Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No Place Like Home

I work with a lot of children who live in foster homes. Some of my children have moved multiple times. In my art therapy studio, we make a lot of homes. Homes for animals, us, and dolls.  Is it necessary to feel ‘at home’ where you live in order to evolve? Can our roots grow anywhere? Can we feel ‘at home’ in any environment, with any people, in any conditions? Home often has cultural, societal, familial, political connections characterized by family, and memories that translate into feelings of safety and love. When moving to a new place, one often feels in a state of limbo; both excited about the new possibilities and alien in the new home. One  could feel like tourist, imposter, outsider, or exile. Salman Rushdie in Step Across This Line (2002) writes “the human dream of leaving. a dream at least as powerful as its countervailing dream of roots . . is the tension between these two dreams.” (p. 13) When we move to a new place we live in this tension. Will that tension turn into a trauma, or new possibilities for growth and healing? It could go in many directions: ‘How does living in a city that does or does not feel like one’s ‘home’ affect you?  Can people thrive in countries, cities, houses in which they do not feel at home? What does it mean to be without home? Is it necessary to feel ‘at home’ where one lives to be ‘at home’ in one’s life experience? What is a home? What is home to you?


Jennifer White said...

It's like you wrote this post especially for me. These are feelings that I'm experiencing right now and have been asking myself these same questions. I've told friends that I'm 'homesick' after my recent move to a new part of the State of Wisconsin. I miss the familiarity of so many things...from the grocery store to my neighbors to the barista at the coffee shop I frequented. I have been feeling quite depressed the last few days since it just doesn't feel like home here yet...I'm waiting and hoping that happens sooner vs. later.. xoxox

Karen Wallace said...

Jennifer, You could try walking around your new home finding places that find like "home". A new coffee shop, park, store, etc. Marking territory, Marking it yours. When I moved to Regina I made calling cards and dropped them in different places. They are the series I did on acceptance, etc. which are in older posts. New anchors, new places to grow into being home. Love Karen

Elena said...

What a great post! When my sister came to visit me after I moved in last year she stopped me mid sentence and said "Do you realize this is the first time you referred to a place as "Home"" And yes, I can totally relate to your post. I've lived in other places but they never felt like I belonged.


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