say that I have begun to feel at home.  The oddly angled streets, the taste of icy air, the look of pale winter sunlight on the stylized buildings of my neighbourhood: all this is now familiar to me.  The foreign Czech syllables are no longer entirely unintelligible to me and I can carry on a conversation beyond ordering a meal.  After living many places, the idea of home has multiple meanings for me and I’ve found one constant I can bank on: change.  Thus, I revel in this new familiarity.

“At home” is also an apt theme because I have spent many of my days in my kitchen this month working at my easel in preparation for an exhibit in February.  I am exploring the theme of memory through a series of black and white photographs and several paintings.  As you can imagine, I have picked up my camera very little this month in an effort to keep my focus on the task at hand.  Even so, there are moments when I cannot help myself and I must record unexpected moments of discovery or beauty that occur in my very flat.

My roof is not a new subject for me; I’m fascinated by the green metalwork set against the red tiles.  This week, I looked down instead of up for the first time and chanced upon “1975” scrawled or scratched in red on green.  Can you imagine my delight?  I wonder what story is behind this 1975 and how such simple marks can hold my interest so.