March 1, 2013 § 1 Comment


I couldn’t have picked a more nebulous subject to tackle. But now that I’ve started, I can’t stop. I’ve been preoccupied with the idea of “home” for most of my young adult life. Even if haven’t decided what it means to me.

This post originated, like many others, in the pages of my journal, as a series of questions. Most of the questions I ask don’t have definitive answers. I ask them anyway.

Is “home” where one has roots? My roots are in the Midwest. I was born and raised in Illinois. So was most of my family, and most of them never left.  I love my family dearly, but I’ve always felt out of place in the Midwest. That’s why I’ve worked so hard to escape from it. Which poses another question: can you settle for “home,” or must you stop at nothing to find “home”?

Does one rely on their instincts to locate their “home,”  or does one slowly forge a connection with a place until it becomes “home”? I chose Portland not because I had a leg-up on living arrangements there. I chose Portland because it felt right to me. I trusted my instincts to guide me.

Is “home” even a place to begin with? If you subscribe to the belief that “home is where the heart is,” then home is a mindset, not a physical locale. I’ve always construed that mindset to be a contented, satisfied one. Though the word “heart” suggests a  feeling more profound than “contented” or “satisfied.” I also object to the singular form of “home” in this context. It denies the possibility that one can have multiple homes in their lifetime.

Can you have more than one home? Illinois was (is?) home. Western Mass was another home. Oregon is starting to feel like home despite the rough transition I experienced at the beginning. That’s three. Who knows how many more homes I’ll get to have?

It’s something to think about.

Before I get too philosophical for my own liking, I’ll close with a song. One of my absolute favorites.


§ One Response to Home

  • Douglas Uhlinger says:

    From the New Yorke on Anne Hathaway.  Not about home, but about happiness and public reaction to happiness:   Just flip randomly through the photographs of women on the red carpet: their faces are taut and inscrutable, their bodies often posed in the defensive posture of one muscled arm on hip. They smile without teeth. Their eyes are glazed and look off into a hazy middle distance, guarding some secret. Now, look at Anne: she stands with her long arms at her sides, looking directly (even a little pleadingly) into the camera, her smile is toothy and takes up half of her face. It’s a look of unfettered excitement and openness, an expression of high-wattage joy that reminds me of none other than a nine-year-old girl about to dig into a big slice of birthday cake. There’s generally only a small window of time when girls have that mien of utter at-homeness in the world—it gets snuffed out in many of them by age twelve or thirteen, when their glance turns inward, scrutinizing. Anne has somehow managed to retain that bright look, and many people would like to wipe it off her face.

    Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/02/anne-hathaway-in-defense-of-the-happy-girl.html#ixzz2MKjn4lUf

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