Posted by: tlnemethy | June 17, 2012

Fear of Becoming a Constant Wanderer

There have always been constant reminders of home. We as a population need to think of our homes as returnable and salvageable else we might lose all direction. Aren’t we spending our entire lives just trying to find home, whether its one we left or one we are trying to form? Sure, home is where you make it as Joe Dirt says, but it’s also where the heart is, where we rest our heads, and where we find the pieces of ourselves kept hidden. What makes a home though? Is it the people we always return to or the comfort we long for, the stability of constants or simply a kiss on the cheek and a warm greeting? We all have our own sense of home and, although some of us might balk at the thought, we secretly keep tabs on the homes we’ve left.

Adventure is one of the many reasons people leave home and one of the many reasons people never return, but it shouldn’t be faulted. Adventure brings us a new sense of our definition of home. We are allowed to reject and handpick what we want our home to be like, and many of us use this ability to a fault. My adventure was modeled, perhaps, after Jack London’s life long journey for the experiences of men. As a writer, you can look to those successful before you, those who had to experience certainties before they could relay the ideas to an audience. My adventure, like London’s, is my research.

On the last day of high school, my class went around in a circle and talked about our futures. When it was my turn, I shared that I was worried I would never write because my experiences were so limited, so naive and sheltered, that they would flounder in the cascading world of literature. I’ve found my fodder in Alaska, at least partly anyway. When Long Island provided the exotic and enthralling setting to early 20th century novelists, it spurred a dedicated following producing works like The Great Gatsby. The highlife was pomp and circumstance to its finest and wealthiest, the highest crust of wealth and society. But those novelists didn’t solely rely on the interactions they found in such “airs.” Instead, they traveled back and forth, journeying to the outskirts of American civilizations to find a different perspective on their own world. Forget Kerouac’s journey; that never would have been half as fruitful had he remained in the cozy nightlife of the big city lights. The final frontier has been expanded to include more of ourselves. Where did London go when he withdrew from the constant bustle and needed inspiration? Alaska.

I’m where the legends have stood. I can feel the draw that they felt. But have I ever rethought my home? No. Home is more of a draw than any inspiration because it is something felt by everyone, something that never really lessens. Even London, famously flirtatious, returned to Charmian Kittredge always. For him it seems, she was his only home. Because he had her, he wrote every day with no fear of being a constant wanderer, he wrote for those who were perhaps seeking their own adventures. Where is my white picket fence? Wherever it is, the gate swings open inwards.


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