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Jul 30, 2018
#guitarmonday: Home edition

It's #guitarmonday on the last Monday of July in 2018 - and your song is about travelling and coming home.

I've travelled three times in July, and spent time with some of my favorite people. July makes me introspective for some reason - maybe because my partner is an academic, and August is the start of the new school year and in a way, our New Year. Some years back we made a calendar and named the months the way we experience them - July is the month of Letting Go, and August is the month of Returning.

I've thought for some time that the word "home" is shorthand for many different concepts, all open to different interpretation (like all human things - seriously, how do we get ANYTHING done?). A "home" is a residence, a place we sleep and keep our things. "Home" can mean where you grew up, or where your family lives. "Home" can be a person, a description of a feeling.

I've travelled, and returned, and I think about the meaning of home for me. Is it the place I spent my early years?

My parents moved around a bit, so by the time I lived in West Virginia my parents lived in the state of Minnesota - where we have family, but I have never lived. My West Virginian water aerobics students were always a little puzzled because of our different definitions of "home" - for them, it was where your immediate family lives. For me, my immediate family didn't live anywhere I had ever lived. So when they asked me if I was going "home" for the Holidays, I wasn't sure what to say. Like I don't know what to say when people ask me where I'm from - I wish I could just check a box that says "It's complicated."

Is home the state where I lived for twenty years? I will probably never again visit the small town where I lived for 8 years and went to High School. Is home the city where I went to college, lived my early adult years, and where my in-laws and several dear friends live? That's closer, and when I simplify my answer about "home", that is where I say it is, where I am from.

Is home the place I've visited once, and where I long to return and stay? The place I daydream about as a place to run away and hide?

Some people are at home anywhere in the wide world. 

Here's some more songs about home.

Where is home for you, and what does it mean? As my friend Dave would say, "Answers on a postcard to the usual address."