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Home-bound 1.9-Bound

Bound might have more meanings than any respectable word should. Like many English words, it means its own opposite, but also its own orthogonal: captive and moving, an abrupt movement, a continuing one, also no movement at all. It bounds, bound and determined to be bound no longer. (Could I be bound and NOT determined, too?)

Home-bound holds every ounce of bound’s ambiguity. Was I heading home or stuck there? Maybe I was simply leaping towards? Perhaps all of these simultaneously.

I certainly started with the intention of returning home, whatever Thomas Wolfe insisted. Wolfe was right, I could not return to a place that was no longer, though I might have stumbled into a home I didn’t suspect. I expected to find a place but found a state of mind instead.

I’d long characterized where I’m living as my exile, but nearing five years into what began as a forced choice, the originating force might have dissipated, leaving a bedraggled choice with little evidence of anyone forcing anyone else to stay. Few people move where they really want to be. Most people settle in and figure out how to live there, anyway.

So I found home, recognizing that it probably always was where my heart was, right here. I might have been bound to eventually rediscover this small truth; almost everyone seems to.

So I left home to visit home, finding my home in both, no stranger in either place. I returned to find my former exile curiously comforting. My car broke down and I seamlessly shifted to alternative transportation. I already knew my way around. I know my way around many, many different places, each different, each similarly familiar. The older I get, the more homes I seem to have.

I’m learning that it’s no birthplace betrayal to find joy elsewhere. Every home houses longing next to contentment. They sometimes bicker across the breakfast table, but mostly, quite comfortably, co-exist.

It’s almost a trivial tale. The protagonist leaves in search of his lost home only to find he was carrying his home around with him all the time. I will return to this home or that other one, each time reliving that instant of sublime recognition and subtle disappointment, each place a real place, but not one of them exclusive. I said I was home-bound only to find I had always been, in both opposing senses of the word, and in the orthogonal sense, too.

©2013 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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