Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"Not all those who wander are lost"

What is the significance of a home?
image from Wikimedia
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The word conjures image of warmth, family and safety in the mind of a healthy person who was brought up in a happy home.

For others...the word "home" is not so happy.

Thus, voluntary homelessness.

One source estimates that two million kids run away from home annually in
image from Wikimedia
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the US. They're mostly girls, average age 16.

Not hard to guess the reason those girls leave.

The loss of a home is disorienting, frightening, Home is at the core of us.

A few years ago, a friend of mine went through a bad patch. He had a relationship that was, on his side, deep and true, one he thought would last forever. But when it ended, he had lost his home. His distress was so great that he landed in the hospital.

In 2006, I lost my marriage and my home. My ex made it impossible to stay, telling me, "You fucking bitch...I hope you eat shit and die."

Charming.

I left the guest room where I'd been living for three months and found refuge in a family member's home. A couple months later I packed a few bags and hit the road. 

Planning to never return, I flew to London. As the plane descended and the green fields of England came into view, I cried. I thought I had found my home; England has always felt that way to me.

my flat in Thailand
However, life takes many twists and turns. My path during the following six months took me not only to England, but to Italy and southeast Asia, where I sought to heal, and then to plan.

During that time, I found solace. I distinctly remember awakening one December morning in Thailand and looking forward to my day. For the first time in mamy months, life seemed preferable to the alternative.

Home can be anywhere. 
Under a freeway bridge. 
In a tiny cold-water flat in Chiang Mai. 
Even back in California.

Home really is where the heart is, or rather, where we find peace. And if peace is not in the heart, we are homeless forever.







5 comments:

  1. Suz:
    Sad story but seems to be turning around. Your flat in Thailand looks comfy.

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  2. Thanks for doing this flip on the subject. Some people don't have other rational choices. Looks like you created a comfortable space in Thailand. I've traveled there a couple times, and would probably pick that country as my home if I couldn't live where I do. Not only is Thailand inexpensive but Thais (for the most part) must be the most tolerant people in the world. To them, getting visibly angry is terribly bad form.

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  3. Sad and wonderful story Suz. I'm a homebody and have been lucky to find that special someone of like mind. I can't imagine having to leave it all behind. Glad you found peace - and home.

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  4. You're right, Suz. Sometimes we need to leave the place we called "home" in order to build a new, safe place inside.

    And sometimes we can't live in the place we'd normally call home, no matter how much we might want to.

    During the worst phase of my anorexia, I was in a sense homeless. I had a roof over my head - a hospital roof, a friend's roof, a relative's - but I couldn't live with my mother, my previous home. We made each other too crazy. I remember living out of a suitcase for many months, as I shuttled here and there.

    As I get older, I feel that I could make a home almost anywhere. The things I really need I carry in my heart.

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  5. Great post, Suz. Thanks for sharing the details of your life in this way, and your place in Thailand looks lovely. I'm also always fascinated by the way that an unfamiliar place can speak to a person. I currently live in Rhode Island and am madly in love with the city of Providence, even though there's no clear reason why that should be the case. I hope you get to visit England from time to time.

    And you're so right about peace and the heart and the way they are needed to feel at home.

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