Home is tricky, made out to be so soft and simple by cliché sayings printed on placemats or recited when no other advice comes. But where am I when I say I’m home, where do I travel back to or run from? Is home a synonym for house? Family? Building? Skin? Love? Belonging? Or a place to leave?
I hear it said often that ‘our homes are under threat’, struggling under the pressure of fear and politics rattling around a dinner table. But can that even be true, if you decided where to call home can it ever be threatened, they say no one can take a feeling away from you and maybe home is just a sense.
In the past two years I have moved many times, but I have lived in the same childhood home since I was one. I have heard myself say ‘I feel at home’ five times, two rooms, two people, one city. I’ve spent hours on end trying to decide whether I have ever felt at home in my skin, taught to believe that home is always comfort, love, and an overwhelming sense of being okay. But to much avail, the feeling of home is fleeting, it passes in moments of lighting a candle, seeing a smile, crossing a road, looking in a mirror some days. If it passes so quick, how am I to settle?
In this issue, we explore where home is and isn’t, what shape it takes, leaving, going and more. The ambiguous meaning of a word we may struggle to define but we all seem to be within. And we allow this work to find a home here.