Monday, June 09, 2008

Home is not always where you come from.

Home is where you arrive.
And maybe you have to surrender something to find your way home; there is a world of other places you might be, including the place where you were born. You may need to lose a home to find one. Maybe it doesn't have to be a whole country you lose, but if it is, imagine how much deeper into you your sense of home, your newfound place, will sink. And part of what home feels like will always be the ache--that never goes--of exile from wherever it is that you are not and cannot now be again.
Home is a choice. But it's not you who makes it. You'll know you're home because it'll feel like you're the one who's been chosen.

~ an excerpt from "A Faster Kind of Sandstone" by Mark Tredinnick in Isotope

This past week marks the start of our third year in Missouri. Being here still feels new and strange, lacking the unconscious comfort of deep familiarity, the settling back with your feet up on the coffee table. The move here after 17 years in Texas served to make Texas feel like home though it never did as long as I lived there. So I've become convinced that as a product of a truly mobile society, the concept of home has become a fluid, elusive concept, perhaps determined only in hindsight, in the wake of pondering what one has left behind. And what one has taken with.


Anonymous said...

yeah, but what about the folks who miss you???

allison said...

That would fall under the category of "what one has left behind" as well as, paradoxically, "what one has taken with." You can take the girl out of Texas but you can't take those Texans out of the girl.

Miss you too :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe you can "hear" it within shimmering ringings!

Mark Tredinnick said...

Thanks for finding my little essay, Allison. I'm glad it spoke to you, if that's what it did. And thanks for making this bit of it look so pretty on your site. Home is a verb, of course, not—or not merely—a noun. Mark Tredinnick

allison said...

Thanks for stopping by, Mark. Your writing is lyrically compelling and insightful.

I look forward to reading The Blue Plateau (coming fall 2009 from Milkweed Editions, from which this essay is excerpted.)

Mark Tredinnick said...

Thanks, Allison. I look forward to the book's coming into the world, too. I hope it finds its way home to you.

I meant to say, too, that I enjoyed very much your poem of the day in Southern Review. SImply, intelligently and beautifully made. Like your sites.

You might check my site sometime and tell me what you think:

With affection and thanks, Mark

Paula said...

It's funny. I actually found out about your blog through a search for graphic design firms in Columbia. I thought that it was strange that someone could be stranded (just like me) in Columbia yet from Texas.

I can definitely understand the state of Missouri being a little awkward to warm up to. Sure, there are humid days and at times the same extreme weather, but for some reason, it doesn't feel like home to me. It's just not a place that I can call home, just yet. Sadly, I've been here for five years and counting.

But just as you mentioned. I didn't think of Houston as home until I got here.

allison said...

Hi Paula,
What are you doing in Columbia? Email me--I'd love to hear your story!