I have a tattoo on my thigh – a peony with a knife through the center, and underneath, the text “Let the statues crumble” from Sarah Kay’s ‘The Type’. She writes about how what it is to be a woman in relation to others is important, but what is more important is the ability for us to define ourselves as individuals “without comparisons or relationships.” Her poem focuses on women’s ability to tell their “own stories” in their “own words” with their “own voices.” In essence, it means not to ‘house’ ourselves, in other people.
It often gets me thinking about how I still don’t know what home really is. What is a home? What defines a home? Are there multiple homes? I chose to get that one specific line from the poem because I interpreted it as destroying the idea of searching for a concrete place to call home and to find comfort. In ‘Detail of the Woods’ by Richard Siken (another beautiful poem; recommended read), he writes:
“Everyone needs a place; it shouldn’t be inside someone else.”
which alludes to my belief of removing the concept of having someone as home, having a place as home, or having something or someone who defines who you are. Essentially, home is inside yourself, and nothing else can build a home for you.
Over the years I gradually molded the meaning of ‘Home’ for myself. It began as my room in my childhood home, where all my toys and cuddly animals were, where I found comfort in losing myself within my own games and my own imagination. ‘Home’ was an easier meaning back then – uncomplicated and reassuring. The word suddenly became more complicated in secondary school when I started becoming interested in social dynamics – friends and boys. I felt at home when I was included in groups of people I felt comfortable around, and then when I began dating, it would lie in the boys I was interested in. When I moved to Canada for university, ‘Home’ became campus. I felt both comfortable and energized at ‘Home’, and I very quickly knocked the idea of my parents’ home being ‘Home’ for me. Now, ‘Home’ is not in a person, or at a place, but more so a place I have created within me.
As my life is leading to drastic change in the near future, it drives me to think about ‘home’. Where will ‘home’ be for me next?