All very familiar, the sounds and of course the image by Beksinski, an artist I only learned about during the pandemic, but who resonated immediately. These are things I’ve seen in dreams in the darker, longer nights. These are the horror landscapes that haunted my childhood sleep. Sounds dark, doesn’t it. I was a troubled child, though a child who grew up to be a less troubled adult, so there is that.
We all have our journeys though, and part of mine seems to be to return and trace over paths I’ve trod in past lifetimes. It’s all part of the process, right? Everything is a process. It’s not that I want to return, but I’ve accepted that I dropped something back there that I must retrieve in order to move forward. I’ll take the hit. It’s not so bad anymore.
It’s such a strange world out there these days, in many ways stranger than when we were all locked down in our respective spaces. People came out of the pandemic ready to fight. I’m too old for the nonsense and have largely withdrawn from the fray. Sure, it’s horrifying that Trump is running again, and that the planet is crumbling, but it all seems so much bigger than myself. There is no fight left in me.
I’m walking forward.
I’ve moved on.
Kat has been working on a series of mixed media pieces themed around the idea of home. She reached out on social media to collect quotes about home from people in her network and has included them in each piece. The ensuing images triggered me, in a way, though not necessarily a bad trigger. It got me thinking about the idea of home. I’ve never been able to anchor “home” to a physical space or location, or nothing specific anyway. There have been times over the years, returning to New York City from another place, that a sort of feeling came over me like pulling a light blanket up on a chilly night. Not enough to stay warm but enough to fend off a bit of the chill. Like coming up I95 and reaching a point where the NYC radio stations start coming in clearly, or flying in from another place and seeing the skyline come into view. It was nothing particularly deep, but there was a light rinse of sentiment. Home? Perhaps. The end of a journey or adventure more than likely. I never quite new if I was happy to be at home or feeling good about having been away.
A physical location, though? A neighborhood? A house? A specific place?
No, not really.
Just on occasion the feeling I get standing on the beach with my back to land, like returning to where I came from. A feeling of belonging at this edge of creation when there is no place else in the world and no people and no roots on land that I ever felt connected to. It’s not bleak at all. I have these moments, however seldom, when I feel I have returned home and all the pressures I’d ever felt about being me, and they are considerable, have gone away. One day there will be none of me left but atoms and molecules, and anyone who ever knew me will be gone as well. That is comforting to me and that is why these moments are home, and they are perfect. They seem to take off so much pressure. Where does that pressure even come from? Ego? I don’t know and don’t really care. There are moments of home in my own body with my feet in the wet sand and I can hear distant voices calling. Come home.
I am from here and I will return here. I belong here.