per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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"son", he said, "grab your things, i've come to take you home"
hiraeth: (n) Intense longing, especially for home. Welsh.

Sure, but why do I sometimes feel this when I am at home?

It's not so bad on days like today, when the sun is bright and it's cool and breezy; when the spring fire glows from every leaf. Or in the autumn, with the crisp Hallowe'en feel in the air. But on days where it bullets cold rain from leaden skies, when the lights seem either too bright or not bright enough; when I come home from an event and monsteralice is away with Molly-dog, or when they're both asleep and it's just me, turning down the lights and the heat on a cold and windy night... I find myself wondering where home really is.

I grew up this way... a mostly friendless, introverted and bookish child; from early on there was so much going on within me that stayed a secret, because I knew from hard experience that my most treasured dreams were nothing but food for mockery from the people my parents thought I should have as friends. Because my parents themselves were happier not knowing what went on in their middle son's head. Given that, and a strong input of speculative fiction (powerful stuff, some of it, and quite sophisticated- I was reading at college-level quite early on), it's no wonder that I can recall dozens, even hundreds of times that I desperately wished, prayed, made futile magick- all to take me away, to someplace where life had meaning. Someplace where I felt at home.

It got better. College, medievalism, fandom, paganism; my first lovers and loves; I became more connected, more rooted. More myself, especially after moving out on my own. More mature, more caring, and a better person in general after going through my own (small) nekiya. Husband, homeowner, writer, poet, priest, minister, healer... I stand dumfounded, sometimes, at the circle of love that surrounds me; at the loyalty and selflessness of my friends and loved ones. I must be doing something right.

But still it hits me sometimes. Robin Williamson wrote of the ancient Celts as being "homesick for sights unseen"; that's the way it feels. Or maybe I have some inkling of the "sea-longing" of Tolkien's elves. I don't know. It's just that, once in awhile, I know with a certainty that if the door in the hill opened up, I'd go within.

It's got to be something from my Irish blood, because it's got that half-pleasant feeling that most Celtic melancholia has to it. Maundering in the mist again, that's me... There's nothing to worry about. But if, some days, I hug you harder than before, or linger longer than usual, that's why. And my heartmost thanks for it, too.

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(Deleted comment)
Yeah, you're right... hadn't realized that when I was writing; it was just the CD in the drive. Ironic, indeed.

Maybe that's why T.S. Eliot's words,

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

resonate so much with me...

I have a favorite song by Soul Asylum called "Homesick." The refrain goes,

Lord, I am so homesick.
But it's not so bad,
'cuz I'm homesick for
The home I never had.

You are describing a feeling that I have had all my life. Even when sitting in my own apartment. And no, before you say it, vortexofchaos, I am not homesick for the home in Massachusetts. I know I will have the ache there, too.

Am I running TO somewhere, or am I running AWAY from somewhere? Maybe the longing is crucial for existence -- otherwise we'd just flop down and do nothing, just not bother trying. I have the impulse to do that too, sometimes. Just say, "Aw, screw it. I give up." If we don't have even the vaguest idea of a destination, we won't have a reason to stay on the path.

And now, I guess I should be going home. To pack my belongings for the move to my new home, which will never quite feel like my true home, because my truest home in my heart of hearts is someplace that doesn't exist.

Is it any wonder that I don't feel all that motivated to pack?

Just keep on, though - "the journey is the destination", as they say.

"It's not so bad."


And now, I guess I should be going home. To pack my belongings for the move to my new home, which will never quite feel like my true home, because my truest home in my heart of hearts is someplace that doesn't exist.

I've felt at home in only three places in my entire life.

I felt at home when I was in Ann Arbor at school. There wasn't a particular place that was home, it was just knowing that I was in the right place to be.

I felt at home the moment I walked into the Billerica house. That lasted until when things went so horribly wrong. Once I was out of the house, it was just another house. It was no longer home.

I felt at home the moment I walked into the condo in Chelmsford. I knew I could and would live there. It's been home. It is my hope that you will come to find it home.

And some point along the way, I'm sure we'll decide that it's time to move on. When that happens, we'll look together to find some place we both can call home.

Home is where you make it.

Am I running TO somewhere, or am I running AWAY from somewhere? Maybe the longing is crucial for existence -- otherwise we'd just flop down and do nothing, just not bother trying.

Sometimes, it feels good just to run.

I know so what you mean about that half-pleasant melancholia - and I do think it is partly an Irish thing. So often I find myself smiling through tears at something that makes my heart genuinely happy and sad at the same time. It's holding onto things that are starting to drift away, and yet enjoying the process of the drifting all the same. Wanting to move to new places and yet go back to what once was. My dad definitely had it. I think I do too.

An extra hard hug back to you, EC. :)

Sometimes, when I get that ol' Celtic happy/sad thing, I quote "Yellow Submarine" to myself- "Ah, Ringo, you're just a sentimentalist."

No wonder I like you - that sounds like me in many ways. I always thought of it as missing a bit of my soul. The first time I ever felt that I had found one of the missing bits was when I became friends with spectoria. She fit me and blocked out large bits of the lonliness and restlessness. JMac did the rest. There are still times when my soul shifts a bit and the restlessness comes back. I get the feeling like I need to go. Not a place or a time or a person just that I'll know it when I get there. I have only had this happen once since I married JMac and it was an unhappy time in my family. But it used to happen a lot. In college I spent a lot of time wandering around the streets in the wee small hours. Later in VA I often would get in my car and drive for hours - just looking. Perhaps you notice it when monsteralice isn't there simply because she isn't there and your soul can tell, it has shifted a bit and a gap has formed.

hmmm... I like that image. And some of my friends do feel like they have missing bits of my soul, or more exactly that they can fill that hole for awhile...

Exactly - they fill the void. I always feel it when they are gone from me.

I know that melancholia that's almost sweet in its intensity...but I've rarely felt it for a place.

I feel it for people - or, more accurately, for separation from people...

People, places, events- I can read through my journal of a vacation, and find myself nearly in tears at the end, possessed by a sweet ache... it's really a longing for a past time, lost but still remembered.

This is something different, though- the same feeling, but what I'm missing is... undefined...

The word "home" is so emotionally charged for me lately. It's always meant "The Hudson River Valley" in one way or another, for the last 30 years. Even when I had short stints of living in other places, I always knew that eventually I would go "home".

Now, of course, I'm not quite sure where "home" is. My stuff is in Arlington; I'm most comfortable in Gaithersburg; but this place is not my home. Yet.

But the Hudson Valley isn't my home either. Not anymore.

I was listening to Moby the other day, and the strains of the ol' gospel tune "Sometimes I feel like a motherless chil', a lon' way from home." Instead of getting all stupidsad, I thought about it a lot.

I'm still thinking about it. It made me remember when I lived with my husband; our house was on a major highway of sorts. I would stand at the top of the stairs and stare out of the window, onto the road, for hours, losing track of time and space. And yearn for "something".

I'm still not sure what that something is, but that's how I feel now, about "home".

Having lived in the Potomac River watershed all my life, I can understand... home seems bounded by water, all the time...

Stone and trees and water

I haven't lived in many places, so my experience may not count, but... MHC was home, though that was more for the people and activities than the place. MaMonster got teary 20-odd years after the fact when she recounted how I'd blurted out, "I'm packing to go home" before I left for sophomore year.

MaMonster and the Hon. Monster live in a house with more character than 257 tract houses piled on top of one another, though perhaps not quite as entertaining as when they fall down. I went through puberty and some pretty horrific times in that house, retreated to it while I turned my liberal arts degree into a career, and still have it in my mind as the ur-house.

I like the Sorcerer's cottage, but it's only home because it's filled with our stuff, pets, and scent. If we were to pull out in a year, I'd miss the location more than the house. Oak Hollow feels more like home, and I think that's because the terrain and certain features of the cabin are very reminiscent of my folks' place on the Brandywine River. Both places are in narrow valleys, both have creeks running behind the house, both have views of heavily wooded land, both have spiral staircases (though Ma and Pa Monster's are considerably trickier), both have an exposed salvaged beam(s) in the kitchen, and in both I sleep at tree level, up in the eaves.

Landlaw isn't something that gets talked about much, other than in context of vampires, probably because as a culture we move so often. Maybe we should talk about it anytime a person moves far away from their origin.

I feel like that all the time. I just call it "wanderlust". For me it's not a place-longing, it's a travel-longing.

Tuatha de Dannan are always regretting that they burned and burried their ships when they landed upon the mountains of Connaught. We told thems nos you'll want to be wandering again and it wasn't until Brennan that they admitted that, but by then many things had been forgotten and only a few of our ships could be raised.
Some of us traveled the sea and traded our skins so that we could always wander, others of us took to the sky and traded our arms for wings and flight, others traded our bodies so that our souls coulds forever drift.
Tuatha de Dannan know that you are always home and yet never home. You are home when your soul is at peace. When those times of reflection come to nip at your heels like the Fir Bogs, know that in the sea, sky and air are those that are kin tae ye and see you for who you are.
Tuatha de Dannan that you are never alone, my kind are few and deminished but we have marked you when you first came to being, for the souls that that have passed beyond the pale are being reborn and you are one of us.
Tuatha de Dannan be at peace and rest your head in my hands for when you are with me we will create a hearth fire and call it home.

Thank you, Tamma. That was beautiful.


your welcomes ::smile::

De Ja Voodoo (that you do to me?)

It would be foolish, after reading all the posts that have gone before, to say anything trite like "Home is where the heart is" or any such nonsense. But here's a thought, maybe these feelings of restlessness are deeply imprinted -- wrapped up in our genetic code -- as a rememberance of where we were BEFORE this exsistence. I'm being vague on purpose because I don't want to evoke anywhere inparticular, but this BEFORE place could be where we are, as the poets say, 'a longin' to be.' In my mind it would explain how it is that we can meet someone for the first time and yet have known that person forever.

Re: De Ja Voodoo (that you do to me?)

Hmmm... quite possible...

Maybe it's a longing for the Garden

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