December 28, 2011


Someone once told me, years ago, that the problem with moving was that, once you leave the place you start, you belong everywhere and nowhere. And the more we move, the more places we go, both to live and to visit. The more I find this is true. In every place, we leave a little piece of ourselves and take a small bit of it on with us.
Everywhere is home. Nowhere is home.

We are visiting my parents, who live in a small city in the middle of Missouri, where Will and I lived once when Briton was a toddler. So coming here is, in a way, coming home. Except leaving New York is leaving home. And passing through Charlottesville is visiting home. And thinking about Ireland, or Portland, that's dreaming about home.
This place is as different from New York as it can get. New York is a big big city where the spaces are small. Where the outside is loud and clashing and indoors you need to be quiet so you don't disturb everyone above, or below, or next door. Here the city is small but the spaces are big. Supermarkets are SUPER. Aisles are wide, options are many. I stood for several minutes the other day gazing at all the options for deep fried meat coatings. Ten different fish frys. Six types of bread crumbs not including the varieties of Panko or cornmeal. In New York you'd have to span the city, visiting a dozen different stores, to find them all. They are there, because everything is, it's just harder to find them.

And in the same vein, the outside here is quiet, blissfully so. No taxis or firetrucks or millions of people clicking along sidewalks, talking, sipping their coffee. Just quiet. Yet inside it is loud. Because it can be. Because my kids can make as much racket as they want and no one will hear it. Except, of course, those of us inside with them. But that's ok too because they can go to a different floor, a different part of the house.

Right now we are in the thick of deciding where the next home will be. Weighing options. Do we choose a place we want to be but a job that is not, perhaps, ideal? Or a job that is ideal but a place that is not, yet, home. Do we go back to the places we love? Or find a new place to fall for. It's an ongoing debate.
The truth, of course, is that Home is where we are. We've gotten good, after seven cities in eleven years of marriage, of making home wherever we land. But having an option to choose, or at least consider several options, of where we will be next, is both exciting, and daunting. It's like standing at a fork in the road with no map, not knowing which is the best path to take.

Right or Left.

Right or Left.