Monday, November 26, 2012

Another Can of Existential Worms

Dear John,
 
It's been a busy Monday, but I finally have food in the house. I hit Walmart on the way home, and it seemed like half of Goshen was there. Jen fixed tacos for me tonight as an early birthday celebration.
 
I've been pondering something. Do you remember, about ten years ago, when I asked you if Springfield was home to you? You said no, that Springfield was where you grew up, but it wasn't home anymore. I asked you where home was for you, and you said, "Home is wherever you and the dog are."
 
I've known since we were in college that the word "home" had no visual image for me, no association, no meaning, nothing but a vague painful nostalgia for something that other people had and I didn't. That's why the sentimental holiday songs like I'll Be Home For Christmas are so sad for me - because there is no place that's "home" to me. Since we were married, my home has been wherever you were.
 
Now what? This may be part of the reason I want to follow you as soon as possible - because where you are is home, and I'm weary being away from home. This may also be why I'm feeling so deeply rooted here. You and I lived in this town and in this house for 17 years, and emotionally I seem to be hanging on to both for dear life. This is as close as I can come to being at home.
 
My mind just churned up some lyrics from Carnival: "I have to find a place, I've got to find a place, where everything can be the same, a street that I can know, and places I can go where everybody knows my name." The first question everybody asked after you died was, "Where are you moving?" Obviously I came here from somewhere, and the assumption is that it was my home. People that have lived here all their lives probably can't conceive of not having a home. But I don't. Except here. And where you are, but I can't go there yet. So until I can, I'll stay here.
 
Well, I've opened a big can of existential worms again. I know - I was always good at that, especially when I've been crawling around in the back of my head. Anything that helps me make more sense to myself is good. You probably understood all of this long ago. I am a traveler and a sojourner here . . . A wandering restaurant manager was my husband . . .Maybe it's just time I went to bed - what do you think?
 
Thank you for the home we made together in so many places. Thank you that being with me was being at home. I won't be at home again until I'm with you.
 
Waiting for my homecoming,
Joan.

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