I have been ruminating on the concept of home.
The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
― Maya Angelou, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes
If you were to write an autobiography entitled I Found My Way Home, what does home mean?
Just write. Without stopping for 10-15 minutes… whatever comes to mind. Of course, there is no right or wrong; home is something different for all of us.
My journal entry (unedited):
My first go to when I think of home is always torpet- peering into the window of my childhood summerhouse.
Photo by Julian Bowers. Ulriksdal, Mässvik, Sweden, July 2009.
Is home in there? Or in here? Is it the family all together? Is it my heart? My art? My mother’s lap? My lap? The corner of the cafeteria with my dad?
I have a friend who looks at the person in front of them deeply… the person inevitably or, more accurately, immediately falls in love. Is that home?
Is it stuff? I love my stuff. Like Dad’s copies of De Ovanliga.
My mom’s curlers. My daughter’s first flannel blanket. My son’s stuffed unicorn. It’s a Christmas tree and my parrot’s bell.
It’s silence and oh so, deliciously noisy.
It is lost and found, and both.
It’s a launching pad and a landing pad.
It’s the journey and the entire story.
It’s a shared obsession.
It’s a new book and an old fave.
It’s Dad’s vest. Mom’s recipes. The sound of children.
It’s the mason jar on my window sill.
The sound of keys.
It’s olfactory. Sensory. Visual. Auditory. Philosophical.
It is memory. What if we lose them?
It is building, connection, a cave and a woven rug.
Is there a temperature?
It’s within the pages of Nabokov and Karinthy. In the scratchings of these pages.
Is it attainable? Unattainable? Is it safe? Painful?
It is all these things of course or none of them, but again, I always go to torpet.
Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.
― James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room