Well….Umm…I have a home like you all. There’s a terrace promising a sky and greenery. But when I have to leave, say on vacations, I have to leave. It tries to linger in my mind but I simply have to shoo it away. When I’m on train, bus, cars, planes this brick made residence melts away like the last trace of a monsoon cloud in an autumn sky. It’s wonderful to be a free spirit finding a niche in the Himalayas or roaming about the streets of a foreign land where no one knows you.
Yet why is it that I am never a free spirit? Because the other home, Sumanar/Lekha, catches me unaware. Like a transient orca it surfaces from nowhere and punts me high up into the moments of uncertainty and gobbles me up. As a hapless seal I am inside its body and see nothing but Words.
Lofty mountains transform into rocky nouns. Oceans wave into crazy verbs while I deck green Singapore with oodles of adjectives. Reality and dream merge in words. I realize the whole universe is nothing but words I cannot escape from.
Yet there are moments: Your whole being is sore; you breathe tears; your soul’s smouldering; your mind’s unhinged; you cannot undo grief. A numbing feeling snaking up the spine whispers you are far away from Home. You are a mere wayfarer traveling from birth to birth seeking Home. So ‘The ache for home lives in’ my being and I have become a seeker.
16 thoughts on “Away from Home”
You have given home a new depth. I wonder if anyone is ever really a free spirit. Perhaps we can simulate it a while when we travel, but ‘as a hapless seal’ we always know who we are and cannot escape from that. Indeed you are a seeker, seeing the eventual home; and thus the journey will continue. Eventually home will match up with who one is, and one will be at peace and at home.
This is heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Sumana. I resonate with “a mere wayfarer traveling from birth to birth seeking Home.”
This is so gorgeous. I love that you travel to the Himalayas (lucky girl!), and LOVE that your website is a second home, as is mine. I do much of my living online these days. I resonate with “you cannot undo grief”. And the ache for home has lived within me all my life, so I, too, became a seeker. (I wrote another piece about this very topic and posted it yesterday below today’s piece.) A wonderful piece of writing.
I just sighed with pure delight. In my reply to your comment, at PU, I said that I couldn’t wait to read what your words did with Maya Angelou’s words. I suspected it was going to be exquisite. And, goodness gracious, how delicious it is to be right. I can eat your magical realism all day… I would follow your tales by car and plane and ink-fueled air balloon, just to see the brick terrace trying to sneak into your suitcase because it misses you so much. The sight of dream and life becoming one births bright smiles right out of my soul. Your descriptions–the feelings they evoke–leave the reader in me smiling and happy, happy, happy.
Your descriptive language creates vivid images in the reader’s mind. I like the light and joyful tone at the beginning, “It’s wonderful to be a free spirit…roaming about the streets of a foreign land where no one knows you.” But also the deep and contemplative tone at the end, showing that home is a loaded word; simple and complex depending on how we look at it. We can be near, far or searching. A masterly write!
New depths to what makes me write.
What a stunning write Sumana. I am in awe. I loved this paragraph in particular:
‘Yet why is it that I am never a free spirit? Because the other home, Sumanar/Lekha, catches me unaware. Like a transient orca it surfaces from nowhere and punts me high up into the moments of uncertainty and gobbles me up. As a hapless seal I am inside its body and see nothing but Words.’
I think we are all in agreement that coming home is the best trip.
I like the way you are able to unleash yourself from your home and immerse yourself in your travelling, Sumana, and I love the way you’ve expressed that in the simile ‘this brick made residence melts away like the last trace of a monsoon cloud in an autumn sky’. I agree that being unknown is a release. I also understand how your other home is like ‘a transient orca’ surfacing from nowhere. Words follow me around too, even when I’m staying at my daughter’s, spending time with my grandson, they are there, always on my mind – as are my cats!
I love that both your home and your travelling are in words. And how beautifully these particular far-ranging words express that!
The one place you know you can unwind is at home. Sometimes it takes time to learn that it is your safe haven.
in a way, our online website is a home, where we always go back to to tell our friends, or anyone who cares to listen, our triumphs or our troubles.
i think it is a very neat way to respond to this prose prompt. You write so well, it’s a real delight to read. And i like your mention of Singapore. 🙂
Wow. Home as something that searches after you, home as a destination and a structure…it’s like I’m ringing with all the ways that the idea of home surrounds and drives this. Beautiful.
Luv that awesome Paragragh 2 with the orca and thd words. Nice
Have a good week
I so understand this. It is so hard to get away from my writing home. i can see so many things when I am traveling out in the world, but the ink home always begs me to return. This piece is so beautifully written.