Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No Place Like Home

I work with a lot of children who live in foster homes. Some of my children have moved multiple times. In my art therapy studio, we make a lot of homes. Homes for animals, us, and dolls.  Is it necessary to feel ‘at home’ where you live in order to evolve? Can our roots grow anywhere? Can we feel ‘at home’ in any environment, with any people, in any conditions? Home often has cultural, societal, familial, political connections characterized by family, and memories that translate into feelings of safety and love. When moving to a new place, one often feels in a state of limbo; both excited about the new possibilities and alien in the new home. One  could feel like tourist, imposter, outsider, or exile. Salman Rushdie in Step Across This Line (2002) writes “the human dream of leaving. a dream at least as powerful as its countervailing dream of roots . . is the tension between these two dreams.” (p. 13) When we move to a new place we live in this tension. Will that tension turn into a trauma, or new possibilities for growth and healing? It could go in many directions: ‘How does living in a city that does or does not feel like one’s ‘home’ affect you?  Can people thrive in countries, cities, houses in which they do not feel at home? What does it mean to be without home? Is it necessary to feel ‘at home’ where one lives to be ‘at home’ in one’s life experience? What is a home? What is home to you?


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