We’ve talked a lot this month about home and what it means to us and to our favorite characters, whether its a concrete space or a concept, and how important home is, to both people and plots. As the holidays fast approach, I realized its also very difficult to leave home.
Like many of my generation, I’ve moved a number of times. I’ve been married for 13 years and out of high school for…more than 13 years. But, when asked where I’m from, I will often still reply, “Maine.” Or, I’ll mention to my husband that we should fit in a visit home (meaning my parents house, where I grew up)–and he’ll look at me quizzically while he translates. Now, I refer to my own house as home, too. Why is it so hard to give up that place we think of as “home”?
In the same vein, I often struggle when a favored author discontinues a series. S/he takes away that virtual “home,” that place where I know I can go and explore well-loved characters, in a setting that is as familiar to me as my own home (either of them). I find I go through an abbreviated grieving process, as I learn to accept that nothing more will be happening in that virtual home, and tell myself I will love whatever new and interesting place that favored author creates. Hopefully.
So, why is it so difficult, I wonder, to really leave home? I don’t actually have an answer. I suspect it has to do with comfort and predictability, those things that bring stability or provide anchor. We humans do not, as a whole, enjoy change. I think I refer to my parents’ house as “home” because it was such a good, happy place for me. For the same reasons, my current house is also “home.” I love returning to my house each day, or after a vacation. And it’s lovely to return to those favored series, too, that make me feel happy.
Whatever the reason, I’m so glad to have so many “homes!”