Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Living with Lewis: Home

This weekend was filled with graduation festivities and family, first here in Tucson with so many dear friends who just completed their time here at UA, then with my sister in Phoenix in anticipation of her high school graduation (I feel so old!). And all this flurry of celebration and impending change and transition has set me to thinking about many things, but mostly the idea of home.

I still struggle with "home" mostly because I'm not entirely sure where "home" is. It seems that one should have once home, yet I can't seem to name just one. Tucson is "home": I live here, my friends are here, my life is here, my favorite little spots are here, my church is here, I know this city's quirks and tricks. But Phoenix is "home" too: my childhood home, my family, old friends, old spots, childhood memories, familiar places, so many firsts. However I also have this quirk of calling just about any place I reside for more than three days "home." Hotel rooms, crowded flats, shared rooms, village homes with somewhat alarming outdoor toilets have all been deemed "home." And there is a bit of mourning when each is left behind.

And in this mode of thought, Lewis' discussion of affection becomes quite relevant. He writes:
"Affection . . . is the humblest love. It gives itself no airs. People can be proud of being "in love" or of friendship. Affection is modest-- even furtive and shame-faced . . . Affection almost slinks or seeps through our lives. It lives with humble un-dress, private things; soft slippers, old clothes, old jokes, the thump of a sleepy dog's tail on the kitchen floor, the sound of a sewing machine, a gollywog left on the lawn." - The Four Loves, 33-34
For me at least, I would say that affection and home go hand-in-hand. That familiarity, that old, comfortable feeling, that known-ness-- the love, or at least liking, called affection that arises from this creates that feeling of "home."

Living RoomFriendsHome

The soundtrack of soft snores that accompany the second half of nearly any film viewed from the over-crowded family room sofa

The brief sense of loss when the old all-metal, forest green, built-like-a-tank, pain-to-park '93 Land Cruiser is finally put to rest

The short white canine hairs that somehow make the trip from Phoenix to Tucson and three times through the wash

The mysterious thumping and gurgling noises periodically emanating from the hallway closet water heater that may or may not belong to some prehistoric creature

The fourteenth occasion of accidentally hitting that dreadful pothole right in front of the apartment complex

The familiar sound of Dad making waffles in the kitchen on a Saturday morning


The recollection of the bathroom door in a Central Asian flat that could be locked from both the inside and outside and resulting pranks that ensued

The unmistakable grumbling of the garage door signaling someone's return

The warmth of the sun on that one side of the bed on springtime Saturday mornings

The northeast window that never latched quite right

The slide down to the basement of the music building that was supposed to be for pianos and not for people

The gathering of friends around the kitchen table on Sunday morning


These things speak of home

All photos by Kara Haberstock (and friends/family), all rights reserved

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