Module 1: Creative (Re)Presentations of Home

by | Jun 3, 2022 | 5: Summer Course 2022, 5a Course Preparations | 7 comments

A Secret Haven

I have always been a person that’s the exact opposite of what we call “claustrophobic”. I really like small, dark places as they give me the feeling of aloneness, which is very important for an introvert person as yours truly. That’s why the backyard became my secret haven.

It’s not secret, obviously, but it kind of is. This place has a certain meaning for me but not for the other members for my family. Maybe they give an other meaning to it as well and the backyard becomes a heterotopia that can have multiple interpretations. Heterotopias, maybe. Plural.

Before I was born there was a small balcony in the backyard. My grandpa decided that it wasn’t very convenient so he converted it into a storage room. So basically it’s just walls now. However, in the back of what is now a storage room there are remains of a staircase. There is a spot on the wall that’s hollow and the stairs, or what remains of them, appear out of nowhere, leading nowhere.

Nowhere. That’s where my haven is, that’s where I feel at home. Anywhere. Everywhere. Nowhere.

A placeless place.

I usually sit on the out-of-nowhere-leading-nowhere what’s left of a staircase to read books or listen -of course- to music or play my guitar. Sometimes, when I feel frustrated I go there to escape reality(?), just as an afraid kitten that hides under the couch.

In this case, I usually go there to sit and calm myself down. I often find myself trying to focus on the sounds that surround meĀ· the sound of bells and a few cars to my right, melodies of backyard ornaments to my left…

I’m coming to realize that I “own” the spot, I’m so familiar with it to that extend that I have “sound-mapped” the place. I can identify almost every surrounding sound and those I can’t, I try to figure them out.

I wonder if the others have ever thought of that place this way. If they thought of it, just for a minute, as something else rather than an inconvenient spot. If they listen to what’s going on back there, not only hear.

I never asked my grandpa why they put up walls but didn’t take the stairs down.

He never mentioned anything.


  1. Katrine Sirnes Nesheim

    Dear Evie,
    your text and audio is so calming, and it made me think about my mum’s backyard. Where I grew up we had a large barn outside our house. I loved running around and exploring. Since the barn was old and dark, I was also quickly scared. Unlike you, I may prefer bright places when I want to be alone. Inside the barn there was a silo that I could look down into and the dark abyss always scared me. Maybe a bit like the stairs leading nowhere. We tore down the barn and now it is just a big, green garden spot with only grass. Your text made me think of this place I almost had forgotten about.

  2. Evie Despotopoulou

    Hi Katrine,

    Thank you for your comment. I also like the way you describe your memory. I’m glad it came back to you!

  3. Zhiyu (Gabby) Wen

    Hi Evie, thank you so much for sharing your “home” feeling with us. When I was reading your text, I felt that I can see the backyard you enjoy going to and the way you are in that backyard. I also enjoyed listening to your audio, it is very soothing and it gave me the kind of “everyday life” feeling.
    Similar to you, a quite dim place with candles on, with meditational music in the background, could always relax me and gives me the kind of feeling that I can travel through space and time with my imagination. When I was reflecting on myself on your post, it made me realize that sometimes human beings are so similar to each other that sharing common feelings, even though we don’t live in the same country and are so far away from each other on space and time.

  4. Eleni Gkrilla

    “A placeless place” ! I really want to be there! And you managed to make me feel what you mean. I like the way you write and think. It seems simple but there is a huge labyrinth behind. Thanks for your post !

  5. Jennie Gubner

    Evie, this is a great description and recording. I love seeing buildings that have doors on a second story with no stairs, or stairs that go nowhere. They tell stories of the history of our built environments that are personal and imperfect, unfinished at times, or perhaps just left to be with a little mystery. Many people have written about their homes, or specific locations that are beautiful or full of sensory stimulation but it is also true that sometimes home is also just a particular spot that you are so familiar with, your little corner or nook from where you sit and contemplate and watch and listen. Something about their unremarkable quality that makes them more yours than anyone else’s. I’ve had many spots like this as well.

Submit a Comment