I woke early this morning to a raucous in the deep recesses of my mind. A resounding gong – “cacophonous!” What is that about? I’m not certain I’ve heard the word more than twice in my life. And if I knew what it meant, I certainly didn’t remember at 4 a.m. “Yet, there I stood in the shower, a redundant whisper of a word. A question? An answer? How am I to know? As I sit here now, over two hours later, I can see the graffiti splashed across my lizard brain – “cacophonous…” Of course, I took the time to GTS (Google that shit)! The answer? “involving or producing a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds.” The question? “what is the monkey chatter of my mind?”
Asked and answered! Answered and asked!
I sit here in what’s becoming my home within a home within a home. Oh yeah, it’s some Inception shit. See there’s this house, the home I hoped for, for as long as I can remember. I wished for a home of my own, far before meeting my husband. As a child, I craved the promise of simplicity and stability. A place to call home – for life. Not an investment, not a temporary residence, but a place where my kids, and generations of grandkids could come, and seek refuge, compassion, and love. Without question. Without expectation. Without judgment. A place filled with giggles and hugs. Sweets and games. Loud jokes and quiet conversations. This is home for me.
But then there’s the idea of a place of my own. Don’t we all need something of our own? A space to call ours, a refuge, or sanctuary if you will. A room set aside just for me. A place to seek solitude. Not the type one gets lost in, though it’s a risk, but the kind that envelopes you in soft silence. A silence one must learn to first endure, swimming, or drowning in thoughts and feelings of the past, present, and future. Often devoid of rationale. A cacophony of feelings lashing out in a quick assault of toxic shame. Allowing myself the freedom of, space and time has developed a stillness within me. An ability to sit within my thoughts, without fear of destruction. I crave the stillness of a solitude obscured by corners of emptiness. You might just find yourself in the emptiness of time and space.
See, it’s in the realization that one does not need to be “doing” to be living. This culture! When do we stop? Ever. Really. I think now about all I used to do, and I am spellbound by what I see clearly now. I was a robot (still am). I can honestly say that within the span of 24-hours, I never wasted a minute. Wasted in the form of social norms that is. I did not sit still for more than an hour or two each evening, and even then, I was preoccupied with what I should be doing instead. Always hiding from my thoughts, focusing all energies on problems that were not directly my own. I scan over what was, and I see that my life was an epic review of escapism. If you don’t speak of it, it isn’t happening. If it’s lacking a label, it must not exist. Hush. Don’t tell. Don’t share. Always running. Always hiding. Frantically fleeing from the sound of silence. Filling the abyss of solitude with rudimentary and ridiculous treasures.
I no longer seek refuge in the eyes of others. Well, that’s not true, I’m learning not to. I must believe that 40 years of mastery requires and equal measure of resetting and training. Mind, body, and soul, I have always been a people-pleaser, an achievement seeker, a label chaser, and an overall lonely person. I could never prescribe to separatism and grouping ourselves according to social norms. I always imagined a world where each of us could simply be. Releasing the need to see, reflect, and point out the differences among us. Instead embracing those differences and loving each other, not despite them, but because of them.
See, my people-pleasing was rarely about what I could take from a situation, but more about how I could leave a person or situation. Seeking asylum in the needs of others, desperate to please. Asking in return only the tiniest of tokens; a whisper, a twinkle of an eye, or a smile. More than anything, it was the recognition of energies, the knowledge that there had been a shift. Whatever was vacant, or empty had been filled to full, and the filling was done by me. My pride has always laid right here, at the foot of servitude. A gift of God turned dark and tampered by expectation and entitlement. Theirs and mine. Neither living up to either.
As I turn the corner to get back to home, I see now that each one of these homes have led me here. Where is here? My true home. My true North. It’s in the moments of sweet soothing silence that we find home. Home is within us. A seed silently planted, while in our Mother’s womb. The still quiet voice awakened at salvation. The whisper of a best friend. A knowing and welcoming hug. The greatest treasures of all. The way I see it, we spend our entire lives running from ourselves. So easily convincing ourselves that we could be happy, if only we could escape our problems. But how do you run from yourself? Where are you running to? Our “selves” are inescapable, in life and death. Many of us chase the haunting dream of solitude through numbness, while others seek sanctuary in deception and distraction. But one must ask, “do we ever find it?” “Do we ever escape?” I say, NO!
So, what are we to do? Seek refuge within; safely and quietly hidden away in the home God made for you. You are HOME! “Home is where the heart is,” that’s what they say, I’ve heard it my entire life. I don’t think I understood until now, this very moment. Somehow this phrase always translated to me as, “Home is where you’re happy,” or “Home is where the people you love are.” But now I see, both depend on me, being the people-pleaser we all I needed me to be (at least that’s what I believed). With a resounding orchestra of bells and sirens, I know now, that “home” has nothing to do with outward expression or acceptance. Home is God! Home is the seed hope and love. Home is the space in my heart I locked away years ago. Home is the still small voice whispering in my ear. Home is inescapable. Home is me!
Photo by Jason Rosewell