I woke up this morning now I understand what it means to give your life to just one man. Afraid of feeling nothing. No bees and butterflies. My head is full of voices and my house is full of lies. –Sheryl Crow
In Sheryl Crow’s wonderful song “Home,” she dissects the meaning of the word and how we often think something means one thing at a certain age only to mature and find that the meaning is different or even worse, completely pointless and wrong.
As a member of the African-American and gay communities, I am quite familiar with nomadic existence. Having lived in Japan, NYC, Detroit, Nashville, Atlanta, and Boston, the belief has always been that if I lived here or went with this group, I would be welcomed – told that I am loved, cherished and needed.
This occurred some of the time.
What if it occurred all the time and was not dependent upon location but a frame of mind? What if it was a world that welcomed new and exciting thought and visions?
As a black gay man, I am often offered sanctuary – a place at the table – frequently it is as a guest, someone who will not overstay his welcome. Home should be a safe haven where love and affection abound. Has anybody had that experience? It is imperative that we give that to not only young people but people we refer to as friends.
If you grew up in a constant state of destabilization it makes it difficult to ever truly settle and impossible to ever truly trust.
I was in a long term relationship with a man who could never accept the possibility, the reality, that a home could be anything other than suspicious, drama filled and tension riddled.
I cooked. I cleaned. I worked three jobs and took on cat care while on two types of meds for a back injury and yet it was never enough.
If you have never experienced home as a place of protection and rejuvenation or safety, you will do whatever it takes to create and maintain upset. At 31, I finally figured out that I would need a home that smelled a certain way, that looked a certain way.
I figured out in my twenties that the accumulation of stuff just cluttered my house and gave me more things to clean.
I wanted to nurture and develop friendships – not worry about who would watch my stuff if I went out of town.
In a recent episode of my latest obsession, there are a few examples of what it means to constantly float with no place to land. It is clear that without this very basic necessity so many things can take place that constantly threaten our sanity and prevent us from emotionally and socially developing.
Cats and dogs spray so that they are constantly aware of where they belong (home) and how far they are from said point at any given moment. I am not suggesting we spray our couches and yet how much smarter are animals. The lioness is always aware of where her cubs are.
Nobody wonders off or is forgotten about.
The cubs know where they belong and only leave the familiar after they have been completely trained to build the familiar and then step into the unknown. They don’t have fear and they don’t move back home.
There is no need.