Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Slipping into Wednesday.....

the post that should have been born last evening. As usual, what wants to be said is persistant in my being. And what I want to talk about is about 'home'. Like love, I think it means different things to different people. Maybe you and your siblings would write the same 'vision' of home, maybe not. I lean towards the 'not'. But that is for the end of the story.
There are sooooo many definations of home, most are clique-like. "Home is
where your heart is"...a very common one. And I think your heart has alot to do with it, but it's not that simple. In early childhood, I took a road less traveled, a exceptionally stubborn child, I chose my 'own' path, not that of my family. I isolated myself in a world, of my creating, that suited me. A world where I felt safe and that no one come into. I created a 'house' for that inner child, one that would protect her, and one I could always access. As I turned into a teenager and then a young adult, I maintained that 'house' for the wounded child, but I didn't go there anymore. Basically I parented myself, often clashing with the 'powers that be' and are called 'parents'. I think I robbed myself of what a 'home' really is. Not just 4 walls and a floor, windows and a door...that is a house, I lacked a HOME. A place I felt cherished, protected, wanted, loved and safe. Houses have always held a deep fascination for me. I fall in love with houses. Every where I have lived I have picked out the house I REALLY would like to be live in.I love old houses, log cabins, cottages, little snug to the ground havens, tree houses, and even light houses. I see them all as potential places for me.. We bought houses, remodeled houses, changed states, jobs and houses many times. But I came to realize I'd never had a "home". In fact in my mid to late 40's, I realized I didn't know where I lived. Didn't know where home was. It was overwhelming , and not so easy to figure out how to change it. I clung to the semi-stable security of my marriage and children. The answer wasn't there. I came to realize I had to find the answer to the "where do I live....what is home?" within myself. It was a long journey of dead ends, discoveries, learning and losses.
The first picture is the cover jacket from a book called "Pictures of Home" by Colin Thompson, an English artist and author. It was reprinted with permission of the Leeds Permanent Building Society in 1992-93. It's one of my favorites from the book. All of the illustrations are equally elaborate in detail, much thought and imagionation went into each of them. The book added a piece to
puzzle I was assembling. Frequently my middle sister(7 years younger and many different memories) and I talk about the place we called home for 9-10 years of my life. For her it was longer. I graduated and left home when she was 11. This is NOT the house she and I talk about. I don't have a picture of that big brick house on Main St. From there she moved to a smaller house across town. I, of course, was out conquering the world and education, marriage and travels. I know the big brick house on Main St. as home, but only because it housed me for those 9-10 years. The house in the second picture, the one on Cliff St. is what comes to mind when I think about my home. I don't know how old I was when we moved in here. Somewhere between 15 months and 4 years. My memories go back to age 4. This is the house where I lived with my Mom, Dad, Gram Flint, and eventually my middle sister. We moved away in 1948 when she was 1 1/2 yrs old. She has no memory of this house.
In this house, I had a home, safety, warmth, love and protection, family. I was secure my world was complete. In this house, I loved my Grandma Lottie deeply and was always nurtured and protected. Nothing terrible, other than tonsil and appendix removal happend to me. I was a child and this was home. We rented only the upstairs of this big house, but in my head and heart it was the place I knew I could always come and be safe.
Rebellious children drive their parents insane. I know because my first daughter was enough to make you pull your hair out. Not bad, nor naughty....just a flibbety jib, a will-o-the-wisp, a clown. Like trying to keep a wave upon the sand. And I think I was well primed by age 8 to overthrow the parental management and do it myself. And I did, which extreme consequences.
But most of that is behind me now. I know where I lived, altho it's not rooted in any history. I have a sense of "place". I lost my beloved golden after 10 years together, and with him went a large piece of my security. The DH left, the golden arrived and I transfered my need for attachment and love to him. I'm not sure I've ever loved a person as deeply as I came to love that dog. But then, maybe no human has ever accepted me the way he did. It's three years this month that he has been waiting at the rainbow bridge for me. I walked alone most of those 3 years. Last September I relented and asked for a companion and Ebony came into my life. Luckily I adore her, as she's NOT a cat I would have brought home if I had chosen for myself. I'm used to cats that cuddle, and love you, and enjoy being picked up....and she does NONE of that. I wish it would change, and maybe it will. We've been together 6 months now, and there is a small level of trust on her part. She is teaching me about patience, and loving something inspite of the limitations. We have a genuine affection forming day by day. She adds to my sense of place. She greets me when I come home, and cries if I am in a room other than where she is, and she can't find me until I call her name. I think that means I'm becoming her security....*VBS*

10 comments:

Chrissie said...

Thank you, Finn, for sharing your self. I feel like I'm on the sidelines, but rootin' for you and praying for you and enjoying your quiet reminisces just the same.

Carolyn said...

Finn, as always you speak your mind so eloquently. I too have thoughts of home. Home was the house that I grew up in. Since marrying, my first house felt like home, my house in NY really felt that way, but the house I live in now doesn't. It's the place we live. (that might be why we've tried to sell it twice and are still looking!) I'm now dealing with the rebellious daughter (my first two were a breeze by comparison!). I'm so glad that you have Ebony in your life now...it sounds as if you've both found your home in each other.

Angie said...

Your writings are always yanking on my heartstrings, Finn. :D I love reading through your posts, and getting to 'know' you a little better with every one. Isn't it 'interesting' how some of us, I, never really felt 'wanted'. Hmmmm, my Mom was always very loving with me, so I don't know exactly why I felt that way growing up...your posts usually leave me delving deeper into who I am and where I came from. :) And I know, oh so well, that love you can have for a dog...I'm in it now...and dread the day when I have to let him go. Not that it matters, but I feel good for you now that you have Mz. Ebony. :) I don't feel so 'alone' for you since she came to share your world.

Quilting Journey said...

Sweet Finn, I have posted on 'home' myself, and you and I have 'spoken' on the little willow'o the wisp sides of our ownselves before. I have come through some of the same places that you have, only in different ways. I was the oldest, and I was the dreamer, and I, too, have yearned for understandings. I have come to know, deep, deep, inside...that the concept of 'home is where the heart is' isn't a place. It's not where we live or wish we live or where we love or wish we loved. It's more like the space inbetween those places. It's the flow of energy between you, the rainbow bridge and the pot of 'gold' that you love so dearly, on the other side. That golden place in your heart that never leaves you, because he is not even one heartbeat away. That's home. Ebby is just like you, in so many ways. So, you and she have lots to share and that sharing is becoming the space in between now. Just know, dear Finn, that lots of us feel and know and understand. We may not be able to put words to it, but we can feel it and we can share it. Lots of us are Marias and some of us can even hear the music when none is playing. Hugs and hugs, again, to you~~

meggie said...

I really enjoyed your post Finn.

Sweet P said...

Another thoughtful, insightfult post. It has me thinking about my "home". A great pondering to drift off with for the night.

Katie said...

As to Ebony, isn't it great when we discover that what we think we want and need is not really what we want and need? I think Ebby is showing you this. You are so right about a home being very different than a house. We each define what we need to make our safe place to come to and just be ourself. I too have found an animal to be a perfect companion and my home would not be complete without Kipper.

Libby said...

Finn, you are always so thoughtful in your writings and remembrances of your journey and bring me to wonder about these same subjects.
I think for me, home is place I have made for Hubby, The Princess and me right here in these four walls - but the home is portable, if we must leave the walls behind, the essence of home will go wherever we go. I tend to hold onto 'things' but really they are just a physical piece to spark what is always in my mind and heart - being with the ones I love most.

ForestJane said...

About Ebby... buy one of those little containers of treats and keep them where you'd most like to cuddle with her. Then if she comes to you, pet her before the treat. (I use tartar control treats or hairball control treats - they're really medicine, but as long as my two think they are getting treats, that's what counts.)

Extend the petting time before treat...she'll come to love both the treat AND the massage. :)

Holly said...

Finn, my adopted Aussie cat was much like your Ebony. Only recently after 4 years has he turned into a lap cat, very affectionate. I thought I would never see the day he would warm up to me. Maybe the same will be for you Ebony. I wonder if cats have long memories and it just takes that long to forget and learn to love and trust another. Would be interesting to know.