Home, and Where the Heart Is

Linda Burton posting from Phoenix, Arizona — “Home is your own private piece of heaven.” These words, softly spoken, are one of many reflections in a video entitled “Home: Native People in the Southwest, Part One” which you can see at the Heard Museum, or online at this link: http://www.heard.org/videos/index.html

Arizona is home to 22 tribal nations, and the Heard Museum has worked with 20 of them to produce short video-tours as an aid to connecting communities, and showcasing their distinct languages and traditions. In this 30 minute video by Dustinn Craig, they tell intimate stories of their connection to the land, and the meaning of home to them.

“Home is a really hard concept for me,“ says one. “I can see it, I can taste it. But I need to create it – that’s home for me.”

“Creating home” is the focus of another whose life was expressed in a love of the land. Frank Lloyd Wright began building Taliesin West in 1937 as a personal winter home, studio, and architectural campus. This desert masterpiece sits in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains in northeast Scottsdale, and a variety of guided tours allow you to experience first-hand his brilliant ability to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces. http://www.franklloydwright.org/web/Tours.html

Wright preached the beauty of native materials and created buildings to grow naturally from their surroundings. “Whether people are fully conscious of this or not, they actually derive countenance and sustenance from the ‘atmosphere’ of the things they live in, or with,” he said.

As I travel the country over these next two years, listening to the voices and observing how people love and revere this land that is the United States, I will carry with me this thought, expressed in Craig’s video by a Native soul, which has profound meaning for me:

“I’m an elder now. I have dreams that I have to complete. That’s my home.”