Friday, June 13, 2008

What is "Home"?

What constitutes “home”? As my daughter travels to the refugee camps on the Chad/Darfur border, I hear repeated over and over how strong the desire is to be at home. It’s got me thinking about how I define home.

1) The place where I have the freedom to state my opinion without any more fear of reprisal than lively discussion with friends and family is my political home.
2) The place where I come into contact with the divine is my spiritual home.
3) The place where love is waiting for me is my emotional home.
4) The place where laughter and good cheer abounds with others is my social home.
5) The place where I find shelter from the storm is my earthly home.
6) The place I go to use and expand my knowledge is my intellectual home.
7) The place that I have a hand in shaping is my creative home.
8) The place where I invest my resources is my fiscal home.
9) The place that contains my memories is my historical home.
10) The place that connects me to who I am is mine and my responsibility.

I suppose the list could go on and on. Some of us find these things grounded in one place, some of us wander our entire lives and only find a few of them. I’ve found them in a tent on the side of a frozen mountain, swimming in the ocean, in a bungalow on Queen Anne in Seattle, in my daughter’s eyes. I can only hope to give back to these places what they have given me, but I know that’s only a dream, because they have given to me so abundantly.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Today's Wish List

My Mom e-mailed me to ask what’s on my wish list today. I decided not to edit my list to try and “look good” or be “politically correct”. It’s better to examine our heart’s desires in raw form. Here’s my answer:

1) An end to Genocide in the hearts, minds, and lives of all humanity
2) A Chinese Calligraphy Teacher
3) Organizational Strategy and Legacy Planning Clients
4) A home overlooking the sea near my daughter (and/or in Morocco?)
5) A flat in London near my friends
6) An end to World War IV - terrorism - both mental and physical
7) That I was slim enough to wear Yves Saint Laurent in mourning

Living as a privileged first world citizen, I have a wish list with a broad range and even real hope that some of these things may come true. A freedom to hope and dream, even for trivial things, that I don’t take lightly.

I notice that what I want is concrete for me, theoretical for others. In my heart I feel Genocide and Terrorism are wrong but maybe, just maybe, I want an end to them because of their current impact on me personally.

And I notice that even if I do serve enough clients to own two homes, would that be justified? And will I feel sorry for myself if none of these things come to fruition? That would be a sad commentary on someone already so comfortable.

I can’t change what I want but maybe I can adjust what I think I must have. Why? So that I become the most loving person I can be, instead of the most wanting person I can be. Wants lead to things like terrorism and genocide. The only desires that seem justified are the ones that create more love, and only our hearts know the difference.