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For those of you who think this is totally tl;dr, here are a few bullet points:

1.) If you sent me a key and then you moved, email me (beth hommel at gmail) your new address so I can send you a THING.

2.) Yes, I am still accepting keys. Probably when I am an old lady I will still be collecting keys. My house will be full of keys. I think I sealed my fate the night I got that first one tattooed on my arm.

3.) I am going to be updating Other People's Keys with photos of the keys I've gotten. Yay! Watch that space for yours.

4.) I love you.


So. I haven't updated this blog in ages, but let me tell you... there's so much to be said.
I cannot believe how many keys have come in the mail. Here's a stack of key letters I still need to photograph, respond to, and string:

key update

It's intimidating! But I'm going to get through them, because these keys and stories are too good not to be shared.

While I was on tour, people gave me keys not in envelopes. Not all of these have people or stories to go with them. Do you recognize your keys?

Orphan Keys

Other things worth talking about: YES, I am still accepting keys, even with the backlog, even with the threatening-to-take-over-my-life nature of this project. I love this. So much.

And other people seem to love it too. Here's some KEY ART that people have made for me (and there's more than I need to photograph and put her, including SHIRTS from Cynthia and Hayley and a beautiful painting by Lucy and another beautiful painting by Kayla and a beautiful pastel drawing by Lauren and probably 10 others I am forgetting.)

This is by the fucking awesome Sylvia K:

by Sylvia K

This poem is by the fantastic Hayley:
By Hayley

This song ("The One About Keys") is by the legendary Edgar Gonzalez, Jr. (I cannot wait to hear this in person):

And this ("Orphans") is by the incredibly talented and just plain incredible Kayla Oberlin (ditto):

I love that so much art--- for me and for others-- is coming out of this project. I love that so many of you are reaching out with your keys and stories, which are fucking amazing.

I love life.

I love keys.

I love you.

Love (obviously),
There are 12 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
posted by [identity profile] at 05:52am on 23/02/2009
Yet another example of humanities desire to connect to others and our deep passionate longing to fall in love. Be the object of desire made of warm smooth flesh and blood or made of hope and fantasy.
You are you, and you are more than you. You have asked others to create art and the idea of you (perceived, believed) has become ART.

Which is all my way of saying: I am not the only one to harbor a tiny crush on you after so many nights of reading your blog.

Rejoice. Be proud.
You have done a good thing and reached a great number of people.

posted by [identity profile] at 06:52am on 23/02/2009
Second from the bottom-left corner with the green (and pink) rubbery things on them = mine. Given to you in Brooklyn while you were sort of drunk so I didn't expect you to remember.

Here is the story:

These are the keys to the costume closet in the theater of my high school. I was trusted with the keys to all the nooks and crannies of the theater in my junior year, and was never asked to give them back. One day, very soon after I had graduated, I went in and raided the closet for cool new clothes, as revenge for an incident where the powers-that-were forced my favorite teacher (we called her "The Great Kate") to retire after she put on a production of The Laramie Project without approval from "The Board."

Maybe it was wrong, but some of my favorite items of clothing came from that costume closet.
posted by [identity profile] at 07:34am on 23/02/2009
If you ever go ahead and return my phone messages, I have a small pile of keys I've found randomly since moving here waiting for you =)
posted by [identity profile] at 05:16pm on 23/02/2009
Love Hayley's caligram.
posted by [identity profile] at 04:16am on 24/02/2009
Glad you like it :)

The messed up punctuation (or lack there of) sort of irks me, it became messed up through the space editing, but despite this fact, I love how well I got the shape to work without manipulating the spaces within the text.
posted by [identity profile] at 10:54pm on 23/02/2009
... does this mean you're acting on your CRAZY and coming to Ft. Lauderdale?...
posted by [identity profile] at 08:35pm on 25/02/2009
you soooo should, Beth. because then you'll get to hear BOTH songs because Kayla & I are totally hanging out there :)
posted by [identity profile] at 06:48am on 25/02/2009
My sister has a tattoo of keys on her back, you want a picture?
posted by [identity profile] at 08:02pm on 25/02/2009
Yes, please!
posted by [identity profile] at 01:30am on 28/02/2009
aw my key's not in the picture
posted by [identity profile] at 12:20am on 09/03/2009
i read this. and then, i was thinking, i have to have some sort of interesting key to send to beth so i could feel important. i don't.

but i remembered a certain key. i can't even remember what it looked like but i can remember what it felt like so vividly that i bet if i was artistically inclined i could draw it based on the impression left in my fingers.

in my grandparents' old apartment there was a giant, person-crushing sliding door and there was a key in it. it was either in that dooming door, or the one in the room it concealed leading to the porch. i don't know.

i don't even think it worked. it was just in its door. i really, really miss that apartment. the building has since been condemned. "the house on 18th street" is what they refer to it as now. the masochistic part of me wants to break in one day just to feel my childhood collapse and see the place in which i have so many memories in shambles. i like scaring myself and i think that would be exciting and terrifying.

but i had completely forgotten about that key until now and now my fingers feel funny.

i still have no interesting key but i had to validate the effort by sharing that story.

posted by [identity profile] at 02:29am on 29/04/2009
Oh, I collect locks and keys! I have since I was very, very small. And I have a tattoo of a lock on one wrist and a key on the other.



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