Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Quiet to feel inside

Well, another week in the books. Also, today marks one month that I have been here. I arrived on the evening of August 5th, it is now September 6th. This means that I am more than a month out of the States, a month from home. But really, what is home? Is home an abstract concept, a feeling of familiarity, a physical place, a set of relationships, a geographical region? None of these things really are home, can never really be Home.

On the forefront of a discussion of home, I have to give the context that colors the musings, reveals more of why they are being made. On Tuesday, at our team meeting, I finally (almost three weeks later) presented the picture and spoke the narrative that composed what I felt of as my life story. I did honestly tell the folks that I redrew my paper since my first version contained silly little stories that were supposed to take up time and not actually have to share much about my life. Point of fact is, if people were then paying attention, they would realize that I did the same thing again in my presentation, just not to the extent that I had previously. Anyway, there was something uncomfortably like regret even after I finished. I didn't talk about some of the things that I think pushed me down the path to get here, I talked some about things that merely describe what I did, I bragged perhaps too much.

Ok, context and home, right? Talking about all of this made me realize what it is that I consider to be my home. I've never really considered some of the things that others do to be home. Yes, the house that I lived in for 20 years feels familiar, and when I talk about back home, that's what I usually mean in a physical sense. Yes, the set of relationships that I developed previously in my life feels familiar, and when I talk about most of you, I might phrase it, "One of my friends back home..."

But I find myself thinking less and less of these things as home. Not because I am growing distant, not because I want to forget them. But as I have uprooted and relocated thousands of miles away, I find that the reality is that home is not an abstract concept. Home is not a set of relationships, home is not a feeling of familiarity. Home is found in one set of Hands.

One of the greetings or farewells here (I've heard it used both ways, so I'm not sure which it is) says, "My home is your home." It's a testimony to the hospitality culture, and it's a phrase I'm not sure I can say with regularity. Not because I seek to deny others the hospitality, but because I don't have a physical home to give.

Rather, my home can be your home.

Well, now, for some news. The cook was making stir-fry last night, so I went out to eat with some other people. (Shocking, I know! I even invited some of them.) One of the teachers came with his wife and kids, (their kids, especially the youngest, really hadn't been out of the compound in the month that they've been here). During the course of the evening, he said, "Ok, now watching this, all of the rest of you are single. Doesn't this inspire you to stay single?" And she said, "Boy, we're probably the best birth control." The kids were a little wound up, but I didn't think that bad. But they aren't mine, so...

This morning, we're going to play some basketball, and then one of the teachers that got married over the summer is having a little ceremony here at school, so I'll go to that. I have a couple things I need to try to do today, but if I don't get them done, the world doesn't end. I'm trying to remember that. If I don't get everything done, the world doesn't end.

My home can be your home.

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