In a word: Home
The word home has several definitions, however, the definition to which I am referring is the one which defines it as a place of residence. It could be a city, a state, a country or it could be a planet (for our alien friends in the galaxy). This definition falls a little flat for me because while it can be a place or maybe even a situation, to me it must also invoke a feeling. The other definitions of home at thefreedictionary.com or other places such as the dictionary covered in dust on your bookshelf. .
Home is difficult to find when I am constantly searching for it. I am a “ramblin’ man” of sorts, like the Allman Brothers Band song, and I do hope everyone I meet understands. It is not them, it is me. I have not found home yet. I keep looking for a place or situation in one breath and a feeling for it in another. I am not sure how I feel about it, but I haven’t found it yet. I hope I get that feeling someday.
Home, the word and definition of it, sounds easy to explain. Music comes to mind for me when I think of home. Much of my thoughts and feelings I often relate to phrases, quotes, and songs. I bet many people think this way. Ever say something, maybe about an event in your life, and then think: what song does that general line come from? I do. Normally I’m incorrect with the words of the song or poem by a word or two or all of them.
I was thinking about how I have been looking for home and considering a job in another town. Then I think about how I have been running from my past and the cold winters, figuratively and literally, in the northern United States where I was born and raised. It is cold in the winter. Then I think about how I really want to leave where I am at – a temporary place – to somewhere else. Old Crow Medicine Show and Bob Dylan wrote a song which seemed to explain how I felt when I moved to North Carolina with the song “Wagon Wheel.” Like a wagon wheel I wanted to roll on down and run from the “cold” or the lack of the “home” feeling in New England. I am thinking how I have been running from the cold, like it mentions in the song, to find the warmth somewhere all my life. Anywhere.
For me the music is important in a home. The music in Western North Carolina is great. The scenery is great, too. I love the mountains. I have been out of the area for a little while, but the mountains and the music are calling me. Then again, as I often do, I need to get moving on.
I like the idea of going “home” and being “home,” but just the same, I like the search for home. The search or the travel to “home” is half the fun. As writer Ray Bradbury said, “Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness.”There is some beauty in being lost. I am lost in my search for home. The Universe is a big place. It can be easy to get lost. While searching for home, the journey can be fun. Much can be learned on the journey. It is fun to explore.
A science fiction master, Gene Roddenberry, captured the beauty of exploration in the space age with his creation called Star Trek. The explorers in the television program tried their best to make the USS Enterprise “home” for them. They were not looking for home as I am, but they were exploring themselves as much as they were the stars. They were trying to find answers to life and humanity and teach us, the viewers, about ourselves. The answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42, but Star Trek’s captains kept looking anyway.
Maybe home for me has been there all along but I keep looking because I like to explore. Maybe. Exploring is part of being human. That brings me back to how I am a “ramblin’ man.” My inability to sit still makes my ability to find “home” or know if I am there that much more difficult.
Why was I born a mediocre writer and not a traveler? Maybe I should have been a writing traveler or a truck driver. Yeah, truck driving with Jerry Reed and the Bandit going “Eastbound and Down” with a truck full of dreams on a “Highway to Hell” or something. No, nevermind. Not truck driving. No matter what I should have been, it is more important now for me to understand what I can be and where I can be it.
I’m not saying I will not settle down someday. I am looking for that right place to call home and that right job which I can fit into, but I do not know if found I could accept the fact that I’m “home” and not moving. Maybe I will never find it or maybe I hope I will never find it.
To go and find what I need or not and find it here is the question (Shakespeare, anyone?). Should I stay or should I go? Well, that question reminds me of another song by the Clash. Good tune. Funny how my brain works. I’m a rambling man, too, if you have not noticed. Thoughts keep jumping and moving like I tend to do with my search for “home.” The song by the Clash is about a woman, but my “woman” is my current location and situation. As the song talks about a woman, the dilemma is if the person goes they will find trouble, but if the person stays that trouble will be worse. The trouble within myself will be double if I am not searching for “home” and taking another path. As I think of paths, I am again reminded of “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. I worry I may regret not taking all opportunities.
I’m getting fidgety. I have not found “home” yet in the place or the feeling. I guess that settles it. Staying in one place is trouble, but if I die trying in the mountains of North Carolina at least I will be free. For now, sitting still is not for me. For now I must keep moving because I am a ramblin’ man.