Saturday, March 8, 2014

Home :: Дом :: Heim

Do any other blog-writers out there have days where they have lists of things they want to write about, but don't even know where to start?

That's where I am right now. I want to write out and tell you about our Mardi Gras celebration, the game of Murder, celebrating Ash Wednesday, watching the movie "Days of Heaven" (a Terrence Malick flick from the late '70s), and how people just come in and out of our lives here.

This might be another one of those posts that are simply a stream of conscious for me.

The concept of "Home" has come up a few times at L'Abri during our lunch discussions. There are dozens of different directions I could run with that topic on this blog.

There's the idea of finding your home, how you can have more than one, and trying to pin down what home means.

Think of your definition of home - it might involve shelter, feeling safe, family, or food. Anything that you can use to define home, well, for most of us, is something that we shouldn't take for granted and aren't something that everyone can relate to. Not everyone feels safe at home. Not everyone's home provides them shelter. Some people have no family to nestle with at home.

I've got mixed feelings of where home is and have called many places home. If you were to ask me, right now, where my home is, I'd waver between Alaska and Bowen Island (where I am now).

I'd like to quickly interject that a few of us shared similar experiences of people wanting us to consider another place home - a place we once lived. An American who lives as a missionary in Africa talks about how people will ask her where she considers home, now, wanting her to say that America is her home. The Australian at the table mentioned how folks back in Perth keep asking her when she's coming "home" even though she hasn't really called that home for a few years, if I remember correctly. My experiences mirror this. Seattle hasn't felt like home for a while - but when I express this, I've met quite a bit of opposition from my Seattle-mates. I feel frustrated, at times, when they try to correct me and tell me Seattle is my home. No. No it's not. I'm not saying it won't be in the future (maybe even near future) or hasn't been in the past and I'm not saying that I don't feel loved there - but it really doesn't feel like home. Haines does. Haines is my home.

What makes me consider Haines my home? In Haines, I feel a strong connection go the community. I feel a sense of belonging. I feel purposed. I feel loved. I feel settled. It's not that by saying I see and experience certain things in Alaska doesn't mean they aren't happening in Washington too, it's just that Alaska offers it all collectively in a way that Washington doesn't.

What about Ukraine? When I was there for three months, was that home?

I always feel a bit torn between calling a place home. It might feel like home, but I wonder if I have the right to call that place home. I don't mean to be too forward in saying that I've lived there, when it was only for a short period. I know I've scoffed at travelers who tell me that they lived someplace, and when I dig deeper, I learn they were only there for 3 weeks. So when has someone lived somewhere?

Three months, though short, I think is long enough to call some place home. I don't know, I really don't.

The whole realm of "homes" is grey. There seems to be such great importance put on something so arbitrary. There is no definition. Is it all personal jurisdiction?

I tend to consider someplace my "home" if I have a bed to call my own for an extended period of time. It's home if I have a daily rhythm that's replayed day after day. That second criteria is why Seattle hasn't been home for years. I haven't had a daily rhythm in Seattle since I was in school. A third requirement for someplace to be home is when I feel a connection to the land and to the people I'm surrounded by. Please don't tell me that home is where the heart is. I think that phrase is crap.

By those definitions home has been Washington, Alaska, Switzerland, British Columbia, and Ukraine.
I had long, deliberate connections with those places and stayed there with daily purposes and reasons to get up each morning.

And now I'm contemplating shifting into a new phase, living in Tobbit. Tobbit is the '81 Volkswagen diesel Rabbit Pickup Truck that I bought back on February 14, 2012 that's all tricked out to live in. Tobbit will be my home - I will not be homeless.

I wonder if I'll feel settled on the road. I wonder if I'll find corners of America to fall in love with. I wonder if I'll ever make it out of Washington state. I wonder if any of this daydreaming will become a reality. I have a feeling it will... I have a feeling it might just start soon. But, well, I never cease to surprise myself. The greatest surprise will be if I start working in Seattle right when this L'Abri term ends.

Another part of "home" that we shared was the concept of hospitality. That, I think, is one of the greatest joys of having a home - when you can invite others into your safe space and make them feel welcome. I'm hoping I can do this with Tobbit. I think I'll end this here.


  1. Thank you for being you. I know that sounds pretty cheesy, but I know you know I'm not trying to be cheesy. I really mean it. Thank you for capturing images and colors and shapes and moments. I know this term feels pretty rough a lot of the time, but you have no idea how much joy these pictures bring me.

    I'm so glad that we met.

  2. also, do not forget
    your true identity.
    Luke. Sky.

    But seriously, thank you for being you. I so appreciate you.


Your words make me grin.

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