Sunday, July 13, 2014



I've lived in a few. Places, that is. Became attached to most. There was one location that I knew I was not giving my whole heart to, because I wasn't reconciled to the method of my being there; I was at least at first an unwilling participant. Not yet a teenager, I'd had to follow my parents. I did discover and come to love its beauty, but the physical distance from my sentimental first hearth caused me conflict. What others considered paradise, to me, was a remove from where I thought I belonged. Still, it became an inseparable part of my memories of place, it left me with valuable experiences & images.

We think we know so much at the age of nine, and perhaps we do know things, immensely. Even lacking more content or a fuller context, I believe our young minds still populate the legend of experience with a sense of what is known, over what is not. I don't remember ever feeling overwhelmed by what I didn't yet know. Which is not to say that I lacked the extraordinary curiosity of childhood. Wanting to know more, was a given --I'd even say I was preoccupied with wanting to know more.

Nevertheless, I had a stubbornness about place. The first home I remember was the place from which I forged first connections. I knew the surroundings intimately; I knew my way back. I vaguely knew that people generally grow up and move away, but I didn't imagine that eventuality with any clarity. All that I needed was close at hand. There were paths to further adventure waiting to be explored. They began and ended at Linden Avenue.

It was my first experience of loss of place, when we packed up and moved thousands of miles away. I've written before about this, about house keys I kept in a cigar box. When a person is going to a place, going with intention, because it is their own idea, there are motivations and compensations to ease the way. One who feels they are going from a place, can find themselves looking back, failing to invest in the new. This is surely a matter of perspective, on how we look at the inflection point. But I'd say it is also an assignment of roles, whether we are the passive one on the journey, or the instigator. As an adult, it is on us to make a choice, to embrace an active role, even if we initially have the passive role. When I was nine, however, I felt I had no choice. Meanwhile, it all worked out. I celebrate the widened view I gained. I've since lived in places around the west that I've been so grateful to inhabit.

They say "you can't go home again." Perhaps because we are always moving toward home; the journey is a continuum. How will we return, if we aren't there yet? And if we revisit former hearths without an ability to relight them, will they feel like home?

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1 comment:

  1. Kathleen LiberackiJuly 13, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Very fitting for our current situations, thanks for the read.