Artist Yvette Gottshall

An example of fine art by Yvette Gottshall

Photo of Yvette Gottshall


Like other global nomads, or third-culture-kids, I spent the majority of my formative years growing up amongst cultures very different from that of both of my parents’ home cultures of Ohio and Texas. My sisters and I were privileged to grow up off-base in some of the most incredibly rich cultural traditions, and yet, we could never forget that it was two world wars which occasioned the permanent installation of US military bases the world over. The simple reason for their continued existence today is a hedge against future wars.
And all I’ve ever wanted, corny and hackneyed as it sounds, is peace. I’ve experienced enough change and turmoil, all I wanted was the absence of turmoil or anything except good trouble, if, indeed, troubles were required.
Out of this richly textured and chaotic childhood of wings, wings, wings, some tiny tendrils of the stuff of roots began to emerge in me as a type of hunger. Reading, creative writing, and art making were the practices I went to for comfort, for a sense of rootedness. When I was writing, when I was painting or drawing, or reading, I wasn’t worried about isolation from my friends on base, or from family and friends half a world away. If I practiced these with the same devotion I had shown to learning Japanese or German previously, I felt sure that in spite of all the mobility, I could be okay, learn and grow these until we settled down back in the states.
Having grown up living elsewhere as a child/teenager, I often find myself bemused by the dichotomy that is the country my childhood was given up in service to and the country that I claim as “mine.” 
Then, there are all the other countries that I also think of as “home” to one degree or another. My memories [...]

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