[This was originally a stream of consciousness during an interesting segment of my life. I’ve attempted to clean it up a bit. But only a little]
What is home? a home? your home? their home? my home? Is it like that building over there? no that’s a house. A home is an abstract idea, a concept that one ties to feelings of familiarity. A familiarity that can bring safety, understanding, even security to a point. For many, possibly most, a home requires a location in which you have “planted roots”, become a part of/created/embraced a community. With this community one can fulfill social contact necessary for the human species, feel a safety in numbers because you’ll assume others will watch out for you as you would expect yourself to keep an eye out for them. With the familiarity of the location you build a sense of safety due to knowledge of your surroundings, giving yourself a feeling of a “home field advantage.” If one stays in one structure while learning one’s area one would even customize their dwelling to best suit their needs, this brings comfort in efficiency of enjoyment. Easy access to pleasure, safety in numbers, safety in knowledge, as well as necessary life resources like food and water. Often these homes are built around families and a bit of stagnation while the children grow. However this is a concept of a home that I’ve not quite fully experienced. I’ve observed it quite a bit, one of my best friends lives a great example of that type of home and family. He, his parents, 2 siblings, and 3 dogs. Home always a place to return to, a place to hide, a place to regroup, and a place to share with those you care about. His home was always interesting, early on I was invited in and after a short while I was invited to “feel at home” whenever I was there. This was described as being allowed food, drink, shelter, and comfort whenever I was in the area. It was quite nice. Being a family they always had their spats but it was intriguing how they were always able to return no matter what and face things together (the children never noticed this on their own, funny the tunnel vision that is so core to humanity).
Are their other kinds of homes? I venture yes, however they are much harder to extract so in response to my favorite of Einstein’s descriptions I may not understand the abstract quite clearly enough because I could not guarantee that I could “explain it clearly to a barmaid,” however I shall attempt to explain it anyway. Pulling out pieces of the base assumptions one sees that familiarity is the root of all “home” things , a sense of understanding the entire realm of possible interactions and ‘surprises” one may run into. Using those extractions let’s apply them to some versions of home I’ve also observed.
For many, home can also be considered the arms of someone they care about, a Lover/Significant Other/Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Spouse. No matter the location it invokes a sense of security, a sense that whether or not things are rocky or smooth, in the long run everything will be OK. This one, in its complete form, tends to be particularly rare. Many will have friends/spouses/partners but not quite feel this full security when together, the confidence that in the long run it’s a team effort. This concept of Home is very much entwined with a deep feeling of ‘Love’ (or in a more accepted term for non romantic relationships: Family hood) another heavily sought after feeling for humanity.Interesting and quite nice, unfortunately much like a fire taking one’s home, the pain of loss of this kind of relationship potentially has less to do with the act of it being destroyed and more so the symbol of everything it was and could be being destroyed and attacked, Doors closing. This is one of the few homes that requires much nurturing to maintain.
What other kind of home’s are there? There are as many as there are interests in the world. Some may feel at home behind a screen, the familiarity in this is tied deeply to the flow control of information and the freeing of the mind to explore the world in a safe manner. The security of this home is based on complete control of stimulus continuation. This also brings to mind the ‘antisocial’ stereotype that has arrived in the past decade. In reality the antisocial side is the extreme worst case side of the spectrum: the segregation of the person’s life into screen and not screen, tends to be a last-ditch effort into keeping their life from spinning out of control due to outside stimulus, this is the digital equivalent of a “hermit” as they are never leaving their home to explore the unhindered change that is the non digital word. On the other end of the spectrum is the user who stays behind the screen so they can create and build universe, explore concepts, build relationships, and more. This tends to be the equivalent of the digital world traveler/Creator/etc, an opposite of the e-hermit. While to the outside observer both could be seen as similar the latter is merely a different method for exploring the world.
This list could go on and on for quite some time so I’ll move on to the last two homes that I feel are pertinent enough to point out. Firstly there is the “home on the road.” I’m not sure if this started with gypsies, explorers, drifters, or one of the many other groups known for their wandering. This tends to be categorized with those who become most familiar to life of the travel route. Beds, kitchens, tables, etc, are merely utilities that they visit on their short trips when leaving home. The familiarity of this home I feel is most likely tied to one of two things. If the traveler (A) tends to cross over the same routes repeatedly then the routes are the equivalent of the township they have laid roots in, however if the traveler (B) tends to jump from path to path then it is most likely related to the taste of adventure, or the fact that while their path continues to change the standard deviations of change are somewhat controlled by knowing the main possibilities that may arise on the road. For example the possibilities on the road frequent the following options of damage to security: mechanical failures. weather, unsavory surroundings, etc. This latter traveler type also can see many of the others on the travel route, including those of traveler type A, as people all sharing the experience together creating a transient form of a community. The community in this case isn’t built up of individuals, but concepts that make any possible individual possible to exist at some point in this ‘society’. I have met some wonderful people whilst traveling, I may never see them again but in those moments we shared a type of home.
Lastly, is another type of home that I may identify with. This home is a bit of an abstract parent to the traveler archetype I mentioned in the previous paragraph. This home is that of change. A being who identifies with change so greatly that stagnation feels foreign could very easily become either traveler depending on the extremes of change they prefer. Many of these homes can have downsides however I feel this one has the most obvious: any attempt to plant roots without finding an alternative home archetype (such as family, loved ones, etc) before the planting of roots tends to be foiled as the roots can’t plant well without the fertilization to the soil of the community/environment.
I’ve always felt at home on the road. Knowing resources exist somewhere on the road is enough to feel that requirement being filled for security of resources. Which reminds me of a point I missed, and is largely related to the home in the archetype of change. A requirement for feeling at home is feeling as if you can be you. This does not mean there would be no friction, all homes have friction, but this means that a feeling of equilibrium can be reached and being you would cause no lasting damages. If one cannot see how, one must know it is possible. If the feeling of being you is best received in the midst of change then extra effort must be enacted in order to reach any of the other home archetypes.
My home: the chaos of change, the open road, adventure. Someday maybe I’ll find the peace within one of the others.
Enjoy whatever thought paths these may awaken. Apologies for typos, I wanted to keep this stream as flat as possible.
Good night all.