Tag Archives: home

Quotable Home

Like many people, I imagine, I enjoy gathering quotes. In fact, I’ve posted a few here on this blog. So it’s hardly surprising that, given my mantra, a number of my favorite quotes would delve into the meaning of home.

For instance, I have no idea how I came upon this first quotes, but you can probably see why I held on to it…

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.

~ George Moore

Then there’s Kathleen Norris, who’s lived the question of home in a rather deep and conscious way. In her twenties, Norris left New York City to spend what she thought would be a few years attending to the estate of her grandparents in rural South Dakota, a place she’d visited extensively throughout her childhood. This temporary move ended up lasting nearly twenty years, during which time Norris plumbed the social and geographical aspects of home—what ties people to a place and to each other, and how culture emerges from these interconnections.

I suspect that when modern Americans ask “what is sacred?” they are really asking “what place is mine? what community do I belong to?”

~ Dakota: a spiritual geography

To be an American is to move on, as if we could outrun change. To attach oneself to place is to surrender to it, and suffer with it.

~ The Cloister Walk

However, the two home-quotes that have spoken most vividly to me come from Wallace Stegner’s novel Angle of Repose (one of my all-time favorites) and Natalie Goldberg’s Long Quiet Highway: Waking Up in America (which she autographed for me at a bookstore in Boulder, where I was then living and where she’d once studied). Continue reading

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Three Faces of Home

As part of my magic mantra, I’d say considerations of Home and all it entails reasonably qualify as an obsession. For years I’ve wanted to live in a place that felt like home; for years I’ve wondered where on Earth that place might be.

Recently, though, I’ve been wondering if—for me, anyway—home is less about place and more about people. Generally speaking, it seems the more I think about home, the more wrinkles and ramifications I discover. For example—and at the risk of grossly oversimplifying things—glancing over my past and present reveals at least three different types of home: what I’ll call geographic, social, and residential.

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Homing In

“Where are you from?” “Where’s home?”

Sometimes the simplest questions are the hardest.

In a recent post I considered the benefits of envisioning one’s ideal life, then working backward until a path emerges. I decided that elaborating my mantra of Money, Mission, Mate, and Home might be a way to try this out for myself. Thus, having begun with a glance at Mission, I now turn to a subject scarcely less dear: that of Home.

As I said in my original mantra post:

For years I’ve been seeking a sense of home, something more than just a place to keep my stuff and pursue my career and recreation…I want to feel grounded, rooted, connected. Ideally, this home would combine access to nature and urban opportunities; vibrant, overlapping communities and not too much sprawl; and not be too far from my family.

A year ago at this time, I knew I had to shake things up somehow. Straddling the border between comfortable and stagnant, I felt myself going in circles. Now, I want to be clear that going in circles isn’t necessarily bad: at a certain point in life, it seems we find those circles that work best for us, that circling in fact means digging down, nesting into an increasingly grounded, rooted existence.

Yet I’d never felt particularly connected to Colorado as a place, and the fact that the things I most enjoyed there were so far apart meant that (a) I was spending a great deal of time on the road, and (b) none of my micro-communities overlapped in the least.

Contributing to Colorado’s not feeling like home was that its climate, topography, and vegetation differ significantly from what I imprinted on living in Missouri and Illinois my first 30 years. It didn’t help that I was nearly 800 miles from my family at a time when my parents are aging and my niece and nephews are rapidly growing up.

Thus, when Austin appeared on my horizon, I leaped. Continue reading

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