Oddments

In search of story

A place called Me

2 Comments

I’ve had a most interesting exchange with a writing mate. I asked her about home. She asked me back. Home has been on my mind recently, so I’d been thinking about it but I hadn’t put anything into words. You know: words. Those bothersome markers that make a thought visible, graspable, kickable. But they are also the stepping stones. When I lay down the words, I lay a path.

And so it was this morning that I wrote my thoughts on home and began to put down the path.

I grew up in a home. It was authoritarian, cramped, explosive, stable. Sometimes hilarious. My parents had deep roots in the area and those attached to me. So I knew home then.

But not so much in my adulthood. Those things that were the nature and aspect of home for me — marriage, faith, family, house — dissolved, and so I was required to re-define home. Or to admit I would never have it again.

Do externals define home? Yes. The smell inside the old breakfront, the lopsided Christmas tree, the wooded Indiana backways, stories that begin “When I was growing up” — the seeing, hearing, touching, smelling of geographical, architectural, hand-me-down place.

But what about the internal place, where the senses work only in memory? Isn’t that my essential home, and if I don’t know home there, will I know it any place else? And if I do know home there, or, rather, here, inside me, do I need it any place else?

I am 72. These questions have might for me. The path I write will not be straight, cannot be long.

2 thoughts on “A place called Me

  1. I’ve never really felt at home anywhere, except the house of my maternal grandparents where their furniture sat in the same spots for sixty years. But on any given day, I can walk into a greenhouse or pass a freshly tilled field, or catch a whiff of Jean Nate, and know I’m home. I carry home in memory, and that is enough for now. Your post helped me remember, Maureen. Thank you.

  2. Never felt at home anywhere. Wow. Yet a breath of certain air evokes home for you. So it must be deep inside and so you are never without it. Or is it something else entirely?

    I couldn’t help laughing at the furniture in the same place for sixty years — we grandparents do tend to get set in our ways!

    Thanks for leaving your thoughts; they help me as I try to muddle through these Q&A sessions with myself.

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