This weekend I was Skyping with my friend Leigh who’s in a situation (eerily) similar to mine: she too met a nice boy in college who happens to be from a different country and moved far away from her own family in California to be with him. Our bond is deep for many reasons, but one of the things that binds us together despite our many miles apart is this shared experience. We commiserate over the choices we have made, the choices we know we must one day make, how we plan on navigating international immigration law, what it’s like to be (or what it’s like to have been) an American living abroad, etc.
Eventually, we got to talking about our idea of home.
For a long time now, I’ve struggled with what “home” means to me now (a struggle brought to the forefront since my recent trip “home”). California, Toronto, Providence, depending on the context, my use of “home” swings from one application to the next, reminding me more of the role of a signifier in Ferdinand de Sassure’s sign/ signifier/ signified theory of language ( that of “a psychological, not a material concept”) than of Odysseus’s journey back to concrete Ithaca.
Leigh commented that her idea of home will forever be “fractured”, like it’s been broken and I immediately empathized, which got me wondering, will ever be fixed? (I hope so! I don’t like the idea of being forever home-less.)
How do you define home? Is it where your heart is? Or where you hang your hat? Or simply “where thou art”?
PS. a little song about “home”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlkinUES8ek