Every Time I Think I’m Home

every time I think I'm home
If I left somewhat suddenly (after 11 years) or you were surprised, then I think maybe you weren’t paying attention.

Every time I think I’m home, something changes my mind. Maybe it’s the porch or its the lack of the porch. Maybe it’s the wide open spaces, or the bats and the trees.

There were three different apartments in three years in London. Three different apartments in Kansas City — Oak, then Baltimore, then McGee, before I bought my house on Wyoming. There was just the one house in CT, but when you are upside down, it’s harder to get your bearings to leave.

Besides, the sheer weight of love makes it easier to stay. Once the kids moved in, I found time shape shifted– it was no longer a thing to spent or enjoyed. It was a negotiation, and wrecking ball.

The downside to moving is the leaving. How I have to take myself away from the people who love me and whom I love. But there’s some kind of madness to that method, that may be the part of why I do it. Maybe some of them love me more in the leaving, in the absence of my quirks and the memory of them. Though in the case of this most recent move, I am finding there’s a certain tragedy to removing the whole family, rather than just subtracting the one, or the two.

You have to make new friends again, when you move. You meet people at work, and you have conversations that are really surface level and nice, and suddenly you hear the acquaintance say: “let’s have lunch sometime” and you realize oh my goodness well yes of course … that’s what we have to do now isn’t it? And then it may lead to more.

So no… I guess I can’t just come home and watch episode after episode of Longmire every night until I die.

There’s no sadness in the moving, just the melancholy that’s as familiar as seasons. When the temperature drops, you do all the things you have to for time to pass. Get out the sweatshirts. Visit the fairs. Clear the garage to park the car. Get a pumpkin.

But also, you sit on the stoop and notice how the day’s ending earlier, and think how another year drops off with that day’s end.

The discontent moves with me. It’s in me. It feeds my poetry. It’s the part of me that sees beauty, so I’ve learned not to mind. I’ve learned to love its jagged edges and its sour bite.

Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home. 

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  3 comments for “Every Time I Think I’m Home

  1. Marty
    October 11, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    I live your jagged edges.

  2. Lisa Hill
    October 11, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    I hope contentment finds you someday and makes the melancholy something you’ve left behind, to enjoy it’s memory and the quirkiness it’s brought. Moving lets you reinvent yourself without carrying people’s opinions or preconceptions of you with you everywhere you go, but it also cuts a lot of strands of the web that are hard to sustain or maintain from so far away. Lucky for you, work and kids in school provide forced socialization. Some of it will be circumstantial, but some of the friends you meet will become part of your story. I’m personally really happy to have my feet deep into the soil of my garden, planting perennials and trees I expect to see grow for years. I live with more intention, because it’s all going on my permanent record now. 🙂

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