journal contributionposted on 14.12.2016, 02:31 authored by Fox, Michael Allen
Abstract: Of all the many places that we designate as special, salubrious, and worthy of fond reminiscence, home stands out in a singular way. 'Home, sweet home.' 'Home is where the heart is.' 'Home is where you come from and can be yourself.' 'The longest road out is the shortest way home.' 'Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.' 'Been on the road too long. It's time to get home.' 'Welcome home!' But what do we mean by 'home'? For many, the meaning is simply assumed rather than articulated. Home is just the place we take for granted, the place where we belong, feel comfortable, and can be somebody, be wanted. It contains the objects with the most personal significance to us and is the theatre within which we act out and forge our identities. Home represents solace, welcome, warmth, love, acceptance-it's 'a place to hang your hat.' Thoughts of home open onto nostalgic vistas of remembrance-of family, childhood, heritage, lineage, and loyalties of various sorts. Home is the benevolent, smiling face within the crowd of chaotic frowns that characterize the places of everyday life. In a topsy-turvy, unsettling world, that's no insignificant concept.