"Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?"
During my trip home I briefly visited my friend, Lorna, who is from Canada. We share similar experiences, especially in that we are both aliens living in countries of which we are not citizens. We both are also making the transition from full-time professionals to stay-at-home housewives. Issues which have made us re-evaluate some things we thought we knew about ourselves.
"Let Us Go Then, You And I"
I'm not a stranger to being, well, a stranger. I've moved nearly 30 times in my 34 years. So I'm used to adapting to a new way of life. It's pretty much the norm for me. If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that some of my recent works deal explore the idea of "home" and its many definitions. As I was sitting with Lorna in her kitchen, sharing my recent challenges of once again finding myself in the position of "stranger", she surprised me with this question: "So what is home for you?" This is the very question I have been posing to myself as of late. I thought about it a little bit and responded: "I'm still figuring out the answer to that one."
Photo by Landon Nordeman
I have said before that I believe literature has a way of finding you when you need it or are most open to it. At least it's always been true for me. And this literature can be a short story, a novel or a short article in a magazine or newspaper. This morning - as I was about to sit down to a cup of tea and breakfast at my mother's kitchen table and in search of something to read while I enjoyed my morning feast - words found me. It was - as it always is - an accident. I found a Smithsonian Magazine that looked new, so I chose this to bring to the table. I quickly realized that it was, in fact, over a year old - an issue that I'd forgotten I'd read before. Often I don't read all of the articles, though, so I flipped through in search of something interesting to read. And that's when I came across an article titled "Going Home Again" - an article written by Joyce Carol Oates about her return to her "home" in upstate New York.
"And In Short I Was Afraid"
I was immediately riveted. And mind you, I've read this article before. But this time I guess it touched me in a new way. Its meaning new to me as I ponder the question "where is home?" Part of the article reads: "Our souls must take root - almost literally. For this reason, "home" isn't a street address or a residence, or, in Robert Frost's cryptic words, the place where, "when you go there, they have to let you in" - but where you may find yourself in your most haunting dreams. These may be dreams of numinous beauty, or they may be nightmares - but they are the dreams most embedded in memory, thus encoded deep in the brain: the first memories to be retained and the last memories to be surrendered." Such beautiful and lush words. It's pretty much inevitable: very soon I will make it my goal to devour everything she's written.
"Till Human Voices Wake Us And We Drown"
It's only appropriate I should once again pose this question to myself as I sit at my mother's kitchen table in the house I lived for the most consecutive years and in the town I pretty much grew up in. A place that never felt like home and that I was itching to leave from the moment I arrived. The very place I vowed never to live in again, only to eat my words last year after I'd sold my house and possessions, left my job to live in England only be refused entry back into that country for the most minor of offenses (if it can even be called an offence). A place that I hate and love in the same breath. A place that belongs to me as much as it did when I first arrived and wandered alone through the quiet streets as an 11 year old girl feeling isolated and alone, but somehow hopeful. And the place that gave me the best night's sleep I've had since arriving back in America. While I don't know if I'll ever be able to fully define "home", I can say without a doubt that this is a place I will always call home; a place I visit in some of my most haunting of dreams.
Erin Singleton is an artist currently living in the bucolic seaside town of Marblehead, Mass. She loves to explore her creativity in her studio and in the kitchen. She also loves to read, watch movies, spend time with friends and enjoy the great outdoors with her husband, Dave, and their daughter, Maisie.
Blogs I'm Reading
Through the Distances
Following the Silver Thread
Bronte Weather Project