Friday, March 22, 2013

Ten Dreams of Home


I am glad the weekend's finally here. Having travelled to Jamaica and Florida during the last two weeks, I am relishing the thought of curling up in my house and nursing this cold that seems to be trying to claim me. At work, daydreaming about exactly this, I found myself searching out excerpts on the subject of home. Here are ten that spoke to me.

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“I let it go. It's like swimming against the current. It exhausts you. After a while, whoever you are, you just have to let go, and the river brings you home.”
― Joanne Harris, Five Quarters of the Orange

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“What is home? My favorite definition is "a safe place," a place where one is free from attack, a place where one experiences secure relationships and affirmation. It's a place where people share and understand each other. The people in it do not need to be perfect; instead, they need to be honest, loving, supportive, recognizing a common humanity that makes all of us vulnerable.”
― Gladys Hunt, Honey for a Child's Heart

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“It’s funny. When you leave your home and wander really far, you always think, ‘I want to go home.’ But then you come home, and of course it’s not the same. You can’t live with it, you can’t live away from it. And it seems like from then on there’s always this yearning for some place that doesn’t exist. I felt that. Still do. I’m never completely at home anywhere.”
―Danzy Senna

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“That's what so many people didn't understand about life. The real world is the one within the walls of homes; the outside world, of careers and politics and money and fame, that was the fake world, where nothing lasted, and things were real only to the extent they harmed or helped people inside their homes.”
― Orson Scott Card, Hidden Empire

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“He didn't think he belonged here, so she was making him face some uncomfortable facts. People adapt. People change. You can grow where you're planted.”
― Sarah Addison Allen, The Peach Keeper

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“It may be argued that the past is a country from which we have all emigrated, that its loss is part of our common humanity.”
― Salman Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands

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"We don't get an endless number of orbits away from the place where meaning first arises, that treasure-house of first experiences. What we learn, instead, is that our adventures secure us in our isolation. Experience revokes our licence to return to simpler times. Sooner or later, there's no place remotely like home.”
― Gregory Maguire, Out of Oz

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“You don’t have a home until you leave it and then, when you have left it, you never can go back.”
― James Baldwin, Giovanni's Room


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“The desire to go home that is a desire to be whole, to know where you are, to be the point of intersection of all the lines drawn through all the stars, to be the constellation-maker and the center of the world, that center called love. To awaken from sleep, to rest from awakening, to tame the animal, to let the soul go wild, to shelter in darkness and blaze with light, to cease to speak and be perfectly understood.”
Rebecca Solnit, Storming the Gates of Paradise

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“The nice thing about being away from home is the feeling of excitement on returning to it!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan


10 comments:

  1. As you know, I am inordinately attached to my home. My house, my two acres- this home.
    The funny thing is though, I have other places which feel like home for me. Just two. The little village where I grew up on a river, south of here, and where I always feel as if I have stepped nimbly through time when I return there. Also, the island of Cozumel off the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. I have cried myself sick upon leaving that place more than once and when I return there, I am always filled with such emotion that again, the tears can't help but spill. I am crying now, thinking about it.
    I feel so grateful to have these three places which to me are home. Of all the places I've lived and visited, these are the places which I define in my mind as home.

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    1. Ms. Moon, it is wonderful to feel completely at home in more places than one. You have such a powerful and visceral connection to Cozumel it makes me think you must have lived a very happy life there in a past life! Or maybe in a parallel universe. It's fun to imagine anyway. I find that I am most attached to my home when I have been away from it, or when it is filled with the people i love most, who require nothing of me but for me to be as I am. I suspect Owen and Gibson will feel about your home as you do about that village on the river where you grew up. You are creating that for them every day, and it's a lovely thing to witness.

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  2. I love this, Angella. Thanks. Home is such a running theme in my life, as it is in most peoples, I assume. But I grew up with divorced parents and had two homes - one less inviting than the other. And then my mom sold my childhood home and moved away. And all my various "homes" along the way - Montana, Idaho, Oklahoma, Texas, Pennsylvania and now Arizona - I felt very homeless for a very long time. There are times I still do. I'm a perpetual wanderer. But what I did realize is that my home is wherever I am, wherever my body is and what I need to work on the most is finding home within me.
    Thanks for sharing these. xoxo

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    1. Rachel, i have been thinking a lot about the fact that when one leaves their first home, and especially when one's first home is no longer intact, as it it has been sold away or is no longer standing, one can feel a little bit homeless for life. I feel that keenly. My childhood home, the one for which this blog is named, has been sold, and then razed, with townhouses now standing on that ground, and the fact of not having a place I can go "home" to, where my parents still are, where my things still exist roughly as I left them, has made me feel somehow rootless. Jamaica is the land of my birth, but I have no house there in which I am not a visitor, and it's an odd feeling indeed. Home for me, therefore, is the people with whom I can be supremely myself, my family, certain friends. And you know, this place, this virtual community, too. Thank you for sharing your wandering soul here. Feel at home here. xo

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  3. It is almost primitive thing to want to go home. The world can be a big and scary place but home...just the word speaks volumes.

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  4. None of the important homes of my childhood are standing or still in the family. The two houses I felt most at home in Idlewild, Michigan, have been sold and I never want to go there again, except in my mind. The house I'm living in now is ok, but it's not "home". Sometimes I wonder if we did right to leave so soon. But my husband, my sister and most of my children and grandchildren are here. I dreaded having them grow up with us only seeing each other once in a while. I just don't like living in the city.

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  5. I was reading an article by Martha Beck. She said to jot down a description of your home, whatever first comes to mind. Just stream it out. (You might want to do that, just a few sentences, before reading on). Ready? Ok. She said that the description of our home also applies to our inner life. I was fascinated. Anyway, I've lately felt the need to make sure our home is a safe place, secure, for all the family to come home to. Emotionally. A true shelter from the unpredictable world.

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  6. this is a wonderful theme. i may steal it, for later...i like turning over in my mind about what, really, defines home.
    take care; enjoy being where you are...

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  7. My kids love coming home. When we offer to go out to dinner they always say no. I guess that's something to be proud of. I don't like being away from home for more than a week. I, too, love being in my house and sleeping in my bed. There's nothing like it.

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  8. Some profound thoughts here. ALthough they seem a bit contradictory, I relate to # 2 and 3 most.

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