"HIRAETH" AND THOSE PLACES OF VALUE
"Hiraeth" is a Welsh word that means a nostalgia or an inexpressible longing for a time or a place or an experience that has not actually been part of ones experience. It is akin to the German romantic "Sehensucht" of Schubert's lieder. I was delighted when I encountered this word for I could finally give a name to those feelings that I had experienced when visiting historic homes or studying vintage photographs. That sense that I was, in someway or somehow, connected to those places and images. I had experienced this feeling while observing the afternoon sun stream through rippled glass panes onto the original floorboards of a James River plantation house or while studying an 1890's group photograph of workers that included the haunting presence of barefoot boys at an East Liverpool pottery.
East Liverpool, Ohio, the town in which I was born, and where I have lived for the greater expanse of my life, is now providing the impetus for beginning this blog. Recently, I had posted some snippets of my mother's writings of her memories on the page, titled aptly, "Memories of East Liverpool." There were a significant number of responses, including one who had suggested that I write a blog. The more I thought about this, the more appealing it became, perhaps from a very selfish motive. As I designer, I derive much inspiration from that "hiraeth" that has provided instructive examples of beauty and meaning. As a writer, I am almost a mere recorder of the sagas of the characters found in the sepia toned photos: and as a person who seeks meaning, I find the range of values, not only in personalities but also of the places recorded or remembered.