A few weeks ago, a dear mate asked me if I’d be in the Netherlands long enough to receive a book in the post from Australia. Curious, I confirmed I would; he proceeded to order it, only for it to arrive 24 hours after my departure south.
Thankfully, an excellent fella in Amsterdam forwarded it to Hossegor, and today I safely received my surprise: the latest Freeman’s, a biannual collection of essays, with as its subject, ‘home’.
|Is home a beach in France? Pourquoi pas.|
I stayed with the friend who sent me this awesome gift in East Timor in July, and we spent several excellent weeks roadtripping around the country. Before we left Dili, each of us selected books from his ample collection for evening entertainment / something to do while, say, waiting roadside for 14 hours while a tow truck comes to collect our beaten four-wheel drive, and us.
One of the books I picked was the first edition of Freeman’s, on the topic of ‘arrival’, and I adored the format: a bunch of essays, excerpts, stories and poems on a specific, poignant theme. I imagine that for my friend, the book formed a cathartic guide as he arrived for his stint in East Timor.
And the latest edition is right on point. As this mate well knows, home is a concept at the forefront of my mind right now. For some home is simply where they were born, bricks and mortar and familiarity, roots wended deep into the earth. For others, it’s a more fluid or even existential concept. For me, home is a journey that poses questions.
What is home? Where is home?
Is it a place, or a feeling? Can it be a person?
Is a physical home – a dwelling to which we return, where we store our belongings and hang our clothes and cut our fingernails – essential?
What changes when I feel at home? How am I affected when I do not?
As I seek answers on this journey, I gratefully lean into guidance, wisdom and inspiration from exquisite literature, and from my friends.