Home and belonging is a common theme in my books. Whether it's the dragon from A Dragon's Treasure in A Horde of Dragons. or it's Math from Society's Foundlings wondering why what feels like home can't be where he rests his head at night.
For the dragon, belonging is a chain around his neck until a friend tells him, "There's a difference between being someone's treasure and being treasured by someone." For Math, home transforms from a brick-stepped, light-flickering sanctuary where no one can trespass to a hand that catches you when you fall.
Home, what it is and how we define it, changes as we do. It doesn't always look the same, but there are common elements. As Billy Joel sings, "Home is just another word for you." One constant is the people. Those you've known all your life who become more than just family, and communities, no matter how big or small, who become more than just friends. These Shadows, as I like to call them, like Shadow from The Treasure of Ravenwood. Those bosom friends and kindred spirits as Anne of Green Gables called it.
For Jenna from Solving for X it was the memories within the place or the person. The plaid blanket where she and Erik watched fireworks. It was the line of photos. For Erik, it was the smell of salt water and the old basketball courts.
Sometimes home is in the traditions. Mom's coffee in the mornings. Jenna's painting. Decorating for the holidays or Friday night dinners with the grandparents.
And, home can be a place. Where love abounds and there lies a type of safety one can only find in those four walls.
Home for me is a lot of things. It is paint and pencils, notebooks and sketchpads. It is an orange, furry hug. It is a steaming cup of tea.
It is laughter and kisses goodnight by a porch light and under stars. It is a hand on my knee, fingers that tickle mercilessly, and his hat that I wear like a crown.
It is smiles and shared dreams and a hand to hold and a hug I've known since birth. It is my mom. It is a Christmas tree decorated the day after the turkey is cooked. It's dancing and singing Ten Minutes Ago from Roger and Hammerstein's Cinderella. It's Chinese Food for Christmas. It's stories I now know by heart.
It's a neighbor who I count as family. A blessing in the form of fabulousness. Another Pheonix- I am so fortunate to be surrounded by so many!
My Fairy Godmother! Filled with as much wisdom as magic. Who could touch dust and turn it to gold. Whose sparkle always makes the day brighter.
It is a goddamn masterpiece. A modge podge worth of 21 years. Home is where I rest my head at night.
I think Sally Fingerette said it best, "Home is where the heart is. No matter how the heart lives. In your heart where love is, that's where you've got to make yourself a home."
What do you consider home?
For as solitary as writing and art is, creative people tend to build communities around each other. They gravitate to one another, sometimes without even meaning to. Whether it's my soul recognizes something in your soul or the need to create is as basic the need to breathe and is a primal urge shared among all, communities tend to grow around us.
History has shown us the inevitability of this converging of souls. The group of artists who got together in the 'Cafe Gurebois,' which included Monet and Degas and Renoir. The Algonquin Round Table. Even today, we've seen it taken to a new, ever expanding platform online. A prime example being IABB (https://www.facebook.com/HeyIABB/?fre... ).
Though one could actively seek out such communities, they also tend to build themselves. My own little writing group came to know each other before some of us even put to paper. There was simply a mysterious connection. Such a phenomenon is an amazing thing to experience.
While there is something equivalent to a high in the act of writing or drawing, getting together with other like minded individuals gets the creative juices really start to flow. One of the many things my group and I discover is that we also feed off each other and leave feeling even more inspired.
As long as there is a seed of creativity in you, a community will bloom around you. If you are a writer or an artist you are never truly alone. After all, history is on your side.
Gathering dust in the depths of my mind, random thoughts dusted off and put out there for the world to see...