A friend of mine, Brian Fanelli, recently hosted a workshop as a part of a local poetry series I’m running. His topic was about home and place. These settings are the breeding ground for creative ideas, and even creative voices.
He asked the question: Does where you’re from effect your writing? My answer was yes. Where you come from, whether the ghetto or the up-and-coming subdivision, is your “stomping ground,” and the place that shapes your interests, your friends, your memories. Of course it effects your writing. We cannot write, even the wildest of fictions, without having some part of ourselves, our pasts, our memories infiltrating the finished product.
A place is a location. Home is everything attached to it. You may not like the place where you live, be it the actual dwelling area or the town/city/state as a whole; nevertheless, there is some place you call home.
What does home mean to you? Home to me is the peace I feel when I walk through the door of my new apartment. I’m finally away from this crazy neighbor/negligent landlord situation. My new town is one square mile of peace. Occasionally, there is a speeding car or a loud neighbor stomping up the corridor steps, but nothing compared to the unsettling feeling of sneaking into my house or feeling trapped in it because my neighbor was harassing me with drug-induced soliloquies of her kind of, for lack of a better term, Jerry Springer Show life.
Home is here, finally, where I have set my bags and committed myself to each moment and to my writing. Pennsylvania was never my ideal locale. I was in love with southwest Virginia and its rolling Blue Ridge Mountains, small hippie shops, local fair trade coffee and sprawling wilderness. But, being an unfailing optimist, I found peace and home here at last.
Will I be here for the long haul? I feel it’s not to be, but it’s God’s plan, not mine. Each peaceful moment at home breeds a new sense of contentment and joy in the life I’m currently living. Home should be exactly that, no matter where it is.
Where is home to you? How do you define it?
Be well and keep writing,
For more information on my poet-friend, Brian, visit his website: www.brianfanelli.com or his WordPress blog here: