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For House to be the House It Takes Love

Many years later Mrs Safija told the following: when they finally agreed and bought the land on which the house will be, she and the one she loved more than anything in this world sneaked out on one warm summer night, slowly and hidden by shadows reached the top of Čekaluša street. They lay on the ground, holding hands. They looked at the sky. Silent.


In letters that she, some half century after that night, wrote to a close friend, Safija confided that she thought it would be nice if homes would not have roofs. That above the house there is always just a piece of heaven, as far as the eye can reach. And stars. “Because,” the letter reads, “how can you put under one ceiling all the love that a house was built with? It should be almost the size of the sky itself! ” Exactly as was the sky that she looked at that night.


But as that has yet not happened, or at least it is not known of a house built without a roof, so this one was after all covered.


Not much is known about how and when it was built. Not every story is to be believed, but they say that this house somehow sprouted and blossomed on the hill, as if fairies built it in one night, weaved it out of Sarajevo air. And so it seemed. Fairy-like. There were stories throughout Sarajevo about a filigree beauty of the exterior walls, and those few who have seen its inside didn’t say a word. Not because there was nothing to say, but what could anyone say about the house that was supposed to be a proclamation of love and love is, as we know, (even one that was forbidden in those days) devoid of all the talks and expectations. It was known only that there are four rooms in that house.


And if they wanted to, they would tell this: the house was spacious, light and airy. Every corner of each room was touched by a tender love and if you have ever set foot in it, not even for a moment would you doubt that every little thing, decoration and every piece of furniture were placed there for a good reason. Stairs in this house will not take you down, nor up: they will guide you exactly where you wanted to be at that point. There are no doors between rooms – rooms flow into each other and, but only if you’re a carefully threading and know that love has no doors, barriers or fences, you can feel the subtle moment in which one room stops and the other begins. There are houses that embrace you as soon as you enter. This is such house. There’s nothing more to be said about the house on top of Čekaluša Street, nor there is a better description. When love outgrows the words, they get carved in stone, so they remain there forever.


For house to be the house it doesn’t take roofs, walls or rooms, and even not the words. For house to be the house it takes love.