Why then do so many people feel like wanderers, without a home? The more people agonize over finding their 'home,' the more 'homeless' they seem to become. The 'global village,' in a pretense to make us feel homey and more connected and rooted, has actually caused a rampant feeling of homelessness. Generally speaking. Of course, most of us have homes (or houses--?), even if we never seem to be in them. This 'never-being-in-them' syndrome is a state of homelessness, more or less. Even not having ritual dinners at home destroys the foundations of a home as something grounding and real. Wandering the streets or clubs is where a lot of people seem to want to be. We are a fast world and the idea of a home is a slow concept. It takes a long time to grow roots and feel like we have something to protect us, be it our bodily shells or our pillows at night. And of course, poetry slows things down, especially non-performance poetry. It is true that we are all transient wanderers on this planet Earth, and that ultimately the grave is the last 'house.' But maybe not so. Perhaps the spirit is the true home we should be trying to sustain, the one that will become part of the stars after our bodies go. Other notions of 'home' seem less important. We can be perched on a mountain-top or a roof-terrace and this apparent homelessness is just a false construct because our spirit, linked to our minds, is the true home that is outside time and space and is temporarily housed in our bodies, which we inhabit at all times. And the language we speak provides the beams and structures. We can never be too careful with the words that define us. They create reality and the centre which is 'home.' /ez
Saturday, 26 May 2012
The Idea of 'Home'
The idea of a 'home' is really something that preoccupies almost everyone. John Hollander has written an exhaustive account of what 'home' might mean, in his book, The Work of Poetry, ranging from biblical interpretations and a pre-lapsarian notion of 'home' in Eden, the return to the ultimate home, the grave, or beyond to an eternal home. It can also be considered as a legal notion, or 'domicile,' or, my personal favourite: "Home is the place where when you go there / The way they talk is yours." Hollander does a great job making us think of all the different angles and what they mean. Home can be our bodies and our personal place. Home can be our language, or where we feel safe and protected. There are obvious links to the idea of a centre and groundedness, which I often refer to. And the work of poetry helps to achieve this centre.