July 26, 2010 by jessperriam
“Home, let me come home, home is wherever I’m with you”
–Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: Home
Home is an odd concept to me.
It’s really not so much a physical place as it is people. Home is a portable thing. You can pack it up, take it with you, unpack it elsewhere, discover new homes.
Back in the baby radio online reporter days in New South Wales, I was naive. I thought home was a single solitary person. Wrong, wrong, wrongski. I learnt that lesson the very hard way.
That’s why I wish the English language was more versatile. In the excellent lyrics I posted above you may have thought I was going to wax lyrical about someone. The English language doesn’t have a plural form of the word you, like vous in French. I mean you in the vous sense. Or to be completely Australian, youse. *shudder*
Home is closer than you think. You know when you have it but you certainly know when you don’t have it.
Although it’s unescapably my hometown, home for me isn’t Perth, Western Australia. Nor is it Orange, New South Wales which is my adulthood (there, I said it) and caffeine hometown. And it probably won’t be the next place I choose to hang my hat either.
Because home is not a place. It’s people, it’s moments.
It’s bright ale at Little Creatures on a Monday evening, or any given evening, chewing the fat with one of my most trusted friends in the entire world. But home can quite easily be recreated by calling him on the phone, reliving his latest sagas while standing in line at St Peter’s in Rome.
It’s coffee with one of my favourite colleagues at 8.30am sharp, every weekday. Reading the newspaper, talking shop, drinking excruciatingly bad coffee. But the company, the understanding mattered more.
It’s just as much playing Singstar with my ‘big sister’ in our old house in Orange circa 2008 as it is sitting on the balcony on her new place in Albania, shooting the breeze with a beer in hand. The location has changed, the sense of home hasn’t.
Home is chatting on Facebook with an old university friend, getting relationship advice despite the massive time difference between Melbourne and goodness knows where. Just so you know, “it’s not 1783 and even if it was, Mr Darcy was a sap and needed a big rev up,”. That coming from the most forthright person I know.
It’s talking to someone you barely know in an Edinburgh kitchen, spilling your life story, unaware that that very moment will be a catalyst for immense change.
It’s Saturday night in Istanbul pondering whether any astronauts have had sex in space, and whether or not they’d be called nymphonauts. If anyone can confirm or deny whether any astronauts have had sex in space, that would be really handy to know.
I’m at home in Paris, venting frustrations with an old friend. It feels good, it feels right.
Home is everywhere. You’ve just got to find it, make it, live it.
People ask me if I’m homesick. Not in the slightest. I’m right at home.