Pau leaned forward in the backseat of my friend Will’s car on the way to Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, chatting with me about ideas for my residency at Parlor Gallery, photographing women at home.
“There’s a word in German that doesn’t translate to English—called “heimat.” … It is when your heart feels at home.”
The phrase was like a memory recall. I immediately remembered the feeling I get when I’m floating in the ocean, sitting upstairs at McGrath’s, watching a band that I love play, laying on the couch with Will eating tacos, the smell of my parent’s house, scream singing Debra by Beck in the middle of a bar, walking down the hallway of the apartment I just left in Harrisburg, a hug from a close friend, watching Jill cook breakfast…
Whelp. I think I might need to do a second part to this project.
About a month or so later, at the end of her time here, Pau and I sat on the boardwalk watching the ocean. She said that the old Pau died when she arrived in Asbury this time and a new Pau was born. And I don’t know entirely what that meant for her, but I believe her… and I’m thankful to have been there with her when she was feeling new again.
“It is only and ever heart work,” she said.
Pau, doing the work—finishing up some really beautiful pieces and visiting her murals on the boardwalk one last time before flying away. Asbury Park, NJ. June, 2018.