There’s No Place Like Home

“Homeless in Space” brought a thoughtful, if aphoristic, response from Ashen, heroic reader and writer over at Course of Mirrors:

“Your post sparked a thought. Some people don’t experience their early home as a safe place to root and grow. Frustrated expectations may foster a sometimes unconscious element of resistance, not to fit in, as it were, like… being homed can mean being owned
being holed can mean being controlled
being placed can mean being traced
being named can mean being framed or tamed”

Thoughts, too, of home, whatever the experience, I was reminded of the end of the film The Wizard of Oz, when the good witch Glinda tells Dorothy she’s always had the capability of going home, and tells her to tap her heels together three times while saying: “There’s no place like home.”

Indeed, there is no place, existentially speaking, like home. Home is an idea, often reduced to an ideology, that doesn’t necessarily match what’s really happening (growing equity, capital). Also I was reminded of the song from “Inventories,” new book (from the serial novel started here last July as a pandemic quarantine exercise), in which the word home appears 38 times:

“Back Home Again”
What I know about love,
I wrote on a postage stamp,
mailed myself halfway to the moon.
I’m in stardust singing I do, I do, adieu,
and I can’t go home again.
Born in the back of a beach bum shack,
I sailed the seven seas.
Never made it back home again.
Adieu, adieu. You can’t go home again.
Born in a corral of a rodeo,
off a road they call Route 66.
Between the cowboy and the clown she broke free.
Goodbye, goodbye. She won’t be back again.
The moral of this story, the point of this tale,
when you leave home, you can’t go back again,
because you won’t be there when you arrive.
Goodbye, my love, goodbye my love, goodbye.
And it’s home again, I want to go back to you,
see my family and my old friends too,
but I can’t go home again.
Goodbye, my love, goodbye my love, adieu.

“Inventories” is a journey book about a semi-god (a type, allegorical, character, an oligarch on the run) who wants out (to escape his life of privilege and its human costs), to leave home, only to find himself engaged in any number of other homes along his way.

There’s no place like home, and no way to escape.

4 Comments

  1. Ha, ha, heroic I’m not. I lost the risk-taking spirit of my youth.
    A further thought re: home… the resistance to ‘fitting in’ safeguards societies from stagnation and dogmas that easily take hold when powers are too stably seated.
    .
    Meant to say, I enjoyed the humour in the chapters of ‘Inventory’ you shared here, Presently. I don’t order anything online, trying to safe up for urgent repairs around my ‘home,’ and I worry about changed postal charges, taxes etc.Your book is however on my ‘to read’ list.

    I remembered this morning that I shared some thoughts re: home on my blog last year:https://courseofmirrors.com/2020/03/22/our-ideas-of-home/

    1. Oh, and in case you haven’t seen it, there is a relevant link in my post to a poignant documentary about .Antony Gormley … Art Documentary. Imagine. Being Human … by the wonderful Alan Yentob, whose ‘Imagine Series’ are all worth watching.

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