3: Other Spaces – Welcoming

I have always taken pleasure in occupying, for however brief a period, the living-rooms of other people – as a solitary occupant, that is. For reasons I do not understand, I almost always find these places tranquil, restful, safe. Most importantly, they are of course not my living-room, my famil­iar place that is crowded out with my life-long anxieties, populated by piles of books that I fear I shall never get to read, or never get to read again (it must be one or the other). Someone else’s liv­ing-room has the quality of uncharted territory that brims with potential and possibility. Its contents have histories that I can only imagine because I do not yet know their histories, and proba­bly never shall. And in those spaces is an aura of someone’s life being lived, safe, because it is not my life, so cannot hurt me. And of course, when you are a visitor, someone else, to a certain de­gree, assumes responsibility for you. And that re­minds me of being a child, at the dawn of things, before my anxieties had formed and started to grow, in those times, only small and vaguely recalled, be­fore the burgeoning of anxiety, despair and all the other nastiness of everything.

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