30 January 2007


i'm in the middle of two books right now, and both have me thinking about the idea of home, and what it doesn't mean to me.

one is mountains beyond mountains, a story about a guy who splits his time between peru, haiti, boston, moscow and paris, rarely staying for longer than a week in any one place. this person is so obsessed with his quite honorable profession that he is essentially homeless, defined more by his work than his location: home is where his work is.

and the second book is all souls, a memoir about a person and a place, in which hometown and identity are so intertwined that they are inseparable. this person cannot define himself without his city, his neighborhood... without his corner of the neighborhood, without his family and neighbors and enemies. home is a specific place, filled with specific people.

what shocks me is how these two protagonists ache for their homes, how their lives feel unfulfilled when they are away. and i ask myself, where/who/what is home for me? i'm not aching for any one place, person, activity or job. i'm often asked where feels like home for me, and i don't have a good answer. so i ask myself, somewhat facetiously: am i homeless?

well obviously i'm not homeless. i guess i'm homeful, lots of places feel comfortable and homey and full of people who have known me forever. homeful, yet at the same time a little bit homeless. i feel pretty lucky.

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