going home (if there even is such a thing)

Ella and Louis somewhere in Austria

This might be a bit strange- this blogpost. Yes, I’m aware my writing can be odd on a semiregular basis, so this isn’t necessarily the most shocking opening gambit, but nevertheless…you’ve been warned.

See, I want to ask one of those big questions that blogging really isn’t capable of tackling. This is a novel-sized theme. Many blogging experts, if there is such a thing, insist on the need for concise, clear writing. Nothing wrong with having that as a goal, right?

Some of my favourite writers are anything but concise. Faulkner and Melville get a bad rap for it, but one they probably deserve. It was a different era, you know. Over-explaining was the done thing. In the modern era of literature you had writers, such as Hemingway, attempting to trim the fat and give the reader the most streamlined version of the story.

The conventional wisdom is that blogging should be more like A Farewell to Arms and less like Moby Dick. You probably know some bloviated blogs. Ones you know are good, but reading one of his blogposts is a time commitment.

Here’s a test. If you convince yourself you need a beverage in hand to read someone’s blog, it might be that the posts are too long. I can hear you saying, ‘But lahikmajoe, I always read with a coffee in my hand. That’s no indicator.’

That’s not quite it. Before you read this hypothethical writer’s blog, do you say to yourself, ‘Ok, I know I like this blog, but every single time I read it, I need a libation of a larger-sized than normal,‘ because that’s the sort who are conspiring with the likes of Captain Ahab. Who’re so focused on hunting the White Whale that they have no time for reflection on their method.

I’m going to try and take my own advice on staying brief. My question is simply this: What is home?

For me, it’s those beautiful red dogs pictured above. As long as they’re with me, I’m home. Full-stop. We could live most anywhere and Ella and Louis would be perfectly happy. Their needs are simple. As are mine, which I’m finally beginning to see.

What about you? What do you need for a place to be considered home? Is it a physical need? Do you need, for example, to be near a park or forest?

I know what I said about being long-winded, but blog comments are another story. You’re welcome to write a blog comment as long as you like. See? I’m magnanimous like that.


  1. To be home I must have communication with loved ones, basic creature comfort, my dog, and physical security. So, I can say that I’ve been at home in my recliner, in church, in a forest, and in love. (Yes, I’ve taken my dog to church!)

  2. I’ve been thinking about this all morning. I like your thinky-posts.

    I think it’s too big for an answer, though. There are too many definitions of home for me. Where I live right now feels more like home than anywhere I’ve ever been before; I’m tempted to call it home (and I do) but who’s to say there isn’t another “home” out there for me somewhere, just as good, where I’d feel just as comfortable?

    And that’s it, for me, I think. The comfort level. Home for me is two things: comfort level and love. So I’m home when I’m reading something I love, and I’m home with I’m spending time with someone I love, and I’m home when my nephew’s face lights up when he sees me, and I’m home when I’m cuddling with my cat. There are a lot of definitions and a lot of places that are home, none of them less valid than the others.

    So…in a nutshell (ha, nutshell went away about two paragraphs ago): I don’t know. I think home is more a state of mind than a place, but if you find both the place and the state of mind at the same time, you’re one of the lucky ones.

    Love to the happy red dogs.

  3. I concure. Home is not a place – at least not for me. It’s where I go to relax and switch off. I always have ‘home’ with me to some extent; as long as I have some private space to disappear in, I’m fine.

  4. I ask myself this question a lot. Not out of any frantic desire to have a lasting answer, but because I’m always interested in what my answer is that day, in that mood, in that situation. It always changes.

    What I need to feel at home is a comfy bed, an easy route to food, and a place I can sit under a tree and breathe, but the places that I have called home are so much more than that. They live in my head and in my heart, and I love them for far more than the ability to supply my needs.

    California is home, but only in my sun-soaked childhood memories, playing on the beach as a child, eating lunch in our backyard cabaña, wandering through the San Diego Old Town holding my grandmother’s hand. The real Cailfornia is different now, but I think I will always be a California girl to myself.

    The Pacific Northwest is home, where my family lives and where I grew up. Outside of Seattle, under the drippy evergreen trees, watching the mist rise off the lake and sniffling against the wet chill. It’s familiar, and safe, and I am proud of my place in it.

    London is where my heart lives, always and forever, the place I became myself. More than anywhere else, London calls me back to it, calls me home, fills me with longing to be there. I left London because I felt it was done with me, but I will never be done with it.

    And Wellington is home now, this beautiful city I was so lucky to find, so devastated to leave, and so ecstatic to come back to. Wellington is home in a comfortable way, the kind of home you want to take care of, to nurture, to live in so you can help celebrate its marvellous little treasures. Somehow, down here at the end of the world, I just feel I belong.

  5. i like to live near water.
    i like to live near culture.
    i miss my doggy if she’s not with me.
    i need the comforts that help with illness.
    i would feel discombobulated without the internet.

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