Home-” It’s where you stand.” – Pico Iyer

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of “home.” What, where, and how does that translate into our modern world and lives? This conversation has been prevalent my mind/head for I have been “here, there, and all about” of late. I have found it to be a bit disturbing, and disorienting. The very last leg of my multi part  “journey” was a drive back from my childhood home, and the place where my family predominately still is-but me. I was exhausted and as I drove the 6+ hours I was sad. Was I leaving my home? But I was headed to my home…so, where and what is home?

There is a saying that goes, “there are no coincidences” …It was Sunday, a great radio day for driving. I was listening to the TED Radio Hour on NPRNow and I heard the most interesting piece featuring Pico Iyer. It was actually in an Hour that was titled Identities  – with tagged text of “My home is where I find my identity, where I create my identity which is an ongoing phenomenon. — Pico Iyer”  It was just what I needed!

I have gone back and listened again, so I could give you all a glimpse of what resonated with me. Here we go.

Is home the address on your tax form? Well yes, that is clearly one definition, but is that where your heart and identity is? “Home” begs the question of “Where do you come from?” It’s a simple question but as we age and grow, and have life experiences it is an incredibly complicated answer. Where have you been raised, and educated? Is that home? Where do you do the mundane tasks of Dr, dentist, the local stores you like, the local grocery etc.- is that home? Where are your closest friends? Which place is the “deepest” inside you? Which is HOME? I tend to think they are ALL home. Home is where your loved ones are, where your sweetheart is, where your friends are, where to want to be, dream of being, the place that resonates for/with you. It may change over time, and that’s ok too. Iyer said home has “less to do with the soil and more with a piece of soul.” … The TED talk goes on to ask “Is home where you find your identity, or is your identity where you find your home?” Again in Iyer’s words he says “Home is where you find/create your ID- an ongoing phenomenon… a new place may affect my life, thinking, imagination and that will become part of the collage that is my home.” I love the use of the word collage here, I feel like that is the near perfect word for the modern-day home. Home is my past, my family, my childhood, my friends, and my late husband: It’s my solid ground around me at the present time. When that ground is less stable it’s a bit tougher, I need a “place of an inner home.”.. and interestingly that is exactly how the TED piece ends. They said ” Home is something INSIDE you, something that always guides you to the next phase of life… and that you must step back, stop the motion/commotion, and “it’s only by stepping out of your life, and the world, that you can see what you must deeply care about, and find a home. And home in the end is of course not just the place where sleep, it’s the place where you stand.”

I hope you enjoyed this piece, I know it fascinated me to hear the show. If you want to listen to it in its entirety click here.  I hope that it makes you think about what, where and who, is your true home?

Wondering about Pico Iyer. I know I was…

 Pico Iyer (born 1957) is a British-born essayist and novelist. He is the author of numerous books on travel including Video Night in Kathmandu. His shorter pieces have appeared in Time, Harper’s, NYRB and many other reputed publications.

Pico Iyer is one of the most revered and respected travel writers today. He was born in England, grew up in California, and studied at Eton, Oxford, and Harvard. His essays, reviews, and other writings have appeared in Time, Conde Nast Traveler, Harper’s, the New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, and Salon.com. His books, include Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, Cuba and the Night, Falling off the Map, Tropical Classical, and The Global Soul. They have been translated into several languages and published in Europe, Asia, South America, and North America.

Life and career
 Iyer is the son of Raghavan N. Iyer, an Oxford philosopher and Theosophist, and the religious scholar Nandini Nanak Mehta…. more”