Monday, January 27, 2014


Home is a constant. It fills you like a joyful breath, an unbroken inhale from a bottomless source. It’s where you reflexively return, without even a flickering thought that without it you’d have no place that is wholly yours, no palpable bridge between your past and future self. But then life takes its wandering course, and what you’ve always known is bribed away by time, mortality, choices made in the name of convenience. You went away for a while and your home slipped into someone else’s story without so much as a wave. Didn’t it know you were merely pausing mid-sentence, that you would surely return if it would only have waited a little longer? Soon there is a hollowness in your voice and a restlessness in your feet, and you run toward nothing in particular trying to find that comfortable place.

It’s inhabitants will find each other again. Maybe you’ll reconvene one summer evening by circumstance- or rather, destiny dressed as circumstance. You’ll accuse the humid air of making you lazy, rationalizing that your hasty “hello” melted into a nostalgic four-hour visit only by virtue of your skin sticking to the lawn chairs. But it’s the aura of something unfinished that holds you captive in your seats, like the itch of a half-told story or a door left ajar.

You’re wildly different from each other. You’re creators, dreamers, executives. Inventors who toy with guitars and electronics and relationships. You ran away to find yourselves and start anew, because the ceilings were too low and the childhood photos obsolete. You were just too different from one another.

And yet now, your thoughts all sound the same. Buzzing, panicking, grappling with the notion that all that was is no more, that your collective future may be fragmented into individual ones. You’ll gaze at the dim sky and make vapid remarks until your thoughts drown out your words, and the unspoken will finally pry its way out into the tense air.

“I can’t believe they sold the house.”

You want those words to fix you. To console you in your homelessness, to remind you that you’re a somebody. You want them to heal you on release like a stifled sigh, as though having held your breath was the only mistake.

But they don’t. Instead, they coldly insist that this isn’t about you. Those words glare at you, accusingly: This is about something that was that is no more, a lost artifact that longs for rebuilding. It’s about a home that needs you. The values imparted in that space ache for expression; the love that was sewn there must extend itself to a new generation. Instead you’ve built yourselves up, defined yourselves with grandiose titles and radical works of art. You pinned on a name tag to forget yourself- to forget that where you are and where you came from are fundamentally connected. Those words are a reminder.

As you meet each other’s gaze, a succession of emotions slaps you like a sudden wind- shame, forgiveness, a resolve for reconciliation. The moment wraps itself around you- tightly, so your ego can’t breathe. The walls of the sky seem to arch forward, as though the world were created for the sole sake of this reunion.

A wordless pact rises from your circle of lawn chairs.

It’s time to start building.

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