WHAT DO I DO HERE?
Well, not just yet...
You travel back in time, and maybe to the future, too. You re-learn to listen and are reminded to ask. You meet neighbors near and far, and maybe you start think about who lives next door, and what their life is like, and how you might be able to help them, and what they might be able to teach you. Or, put plainly: You listen to memories made by others, and/or explore some of your own—then share them here so others can hear, if you’d like.
Ready to choose your own adventure? You’re in the right place!
Listen to other people’s places:
Tap on a window to hear a memory message. Visit with a neighbor, near or far—without leaving the comfort of home. Turn up the volume, press Play, then step away: Put on the kettle, pet your cat, light a candle, pace the length of the room, stretch your legs, wash a window, listen closely and see what happens. ➡
Explore what’s inside your own space:
Here’s where you can talk with yourself, your space, and/or your housemate(s) of any age. (AKA: Here’s your chance to go on a vacation and perform a magic trick, all at the same time.) Scroll through the below instructions before embarking on your magical memory-mining tour, or download them here in a printable PDF to enable a more screen-free experience. ➡
Share a memory message:
If you’re ready to jump right in, you can record a Voice Memo on your phone and upload it here, where you’ll also find more info about what happens to your memo once it’s been submitted. You can also leave a voicemail message at 646-801-8823, though please note that voicemail messages are automatically truncated at the 3-minute mark. (It’s Google Voice’s world, we just make memories in it.) Already recorded a memory message? Head here to share. ➡
P.S. Whether or not you opt to share your memories, consider sending yourself a copy of any recordings you might make. Think of them as a time capsule, or an audible journal entry that you can flip back to in the future.
Looking to learn more about the ideas behind the actions? Follow me. ➡
Instructions for Memory Mining
Look around, grab a seat, and settle in. Silence your devices and take an inventory of your senses: A taste, a sight, a sound, a scent, a sensation. (No, really.)
Close your eyes and take a mental tour of your space, matching memories to miniature monuments: What happened while you were crossing that threshold, sitting on that step, or staring out that window? Start at the front steps. Imagine yourself opening the door. Then stroll through each room to see what stands out.
If you’d prefer to think about a place from your past as opposed to your present, please do! Need some inspiration? Google your old addresses. See if you can see the real estate listing images for where you used to stay. Click through and take a look at your past live(s) through someone else’s lens.
Now, get comfortable. Consider one or more of the questions below, either alone or with a companion—human or architectural. In either case, remember that silence is your friend: Resist any urge to interrupt, and/or let pauses linger. (Even if the act of doing so feels awkward at first, those spaces are where the magic happens.) When you’re ready, engage the Voice Memo feature on your phone—or go back in time and dial 646-801-8823 to leave a message. Share here after, if the spirit moves you! ➡
YOUR SELF • YOUR PARTNER(S)/HOUSEMATE(S)/KID(S) • YOUR HOUSE
— A Memory Manual —
Think about who you were when you moved into this space.
What was your first impression of this space?
What was this space’s first impression of you?
If this space could talk, what’s a memory it would share?
What’s something you changed in your space?
What’s something your space changed in you?
Look around. Pick a window. Share why you chose it,
the date, and a description of the view.
What’s a secret this space knows about you?
What’s a secret you know about this space?
What’s the soundtrack to this space?
How will you feel when you leave this space?
What will that feeling feel like?
What do you think will happen to this space
after you’re g o n e?
Listen to your space. Do you hear the creak of a floorboard,
the drip of a ceiling, the tap of a tree limb on the window-top,
the one where the birds sometimes sit? Are there cars out front
blaring 80s bangers while on the way to work, or neighbors shouting
out back on Friday evenings? What does your space sound like?
What’s it saying?
When you’ve been away from your space for a bit
and you finally return, what does it smell like when you
open the door? TV static? Incense?
The bread from the bakery below?
What’s the light look like when it visits your space?
Does it dance across the walls, or skip through the
skylight real quick, making the dust motes *sparkle* like sequins?
Think about this space over time, past/present/future.
What will you leave behind, here?
What do you think the previous inhabitants were like? Why?
What should the next owner/renter know?
Think of your first apartment.
What’s a memory it might have of you?
Ever wanted to apologize to your home?
Here’s a chance. What went sideways? Why?
How do you feel about it now?
Describe something in your home that you suspect nobody else notices.
(Bonus: If you live with someone, share the something…
and see what they have to say about it.)
Who are the furry, finned, feathered (or scaled!) critters
who live in your space?
Describe their home(s) within your home.
Think about an aspect of your space that you’re grateful for.
What is it?
What does that gratitude ~feel~ like?
If your home were a person, how would you introduce them to a friend?
(Either in their presence…or their absence.)
Add your own question here ________.