The home that built me
In the classical sense of the word, home is the ideal place where we find love, warmth, laughter and sanctuary. It is also the place where we unburden our souls and let loose life’s beatings without monetary repercussions offered at the spa or the shrinks’. Whether recluse or lively, home offers that feeling of belonging.
Country singer Miranda Lambert must have been really nostalgic about home when she wrote The House That Built Me. Word by word, she described a childhood of memories in the house she grew up in. For her, home was a past she could borrow from to ease life in the present and sail into the future.
For Hansel and Gretel – two little children lost in a thick dark forest, alone and scared, home was a place of hope. And Hansel said to Gretel, “let us drop these breadcrumbs so that together we can find our way home”. They hoped to find their way back home where everything else was familiar and love blossomed.
In August: Osage County, home is the hell everyone else has been trying to escape their whole life. The obvious drought of love drives the Weston family to irreversible destruction. They do not sit down and opine about the weather over a finger-licking meal of lasagna. Instead, they claw each other till they bleed, and offer no remorse after. Watching Violet Weston (played by award winning Meryl Streep) tear each member of her family into tiny irreparable bits, a sad reality hits you. This is not one with a happy ending, there is no redemption, no salvation, no closure and all you can hope for is that the pain she inflicts may wane out sooner.
For thousands of refugees (some internally displaced) living in camps in Darfur, Zaatari and Daadab (where they now call home), home is that place reminiscent of war and terror but still somehow nostalgic of a whole life left behind. Of loved ones lost in the middle of the night where they were dragged away by men brandishing guns and machetes.
For me home is the place where we sit around the dining table and still save a place for the habitual latecomer. It is where we fight over the remote control and throw tantrums when we don’t get our own way. But at the end of the day we are still forgiven. Like Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote “Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave but not our hearts.”
Posted on December 27, 2013, in Soul Food and tagged august: osage county, hansel and gretel, home, house that built me, laughter, meryl streep, miranda lambert, reunion, sanctuary, violet weston. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.