What is home?
I don't know, but you can join me in my process of discovery
Hello, and welcome to the newsletter where I do all my thinking because I don’t have time to put my thoughts together when I’m not locked in my room with a computer on my lap. 🤣
I’m going to pick up right where I left off last week, because I have time today to really dig in, and I’m excited to do it. Oh. But, before I do - I meant to show you something last week. You might have seen it already, as I know it’s made the rounds once or twice. But when I wrote about running around in the front yard with Simba, I couldn’t help thinking of this short story I wrote about my dog and her girl. I recommend it, if you haven’t seen it yet. Best read with a tissue or two at the ready.
Okay. Home. I put some questions out there last week, but I’m not ready to answer them all today. For now, I just want to try and work out what home is. Simple, right?
I tend to ask slippery questions, and this one’s no exception. Just when I think I’ve got a definition, something new and shiny comes to distract me and expand my thinking. But I’m gonna give it a go.
Home is the place I go back to, the place I live, the place I stay. It’s where I am, but also where I’m from.
Home zooms like the slider on Google Maps. Out from a bedroom, or even a certain sofa, to a house on a street. In from a country to a region to the closest big city, and sometimes even to my small town.
Home is peace and comfort and nostalgia and the people I love.
Home is the long and winding story I tell when someone asks me, “Where are you from?”
Home smells of pot roast on Sundays and bacon in the morning, and it sounds like Judge Judy or clacking pool balls or the gleeful shrieks of neighborhood children on the first nice spring day.
Home is memories of gift-opening and barbecue-having and tequila-drinking. It’s making new memories of cake-decorating and popcorn-eating and woods-walking.
It’s a place, and it’s not a place. It’s a feeling, and it’s not a feeling. I can’t hold it, but I carry it around anyway.
And it’s waiting for me when I need it, ready to embrace me like I never left.
Hmm. So I guess that’s how I feel about home.
It’s a poem of sorts, with a riddle thrown in. It’s not something you can bottle up and tie with a bow, and it’s not the same for everyone. It’s messy and complicated and more than one thing at a time.
I’m also conscious that I mostly wrote positive things up there. There are plenty of negative things about home, and certainly there are many people for whom “home” doesn’t elicit a warm and fuzzy response. But I guess for me, I’m thinking about the things that draw me back there. Whether it’s a cozy apartment in Northern California, my walk-up attic bedroom in the house where I lived before moving to the one I showed you last week, or the place where I live now with my family, when I think of home, I think of the place I want to go back to. Maybe that means that, by definition, I’m romanticizing it a little.
But I’m nothing if not a little romantic.
Okay, so you have a little flavor now of what home is to me. How about you? Did anything above resonate with you? What, or where, is home to you?
I’ve still got plenty more to say about it, but it can wait.
See you next week. 😊
P.S. There is only one book update this week, and that is that I finished that rewrite! For all I’ve been procrastinating, that thing only took me about 8 hours to do. There are still a couple little details to iron out, but I’m feeling pretty good about it - especially since my toughest and best editor gave it a strong review. After I iron out those small but very work-out-able details, I’m going to put it in a drawer until summer and give it one last round of edits before taking it to the Festival of Writing, where hopefully it will be snatched up by an agent after a knock-down, drag-out fight with other agents dying to represent its majesty. Hey, a girl can dream. 🤣