Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Home is the sailor... where is home?

A question posted over on "Muddled" had me thinking about the "home" idea.

Home Is the Sailor

Home is the sailor, home from sea:
Her far-borne canvas furled
The ship pours shining on the quay
The plunder of the world.

Home is the hunter from the hill:
Fast in the boundless snare
All flesh lies taken at his will
And every fowl of air.

'Tis evening on the moorland free,
The starlit wave is still:
Home is the sailor from the sea,
The hunter from the hill.

A.E. Housman

What makes a home for you?

Each of us probably differs tremendously on what it takes to make a dwelling or a neighborhood a home; folks with a higher "gypsy" or "wanderlust" quotient can make their home practically anywhere they can hang their hat. Yet others of us with a higher need for security and rootedness want to have a a solid social support network in place as part of the "home" concept.
Perhaps Jerry got to think a little more about the "home" concept when he was in San Diego and found himself severely inconvenienced after misplacing the card that linked him to cash and finding himself separated from resources and with a perhaps slightly more tenuous social support structure after many months away from his former home.

For many folks, the local watering hole is an essential part of the "home turf" experience. Yet I feel out of place and in as somewhat alien environment when I'm in a bar.

Some people may even think of the spiritual afterlife as their true "home". ""My father has many mansions...."

Conversely, many folks would be intensely uncomfortable on the water, yet sleeping on a boat is intensely comforting to me and hearing the surge of the waves bonds me to my childhood. I'm also comforted and feel oddly at home on our old railroad train in Chama with its irregular rhythms as it traverses the rails.

So, what makes a home for you?

Four walls or glass walls? Predictability? Security? Comforts? People and relationships? Cultural stuff? Books or pets or hobby stuff? Bars and watering holes? Libraries? Nature? Urban amenities? A place where you can comfortably express yourself? A place where you are greeted and understood? A place where people expect you and make you part of their rituals and pastimes? A spiritual place or moment or refuge?


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