Monday, May 01, 2006

Hunger for Home

As a teen, I couldn't wait to escape this thing called home.

"Shape up or ship out," I heard more than once back then, but I hadn't finished building my boat. I had no sails yet. I had only a flimsy raft that wouldn't stay afloat in the unpredictable currents of the world.

When I left, at last, home changed meaning for me. My circle of friends became my home, and this home was a much stronger fortress than any sheetrock or cement foundations; a much cozier hearth than any woodstove or fireplace.

This home was not stagnant, but always evolving. Many of us embarked on journeys (adventures, careers, love), and our home shifted in shape: a triangle; hexagon; octagon; and sometimes, it even elongated to the point of breaking; losing touch.

When this friendly home seemed to grow tenuous, transient, too intangible, I was struck by an unexpected hunger for home. The very sort of home I once longed to escape. The shelter of a roof, the shield of a wall, the sturdiness of a wooden floor beneath my feet. I started to crave a sweet abode, knowing all the while that such an enchanted cottage is only an illusion of familiarity, consistency, permanence.


"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in," says the Wolf in the Three Little Pigs, and whether this "wolf" is an earthquake, a hurricane, or a torrent of human emotions, it can create a fracture in our ostensibly solid house.

“Home is where the heart is,” according to philosopher Pliny.

If so, our heart is the stronghold we often seek elsewhere. If so, our heart is the place we must strengthen, furnish, cherish. If so, our heart must direct any disrespectful guests to the door, since this heart is our one and only true home.

I'm heading now, after a turbulent voyage, to be at home with my heart.

28 repartee:

Blogger JLB wrote...

Beautifully written FrankenGirl!

For me, home is indeed where the heart is, and I share that home with just a few good folks.

Those who are disrespectful, unkind, or dishonest, are led to the door (and occasionally kicked down the porch steps), and wished well on their way.

Find your way FrankenGirl... I’ll keep a candle in the window for you. :)

5/01/2006 9:13 AM  
Blogger Marti wrote...

"...to be at home with my heart"

How lovely!

I apologize for my infrequent visits; the horror of learning WordPress warped me badly for weeks LOL

I missed your charming repartee - so delightful!

5/01/2006 9:50 AM  
Blogger Bored Dominatrix wrote...

Lovely! Thanks for posting this.

Holly

5/01/2006 9:57 AM  
Blogger Rhonda wrote...

This was beautiful.

Journies to the heart are worth it.

5/01/2006 10:12 AM  
Blogger Kyahgirl wrote...

very true-good luck on the voyage!

5/01/2006 11:52 AM  
Blogger Tai wrote...

lovely lovely lovely stuff...thank you!

5/01/2006 1:07 PM  
Blogger Cristina wrote...

Your post reminded me of a somewhat cheesy song by Bon Jovi called Welcome to Wherever You Are (the title is quite eloquent, I think). There are parts of the song that make me cringe but others that are good enough.

Remember every new beginning is some beginning's end

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life; you made it this far
Welcome, you got to believe
That right here, right now you're exactly where you're supposed to be
Welcome to wherever you are

5/01/2006 1:53 PM  
Blogger Sven wrote...

FG: Beautiful.

Cristina: Funny you should quote Bon Jovi as I was thinking of another song of his titled, "Who Says You Can't Go Home". The chorus goes like this:

Who says you cant go home
There's only one place they call me one of their own
Just a hometown boy, born a rolling stone
Who says you can't go back
Been all around this world and that's a matter of fact
There's only one place left I wanna go
Who says you can't go home

5/01/2006 2:19 PM  
Blogger Cristina wrote...

Hi Sven! Ooh, I love that song! Funny that wasn't the one to spring to mind when I read frankengirl's post :S Oh well :)

5/01/2006 2:47 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hello, all!

JLB - Hi! I'm glad to hear you’re surrounded by good folks. We can never get enough of them - ;)

“occasionally kicked down the porch steps”

Hehe! Good for you!!!

Marti - Welcome back! You’ve been missed. Thanks for joining our “repartee!”

Holly - Hi! Thank you, as always, for your support. It’s much appreciated.

Rhonda - Yes! It’s funny how we plan trips all around the world, but sometimes forget the rewards of these inner journeys.

Kyahgirl - Thanks for sending me luck (I may need it!)

Tai - Welcome - :) And thanks for offering such kind words.

Cristina - Hi! I love how you so often share a verse, a poem, a phrase with us that expands on the subject at hand! And inspires me to think even deeper…

“Welcome to Wherever You Are” is a lovely title and sentiment. Cheesy or not, the verse is comforting - :D

Sven - Hi! You and Cristina are in sync! (Or else you are both being paid to promote Bon Jovi on blogger, hehe!)

“There's only one place left I wanna go
Who says you can't go home”


This is an interesting twist to me. As if to say: my home is always there, waiting for me, like my heart in my chest, and I can return to it whenever I want… (but, er, since I don’t know the whole song, I may be misreading it entirely!) Thank you.

5/01/2006 3:23 PM  
Blogger actonbell wrote...

Great post:) And yes, we all have to learn how to be at home with ourselves before we can have good relationships with others.
I remember being oh-so-anxious to get away from home, but now I feel differently, because I went away, got perspective, and then came back, knowing my heart.

Have a good journey:)

5/01/2006 5:09 PM  
Blogger mysticgypsy wrote...

Beautiful.


Depend upon your heart on being richly furnished with wishes from friends (which include the bloggers!)

:)

5/01/2006 5:23 PM  
Blogger Sophia wrote...

Beautiful, FrankenGirl. And so true.

And to join in the quoting, may I offer this, from one of the best movies about finding your true path:

"There's no place like home."

5/02/2006 5:17 AM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

ActonBell -

“And yes, we all have to learn how to be at home with ourselves before we can have good relationships with others.”

How true!

“I remember being oh-so-anxious to get away from home, but now I feel differently, because I went away, got perspective, and then came back, knowing my heart.”

Yes, distances give us a chance to consider a situation from a more objective view. And time alone or even among new folk can open a window to new sides of ourselves which we didn’t see before - :)

MysticGypsy -

"Depend upon your heart on being richly furnished with wishes from friends"

How charming and comforting!!! My heart was going to make requests for a green gable, but this is so much better - :D

Thank you!

Sophia -

Have you been reading my mind? - ;)

"There's no place like home."

Thank you for this quote. I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this particular movie recently (and may write about it soon)!

5/02/2006 9:54 AM  
Blogger niTin wrote...

Since I'm still in that teen age, I feel extremely happy at leaving home.
Though maybe a stage might come when I'd long for those lazy afternoons I spent at home doing nothing at all. New York is so high-strung.

5/02/2006 12:04 PM  
Blogger Sophia wrote...

FrankenGirl: That movie's symbolism helped me through the roughest time in my life - the painful choice between something I felt was right for me at the cost of hurting someone else. Deciding to take this road, or that road. Now I see I was just trying to get back home - or back to me.

You will find your way "home" too! And I look forward to reading what you (may) write about it!

5/02/2006 12:07 PM  
Blogger Sven wrote...

You're correct. That pretty much sums up the song's sentiment.

5/02/2006 12:08 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

niTin - hi! Yes, I remember that teen feeling! And your comment reminds of the overall nostalgia many of us (non-teens!) may feel for lost and lazy afternoons - ;)

Sophia – Isn’t it amazing how Art helps us through Reality? I know the pain of hesitating to take the road best for me (for fear of hurting someone else) - not realizing that it would only hurt all parties involved if I wasn’t true to myself. Thanks for inspiring me with your story!

Sven – Hello again! Phew! I'm glad I wasn't totally off. Thanks for sharing your musical expertise with us - :)

5/02/2006 2:52 PM  
Blogger Sophia wrote...

Isn’t it amazing how Art helps us through Reality?

Yes! I know it's a rhetorical question, but I'm going to try and decipher why that is anyway. I think it's that art shows us a "finished" product, a happy or unhappy ending, a solution, etc. With reality, we hope for all that, but at the same time we want to enjoy the ride with security. Perhaps there is some comfort in knowing there is a solution, or an ending, in sight.

I am almost finished with Jane Eyre, and while I can't wait to turn each page, I also feel sad that an end is inevitable.

What complex creatures we are!

5/03/2006 3:31 AM  
Blogger Charlie wrote...

Isn’t it amazing how Art helps us through Reality?

Exactly right. Our art is our heart, in words or paint or clay or whatever. It is tangible proof of who we are.

This was a wonderful essay, FG: It says so much so concisely.

5/03/2006 10:20 AM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Sophia!

“I think it's that art shows us a "finished" product, a happy or unhappy ending, a solution, etc. With reality, we hope for all that, but at the same time we want to enjoy the ride with security.”

Yes, we are hero(ines) of stories that never end. Some might say “death” is the only security life offers.

As you suggest, our never-ending reality often seems to be all over the place thematically (hehe!). Always in drafts! So Art gives us/me an opportunity to pause this “chaos” and find meaning in the details as well as the overall picture.

“I am almost finished with Jane Eyre, and while I can't wait to turn each page, I also feel sad that an end is inevitable.”

Oh! How I know this feeling! So bittersweet - ;)

5/03/2006 12:20 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Admiral!

“Our art is our heart, in words or paint or clay or whatever. It is tangible proof of who we are.”

This is lovely and truly speaks to me. Thanks - :)

Your comment also reminds me of a poem we discussed previously on this blog by Julia Alvarez:

“Sometimes the words are so close I am
more who I am when I'm down on paper
than anywhere else as if my life were
practicing for the real me I become
unbuttoned from the anecdotal and
unnecessary and unpressed down
to the figure of the poem, line by line,
the real text a child could understand.
Why do I get confused living it through?
Those of you, lost and yearning to be free,
who hear these words, take heart from me.
I was once in as many drafts as you.
But briefly, essentially, here I am...
Who touches this poem touches a woman.”

5/03/2006 12:21 PM  
Blogger The Poodle's Friend wrote...

There's a great message of personal empowerment in your post. We do not depend on anyone else but ourselves to be happy. Which is why we should be nice, understanding, generous towards ourselves, because that'll make us happy, and to hell with everyone else.
Am I making sense?
I think being happy, feeling at home, is not so hard if you try hard enough.

5/03/2006 1:55 PM  
Blogger Charlie wrote...

Alvarez's poem is so true! (I have shamelessly copied it into my personal notebook.)

When I write, I look at the result and am often astonished: Did that word, or that phrase, or that metaphor actually come from me?

The answer, of course, is yes. The words flow without me thinking of them beforehand, and it seems magical.

For me writing is, however good or bad it may be, the "me" on paper. It costs nothing to write and, sometimes, the result is priceless.

And it sure beats talking to a "therapist" for $300 an hour.

5/03/2006 3:06 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hi, Poodle!

Yes, you are making sense - and I wish I was a sensible as you when I was your age - :)

“and to hell with everyone else.”

Hehe! Ah, I love how you’re ready to kick some butt!

“I think being happy, feeling at home, is not so hard if you try hard enough.”

So true. It seems so easy to get distracted or confused or caught up in the material world or even grow fearful of what we’ll find in our “neglected” home... So “trying hard enough” is an excellent point.

5/04/2006 1:25 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hi, APS!

I’m so glad you relate to Alvarez’s poem (me, too, obviously).

“When I write, I look at the result and am often astonished: Did that word, or that phrase, or that metaphor actually come from me?”

Ha! Yes, writing can be a good way to introduce our self to our self!

“The words flow without me thinking of them beforehand, and it seems magical.”

Yes, it does often feel magical and mysterious, doesn’t it! I wonder if this is partly because many of us don’t have the opportunity to tap into this side of ourselves in our day-to-day living or conversations. Our "magical" being, which is, as you say, priceless - :)

5/04/2006 1:27 PM  
Blogger Artemis wrote...

I've been thinking and writing a lot about home lately - what it is, where it is, how we define it, what conditions have to be there to let ourselves feel a place is home...

I haven't come to any conclusions as of yet.

5/14/2006 8:30 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Welcome, Artemis!

Life doesn’t offer a lot of conclusions, does it? But there are always plenty of questions to go around - ;)

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

5/14/2006 9:11 PM  

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