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HomingPlace

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Marsden Hartley: “Still Life” (1932-1933)


" … our point of real reference."


It may be that there's no place like home, but I'm noticing that there's really no place like the HomingPlace, that place from which one continues the infinite homing search. It seems that search never ends. For me, my old home place is not a place of rest. My Reconning didn't cease when The Muse and I retook possession, but increased both in pace and purpose, for my Reconning finally had a base from which to once again sally forth from again and again and again. I might roost here, but this old place more prominently serves as a point of departure than a place of repose. I'm clearly going somewhere. So's The Muse.

When on exile, our Reconning seemed more like practice than purposeful.
We plotted courses for diversion more than substance. We poked around to see what we could see, but knowing that we were not investigating any alternate ways of being. We would not be putting down roots or forsaking our HomingPlace for whatever we encountered. We'd return to from where we started, there to continue Reconning how to return to our HomingPlace again, that time on a more permanent basis. I claim that our HomingPlace overlooks the center of the universe, and for us, no description could be closer to the truth. Interim digs overlooked nothing but distraction, and the routes we navigated in and out of there were mere sideshows and of little substance, quite literally place fillers until we could reclaim the only space that really matters.

Home might be better described as from where the heart departs, for hearts are relentless hunters. It's best, I'll agree, when a heart has some definite place from which to roam, but no heart ever simply settled. Its purpose seems inherently unsettling. It seeks improvement. It wants ever more perfect perfection. It cannot hold a balance. It must upset apple carts. It wants better. It believes that it deserves the best and pursues it. It's not that it's needy or greedy, but that it's visionary. It perceives beyond horizons and limitations and it's better if it possesses a HomingPlace, and isn't simply roaming.

I realized yesterday late afternoon that The Villa has become something different than The Old Home Place for me. The real Old Home Place, the old house within which I grew up, passed from the family after my father died. It's now under apparently inept management, surrounded by an infill neighborhood, the same bones beneath, I guess, but an unrecognizable context and surface. I harbor no regrets about no longer having access to that place from which my life's dreams emerged. It served as both my HomingPlace as well as my home until it didn't. It was my parents' HomingPlace and their home, more than it ever was mine. This Villa Vatta Schmaltz, the place The Muse and I bought twenty-one years ago, has more than replaced that original. We have enough history here that our compasses have reset to this location, having internalized declination and celestial latitude to become our real point of reference.

We're not yet ready to settle down and into living a still life here. We're still working, still aspiring, not yet finished. There's no place like home, but our home's a verb. We're Homing here, overlooking the center of the universe, actively navigating an emerging course. Reconning without explicitly intending to ever arrive.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved







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