All the weather channels are saying partly cloudy
and we are sun-dazed, wrapped in the warm folds
of an afternoon whose moon is a polite interruption,
a nail fleck on blue sky, a reminder that this day
will never make history, but will soon be part of ours.
And I think of it, then: our prairie wide as water,
coyote winking through reedy stalks of grass; the faded dirt
path dotted with yellow, ripened kernels precious in the way
only fool’s gold can be. All of it was just outside the walls
of our house, all of it could have been ours
but for the shards of mirror that blocked the front door,
all the words in the dictionary ours but for the senna
that thickened my tongue, all the weather channels saying
mostly sunny, but the shades drawn against the smallest intrusion.
Even the moon could not knock on my door.
You forgive me for the days that did not make our history.
We are far from that prairie now, far from that house with its walls
and its splintered mirror. We are in Minnesota, our bare faces
pointed towards the sun, and we are fool’s gold, earthly flames
marking the worn path towards home.
She dreams of a room overflowing with clothing.
Ivory crochet wraps and rose taffeta skirts
draped like fainting ladies across a desk and chair,
cheap sharp-heeled shoes, glittering, proud, strewn
onto the floor, earrings gleaming thickly
in handsome boxes against the wall.
Waking, she feels bereft. He’s bought her
a pair of washed-out jeans and blistering flats,
a hoodie, the seams on its sleeves already unraveling
like their last conversation, or maybe her desire.
But she wants shoes built for strutting,
a dress that she can die and make love in,
a little number tight enough to persuade angels to raise hell
to the heavens. She wants to walk
into that dream-room and choose an outfit
like she is choosing a destiny, or a compass
to guide her through the crowded streets of her eager heart
and then she wants to walk back out into a world
that chooses her every single time.
Dancing, searching for home.
Ashley is a sneaky genius and psychic friend. Seriously. The shift from “Home” to “Homecoming” is a slight one, but it completely changed the trajectory of this playlist. See, when I read the word, “Home”, the first song that came to mind was the epic Homecoming segment from Green Day’s American Idiot album, and I figured I would use it to end the playlist. Then, that little change. Suddenly, Homecoming became the starting point. What if you come home so changed from an experience that your notion of what home is becomes completely fucked? How do you navigate what used to be your base but is now foreign territory while grieving for the places (and people) that took up residence inside your heart?
Well, in my case, I tried to drag remnants of my new life into my old home, and it was disastrous. I was devastated, a mass of sobs and sadness. Then, I slowly woke and began to claw my way through the wilderness with bitterness and cynicism. I shoved my grief deep, deep down. I drank and danced and made a glorious mess out of my feelings. The ache was still there, of course, the longing for home, and it would make itself known, usually in the quiet hour in between the end of the party and my head hitting the pillow. I also had nightmares where I would return to my happy landscape with a palpable dread, feeling that something was off, knowing that I would wake up to a life that was at once completely suffocating and strangely hollow.
This time in my life was painful but necessary. I found my voice because I had to make my presence known in order to survive, and I started to go beyond merely existing. I started to live. It was even fun a lot of the time. I laughed and wore too much makeup. I played and had a recklessness about me that allowed me to try things I never would have had the courage to do before. I kissed strangers and partied in my pajamas. I sweated and screamed in mosh pits and chased after rock stars. I tottered around in high heels and push-up bras and short skirts. I cried a lot, too, but I kept that mostly to myself. Somehow, as I went through all of this, I managed to create meaningful friendships. Some were short-lived and some are still going strong, but they all helped me to live through hell and figure out how to make a home again. I got to try on different versions of myself, little bits seeping under my skin to help me become who I am today: a fighter, a storyteller, a marvelous weirdo who can face all the fucked-up realities of life and keep going. I built myself from the ground up. I am home.
Enjoy this sonic interpretation of my journey. I hope you all find yourself at home in your own skin.
Home is a place in your heart. It’s a feeling beyond feeling, not really tangible. Home is feeling sick for places you’ve never been, missing feeling you can’t quite describe.
So when you announce you are coming home, does that mean to a bedroom, a house, a town? Does it mean you are returning to where you sleep at night or where your family lives? No.
It’s where your heart is, where comfort lies. Home is in the longing. It’s in a bear hug, a group online filled with kindred spirits. It’s in a journal entry or a blog. It’s in the sharing of recipes, laughing over petty mistakes and late night phone calls.
Home is the invisible arms wrapped around you, a word of love in an otherwise crazy world.
So when I say I’m homesick it may not mean that I want to go back to where I sleep. It may mean I want to go back to where I slept for three weeks in 2007 or two semesters in 2005-2006.
I may mean I want to go back to the feeling I had when I was in love, or the emotions I miss from loving myself. Homesick is heartsick, really. It’s the dull thud of your heart when it knows it’s missing something just beyond your reach.
Hello everyone. Kindred Collective is back for 2015! We’ve decided to do things a little differently this year, with monthly prompts instead of weekly. New prompts will be posted on the fifteenth of each month and all of our pieces will fill the spaces between.
I (Ashley, here) lied a little and told the Kindreds our prompt this month would be “Home” but I changed my mind to “Homecoming” this morning. It’s a lovely word and I’d love to have it bring to mind things other than football and sparkly dresses. And since we’re all reuniting back here on Kindred, I can’t wait for us to all explore what it means to come home.