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No Place Like Home

alec vanderboom

Rachel Whiteread'sGhost is currently on display on the second floor of the Modern Art Building at the National Gallery, in Washington D.C. Click on the above website to explore this amazing highlight of negative space. A few weeks ago, I took in this sculpture with Hannah. It's amazing to see up close. When you look at a room "opposite" you suddenly start to notice things like the ashes from the inside of a fireplace grate, or the odd hole that a door nob leaves in a door after its been removed.

This sculpture keeps coming back to me as I go about my basic housewifely duties. How much do I focus on the exterior surfaces of my home -- of the place mats that need to be laundered after jelly drips from a messy four-year-old-prepared peanut butter sandwich and the stain on the carpet from the dog who lost the cheerios that she was never supposed to be fed?

Meanwhile, my main importance as a mother is this "spiritual" force filling up the negative space with love, compassion, and copious acts of patience. Some days I'm more successful at this than others. (Today's bad allergy day being an example of "less successful.") But I'm rarely MINDFULL of how my spiritual energy is filling the house. I count my success as a mother by the tangible, clean laundry, and relatively decluttered floor. This sculpture shows me in a tangible manner how little the surface stuff is in relation to much larger, open, spiritual space.

I remind myself to be more faithful in my home by staring at sculptures on the weekend & writing during the weekdays. What unusual things do you do to remind yourself to practice your faith at home?