Friday, August 10, 2012

Are We Home Yet?

Home is a difficult concept, yes?  It is charged.  Mostly with expectations.

Expectations for who we are when we are there, as well as expectations for what home should be like, always and unchanging.  Unrealistic, of course, because everything changes.

The sky changes, every day, and we hardly notice.  But enter the house whose very consistency and constancy you cling to, and a new chair, or a different rug can make your whole world feel off-kilter.

I have a tattoo that says, "I am home."  Like a lot of tattoos, this one says something that I claim to believe but really, probably is more like something that I want to believe.

I want to feel at home, wherever I am.  In my body, and in the world at large.  Often, I don't.  Usually, I feel like the world is one big whirling party that I'm too scared to join.  Or, if I do join in, I become some caricature of myself that mirrors and compensates and bows to every idea or influence or person and I long to jump back out, to catch my breath, to stand at the window and watch some more.

Home is a lot of things.  It's the big things, like a structure, with doors and keys and a mortgage or a rent payment.  And it's the little things, like a clock on the wall, a plant in the kitchen, and a cat on the bed.  It's the people you invite in.  It's the food you cook, the arguments you have, the tears you cry.  Mostly, it's the time that it takes for all those things to happen.  Just like a relationship doesn't blossom overnight, a house is not a home without some settling of the dust.

Patience is not one of my virtues.  Suffice to say, I would never get a tattoo that claims I am so.  But few things change with the rapidity and spectacularity of a sunset.  If they did, would we appreciate them?  Would we even notice?

I'll leave the porch light on.  We'll see who stops by.

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