home, i’m yours.

Kessler

it’s time. you wait around and wonder and wonder when the door will close, when the last bell will toll, when the music will stop, the crowd will disperse and the lights will be turned down, dimmer and dimmer until the room is silent and dark. that time is now.

i stand here, as if i’m the last one at the party. i stand with a sinking balloon in my hand and glitter in my hair and a smile on my face. it’s been a good run. i’ve learned more than i ever thought possible. and now it’s time to move on, 4 years later, to my home.

i write often about the meaning of HOME. it’s something you create and recreate and aim to attain over and over and over. the more nomadic your tendencies the harder it is to find home; the bigger the hole in your heart, the deeper you long for those familiar scents, evening breezes, leaf flutters and the distant barks of neighbor dogs. home is not where you are or how you feel. it’s a feeling of unparalleled comfort and stifling familiarity.

home is not a place. home is a memory. it is a memory. it is scraped knees and crying into a pillow and running down the stairs after the faint smell of morning pancakes. it’s howling dogs and dirt roads and horses grazing. it’s riding bikes like gangs through the neighborhood streets, it’s staring out the window at the stars, it’s tying shoes and painting rocks and pricking your finger on rose thorns. it’s an experience of growing up.

we grow up over and over again. in each bout of growth, life opens the door for us to recreate home. sometimes we take advantage of this opportunity, sometimes we don’t. if life was so kind as to solidify our home experience when we are young, we often opt out of an adult recreation of home. this is what i have done.

my home is too good. it’s filled with mountains and love and horses and purple sunsets and an evening breeze so perfect, even goosebumps can’t resist. my new opportunity of home cannot compare. therefore i have remained homeless for nearly 4 years in the natural state of Arkansas, longing for roots, longing for stability, and never allowing myself the freedom to stretch down and dig into the great earth in search of groundwater, of nourishment, of truth. i have grown up again, i have experienced a pain i never knew existed, i have fallen in and out of love and run rampant like some mustang in search of nurturing grassland. i haven’t found it. i’ve tried.

it is not here. it is home. and i know where this road leads me, i know where it ends. where it ends, the start of a new fork begins. it’s beyond the setting sun, beyond the think brambles of suffocating Arkansas forest. it’s amongst the pines and the soaring red hawks and the sparkling trails of crushed formica and sandstone. i’m coming home.

and it opens me to you. you are my ending, the beginning of every day. a silver spoon swirling a cup of black coffee, a roaring fire, a hand-rolled cigarette and bad jokes and veracious lovemaking and laughing until my stomach hurts. you, me. and then everything else.

together in solitude

together in solitude

two days after christmas, we went to a cabin in Estes Park, to be alone to be together. my brothers and i, our aging parents. even though we come from different blood, i consider them my brothers. perhaps our genetic barrier is what forces us to make the extra effort to be closer to one another. honestly, i don’t know what i’d do without them

the YMCA encourages you to find your inner child. the boys went ice skating, roller skating, hiked a bit, smoked cigarette after cigarette and navigated their free time like two teenagers who’d cut class. enjoyment of life seemed a novelty to them. uncomfortable with time, time that was theirs, to do with it what they pleased. they made wooden airplanes, powered by twisted rubber bands and flew them in an open field in the middle of the rocky mountains, wearing black pea coats and thin socks.

it’s as if they didn’t belong. and that is ok.

adjusting to your old home, coming back from living far away, making the familiar the foreign and the foreign the familiar is one of the most alienating life experiences. i feel the same way, when returning to colorado, my home, the land of beards & beer & mountains. it’s what i dream of, and it’s what fuels my insomnia.

my mother made tea. my dad went fishing. we came together and played games and silently picked puzzle pieces together as the sky lost light and the moon crept over the tops of some jagged, rusting mountains in the distance.

the fire warmed my legs. i moved the grate as little sparks spat out, and ben yelled, concerned i didn’t know what i was doing. i knew. i always know. even if it’s to my detriment, i always know.

i took long walks with my mother. she’s aging, but simultaneously discovering the child she never had the time to be. her dedication to a new path, yoga, Ayurveda, conjures up a new light and energy in her i have never seen before – perhaps it’s because i was too young to care to look. now, i look for her spark, i cherish it. i beg her to cherish it herself. it’s far too easy to worry about a mother who worries too much. my mother worries too much. as a perfect daughter, i would give her nothing to worry about. i’m always striving to do just that.

our time at the cabin was tense, a bit, but one of the times i will cherish most. i will cherish learning how to be a big sister to my big brother. i will cherish learning to turn the car on an old relationship and embrace driving down a new road, in a new direction, creating new definitions of what it means to “love”. we are not what we were, and i must learn to love what we are and what we will be. i want my brother back. and once he finds himself and his power and happiness, i will once again hold his hand and walk down the black beaches of La Jolla and talk of tide pools, of sunshine, of things that matter and things that don’t.

you can never go home

you can never go home

the colorado girl returns to colorado. oh mighty square state, you speak to my soul. and this past week, you seemed to be whispering seductively, as i feel woozy from your caresses and pink sunsets and flat prairie dotted with sunflowers.

i’ve never been a big believer in all that “energy stuff”. but now (insert segway here) i’m a big one. colorado, you resonate with me. and i with you. i often get a case of the “homesick” when i visit my home state.

but i’ve also argued in the past that “you can never go home”. our homes, often synonymous with our naive, wondrous childhood, rampant with growth and an imminent & gradual loss of innocence. our home, and our mere definition of it, is intricately tied to childhood. only once we view our home through the dingy adult lens, we can see our place outside of it, standing alone in the backyard of the house we once lived in, the home we once had. it takes growing up. it takes a loss. a loss of home.

you can never go home again, because “home” is impalpable. it’s elusive. it’s malleable.

 

home is where your people are. home is where your horses roam. home is where you grew up into someone else, the person you’re destined to be, glimpses of fortitude.