I open the front door, smell the familiar woody aroma of home, feel warmth enveloping me. Home is a place of contradictions, its where I feel acutely alone and vulnerable yet, most deeply known and loved. Home knows all of me; tired, sick, depressed, angry, joyful, hilarious – mortal. At home I am at my best and worst, and like a lover I know too well, proximity can breed contempt. Yet, here is my touchstone, my stability – the place I face my limits. These walls have held my despair and fatigue, the big blue couch my prone body, this pillow, my tears. I’ve walked the small gamut of these rooms dreaming of larger more able/bodied territories. I’ve also nestled into the space of this house willingly, felt gratitude for its shelter, welcomed the limits of a contained world. Within these porous old walls have rained my sorrows, captivity but also my love – the hard-won moments of unremarkable ordinariness and transcendence; the cup and kettle, favourite blanket, resident birds, the voice of my beloved…our shared meals, our cat, her nightly solicitation for lap, her dawn calls for food and us.
my woollen slippers moth-bitten shrug my coming-down this steaming cup the evening meal I dice and cut our mewling cat these aching limbs my singing ear vision swims home again another day within this house his soft warm voice and temperance my inclement skin restlessness I’ve seen all this before