You Can’t Go Home Again

Foggy Road

I nearly always have Thomas Wolfe somewhere in the back of my mind. No matter, really – it could be much worse (and quite often is).

Such a fraught and freighted word, home is. Simple, stolid – just one syllable. Nothing fancy about those four letters, but oh the dramas and dynamics they’ve got space for! Whether home conjures a warm haven where the smell of baking bread wafts from the kitchen, or a seething breeding ground for neuroses, or something in-between, one thing is universally true — you can’t go there again.

Okay? So let it go. You can’t go back, so just let it go. Not so easy though. If you can’t go home, then where the heck are you supposed to go?

It’s a quandary and a quest that’s downright Biblical. It stretches from Abraham and Moses right to the present day, as squabbles about ‘home’ persist in the so-called Holy Land … and on borders just about everywhere.

The Beatles appear to have weighed in, back in the early 70’s. That Long and Winding Road sounds like something that’s leading a wanderer home. But whose door is it? Did they really say your door? Someone else’s door? That seems weird, and all those folks talking about building border walls aren’t gonna like you showing up at their door, no suh!

So let’s take a step back. Don’t they say home is where the heart is? If that’s true, then it sounds to me like home is actually something inside of you. Seriously, think about it. If your heart is somewhere else, aren’t you likely to be experiencing some kind of a medical emergency?

I’m not getting very far with this. (And by way of confession, this is actually an old draft that I’m ‘refreshing’ today — so there’s that.)

I often remind myself that the journey of life isn’t linear. Learning certainly isn’t. More layered, I’d say – more like geology – or the popular metaphor of peeling an onion.

But one part of it really is linear – the part that involves letting go and moving ahead. Having goals and direction is linear, at least when you are moving.

And you have to let go to keep moving. If you don’t let go, then you are tethered. And tethered, your movement will be in a circle.

So, what does that have to do with ‘home’ — and where does that leave us?

Well, it sure seems to me like home’s gotta be inside, or you’re bound to be always moving in a circle. You’ll be holding on and looking outside for a place or a feeling — something that happened once. It’s in you — it really is. You just can’t find ‘out there’ again.

…the dark ancestral cave, the womb from which mankind emerged into the light, forever pulls one back – but…you can’t go home again…you can’t go…back home to the escapes of Time and Memory. You Can’t Go Home Again ~ Thomas Wolfe

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2 Responses to You Can’t Go Home Again

  1. Katie says:

    This is so wonderful! Your line “If your heart is somewhere else, aren’t you likely to be experiencing some kind of a medical emergency?” made me laugh out loud! And then you followed it up with “And you have to let go to keep moving. If you don’t let go, then you are tethered. And tethered, your movement will be in a circle.” — which I have to think about a LOT. I’m so glad that we connected here!

    (beautiful snowy picture of Caleb, by the way.)

    • LOL, thanks for stopping by and leaving behind some kind words. This is fun, and has re-energized me for blogging. Looking forward to maintaining momentum and continuing to connect here and at Never Listless!

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