For many people, the home is part of their self-definition, which is why we do things like decorate our houses and manicure our lawns. These large patches of greenery serve little real purpose, but they are part of a public façade people put on - displaying their home as an extension of themselves.
Some may feel a sentimental or nostalgic attachment to the places they’ve lived, and in the end see them as separate from their inner selves. For better or worse, the place where we grew up usually retains an indelible space in our mind.
Where and how I lived was determined by factors of economy, family and identity. We lived on the outskirts of town, in a house of peeling paint and holes. It didn’t seem to be worth much and that’s how I felt about myself. I would be ridiculed about who I was and the house got the same treatment. It was draughty in the winter and sweltering in the summer. The grass, or so-called lawn, was sometimes a metre high, it would mow itself... when it died of thirst. Someone tried to paint it once but gave up half way through. My brother and I would pick at the acrylic paint and peel it off the fibro in sheets. Other broken pieces of fibro - from the holes we, or others, made in the walls – would be played with and thrown like the frisbees we never had.
Looking at the half-painted house that everyone despised, it seemed to mirror my own sense of futility and entrapment. I felt as dirty, immobile and reluctant to improve as the house appeared. I did eventually leave and the house no longer exists. It became a ‘sorry place’ after my father had died. It seemed like that for as long as I had known it.
Archie Moore, 2014