Wednesday, October 9, 2019

When HOME isn't HOME-Y

"It's hard not to just fall into the cliche..."

"When I think of home... actually, I try not to..."

"I'm not sure that when you ask about HOME, you mean what I think of... my idea of HOME isn't comfortable. Actually, it's really traumatic."

"HOME could be a lot of things... what are you actually asking for?"

"Well, my definition of HOME probably isn't what you think."

Pic from HOMEbody. Photo by Thomas Kay.


In the research of HOMEbody, I honor all of these experiences and reflections of HOME.

I don't have any expectations except that everyone has a personal experience and their own definitions of HOME.

When I hear these statements, my reaction is to want to give the narrator a giant hug, hold them close, and say "I am here to witness and hear your experience of HOME, whatever that is." But I recognize that my embodied, very physical reaction is not always appropriate, especially when HOME has been physically traumatizing.

But, as we continue this process, I do want to say:

HOME is not always HOME-Y. The conflict between our expectations and our reality is sometimes very real.

HOME is not always comfortable or safe.

HOME can present illusions just as it can present grounded comfort.

HOME means different things to different people; all of those experiences are valid.

HOME is not necessarily permanent.

HOME can be a prism that reflects and refracts many different lights.


What does HOME mean to you?


  1. The idea of Home is a ghost; it is grief for the home that dysfunction, family addiction, and incest robbed me of. This dream of home stays tucked inside the smallest matryoshka doll. However, home is also my daughter and husband, my cats who remind me that staying present, and warm, fed, and caressed is essential. On a visceral level, home will always have also be my grandmother's kitchen in the Finger Lakes, instant coffee and ricotta cookies. She was a refuge. Home is also an empty theatre, where my script choices constantly repeat themes of seeking, losing, finding home, and yearning for love

  2. Oh, Lisa!! I ache for your grief! Thank you for sharing your raw vulnerability and your truth! Thank you for sharing your journey! May you find comfort in the spaces and people you have cultivated to be champions for compassion! ~Jessica

  3. Your post put me in mind of this. In "Wicked" (the book -- not the musical) Elphaba has an affair with a man she knew from college, a chieftain from the Vinkas (Winkie country in Baum's books). He dies at the hands of the Wizard's secret police. Ultimately Elphaba travels to his home to try to let his wife know. Through a series of events, Elphaba is never allowed to tell Serima what happened to her dead husband, and thus find some peace about the events that occurred. Thus, in the book, home is the place where you're never forgiven. As chilling a thought about home with which I'm familiar.