I love when ice in a glass begins slowly melting, turning to water that then slowly seeps up and around the ice, taking it over completely. That’s what coming home is like for me. I’m seeping back in to the lives of the people I love most as I return from 10 days away at my graduate school residency.
Back to Luke making pancakes in the kitchen. Back to the heat on 62 degrees. Back to my favorite coffee in my favorite mug and a nice long walk for Reuben in a snowy field. We even went to Rollie’s for dinner last night, an apt and perfect welcome home. Thanks Chris and Elizabeth!
Home for me is the space just before an inhalation, Guy’s hand on the small of my back, shoes and boots in neat rows by the door. It is the sound of the dryer, slant light through the kitchen window, imperfect heart shaped rocks on the lip of the chair rail. My home is safe space in which I can linger in the shower, let my wet hair drip dry and snuggle in my pajamas until noon.
For those who are interested, I just completed my last residency as an underclassman. Now it’s time to write my thesis, which seems to be shaping up into a manuscript I’m calling “Tell the Boys” – threaded essays which are, at their essence, about my father. (The boys are my children, Garrett and Luke.) This is subject to change, as I have a phenomenal mentor this semester who thinks I might/should be writing a memoir.
If you’re interested in her work, her name is Susan Conley. She wrote both The Foremost Good Fortune – a memoir about her two years in China with her family, and finding out she had breast cancer there, and Paris Was the Place – a novel. Coming soon is Stop Here. This is the Place – a project done in tandem with the very talented photographer Winky Lewis. Look for it this spring.
Dedicating myself to this writing thing is also a coming home of sorts. It, too, a space of complete comfort and willingness to make sacrifices in order to keep it. How lucky can one person be, I ask. To be at home in so many places at once.
So there it is. I’m home, and gearing up for one more semester. The biggest semester. THE semester.
Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.