The pursuit of a stable ceiling is intrinsic to the human condition. It’s a survival trait hardwired in our lobes over millennia.
Time hastens on eyes closed. It brings dreams of mansions, surrounded by woods, bound by no walls. Keyrings knock at the door of a hermit’s prismatic cave. Next to its sole window veiled shadows dance. In a crescendo of wonder akin to walking on water, a ponder of life as a state of mind. A garden.
Then a snap. Some rotten twig signals: gone again went that yellow hour of the year. Yes, the passing-you-by seasons of fights lost. A summer becomes a fall while sunny people do their best to keep rainy people from doing their worst. To themselves,
the edge shan’t be closed.
Wait. I’ve been told my entire life that summer ends right after Carnival.
Why do leaves litter my path in October what is this nonsen-
Do you remember the last time you’ve noticed the stars?
I mean the actual, Kurzgesagtian stars that spread out in proper night skies as a reminder of your puny, insignificant existence. Not the crappy little probably-dead-already dots observable from any metropolis. Those barely deserve a glimpse.
I mean the stars. Cosmic horror stars.
The ones that keep you alight in the dark.
Defogging our firmament in insidious ways.
The stars seem odd.
I can’t spot where on Earth is the Southern Cross.
Instead Polaris is, yet again, allowing me navigation.
I’ve never been this much, nor long, away from home.
Or whatever that is, now.
Whereas a house has people in it, homes are entirely metaphysical. The home is the abstract animus to the house’s concrete, motionless body. See, even though gypsies lack households, their hearths often burn fiercer than most Western suburban marriages.
Houses are merely avatars. Homes are formless deities whose manifestation shouldn’t ever be taken for granted. It is that precise spot, carried close to one’s heart, where you feel comfortable belonging despite the discomfort. There’s no place for uneasiness at home. It doesn’t exist. Not at home. Not there.
There could be the town that conceived you.
The city you chose to chase a destiny into.
The experience of a lifetime on a deadline.
The faraway birthplace of your wildest love.
At home, you are. Jazz.
No surprise should then come when homes are lost and discomfort takes over, for the usual follow-up to be nostalgia.
In nostalgia, you were. Blues.
But nostalgia, by definition, implies time passages. Somewhere in between there and then, Saturn’s sickle strikes you like a hammer. Your hometown ceases to be. The world you’ve helped create now lacks a room for you. The keys are gone.
As a wanderer, wonder about the last place you truly called home.
What currency dominates the landscape between then and now?
…Does it matter?
Being there was meaningful… right?
Oh. Mind twists.
Where was I.
Homecoming is a lot less trivial than it seems once there’s none.
Still, there’s something tragically powerful about being unable to find home. A weird anxiety, a creeping miasma that drills permanent resident thoughts in the skull’s lower back. It stalks you to your pillow. Desecrates your crown.
The reason why home loss hurts so much is because it’s never fully a choice. It is always somehow imposed.
Life happens. We grow up. We move around. We bite apples. We dissociate from former havens. Mutually. You may as well look the other way, but it won’t take long for your cracked head to comprehend that trying to unsee what has been seen is an exercise in futility. Once the veil is up, the eden is gone. Caves are escaped from on a one-way ticket.
Easier said than done. Deprive your body of whatever it considers essential to its survivability, be it apples, pillows or nonsense, and your brain will scream right back at you. And it turns out that we, as a species, unwittingly value safe spaces very, very much. To a point where we can’t properly function without it. Madness follows. The nervous system scrambles to reprogram itself into finding another refuge — even if that means tearing down every towery preconception you’ve built over decades of what home is to you.
It takes patience. But the first new brick touches the soil at the very same moment you stop denying the collapse of the last. Then, and only then, everything changes. Like magic. Like some sort of arcane alchemy eager to transmute stardust out of ancient, broken stone.
and this too, shall pass.
Not right away, no. Eventually. As seasons.
It is November. Winter is imminent.
Disrespectful of upcoming hails, I look up and see no ceiling. Only bright, massive, lone proper stars. Cosmic horror stars, glaring back. Winking.
I blink. Not a single mythical creature looms over my many windows. In painful retrospect, I failed to realize their revelation as an apotheosis of rainbow lights, smoke and mirrors aligned in high angles.
My heart refuses to be surrounded by a concrete, motionless body. It craves for abstraction, struggling in and out and in a lunge over the animus of formless deities. In the woods I dream of a mansion bound by no walls.
Eyes closed. Wet, even. Yet I see the foundation.
It understandably lies on top of autumn leaves.