The sign was white with bold, block lettering:
HOME. The Place You Love Most Dot Com
In my life long analysis and thoughts about home it struck me as a marketing truth. The “place we love most” with a dot com at the end — the grand finale. The advertisement was for a new housing development, a physical space not yet created, merely in the minds of the developers.
In the 21st Century there are many that don’t look at home as a physical place or space. If they did, they would be forever disappointed. Because home as a physical space was bombed, and all that remains are a few bricks and tears from your memory. Or home was turned into the parking lot for a zoo or an assisted living facility. Or home is so remodeled that you don’t recognize it for the sophistication it now wears. Where are the markings where your mom measured you yearly — age, feet, and inches written in pencil beside the straight line? Where are the neighbors who you never thought would move?
Instead of being rooted at one physical home, we are rooted in people and many places.
Pico Iyer is featured in a TED Talk titled “What do you call home?” He says this about international, muticultural kids:
“And their whole life will be spent taking pieces of many different places and putting them together into a stained-glass whole. Home for them is really a work in progress.
It’s like a project on which they’re constantly adding upgrades and improvements and corrections. And for more and more of us, home has really less to do with a piece of soil than you could say with a piece of soul. If someone suddenly asks me, where’s your home? I think about my sweetheart or my closest friends or the songs that travel with me wherever I happen to be.”
Is your concept of home a work in progress? Is it a place or is it people and memories? What is the place you love most dot com?
“We airport hoppers can, in fact, go through the world as through a house of wonders, picking up something at every stop and taking the whole globe as our playpen, or our supermarket (and even if we don’t go to the world, the world will increasingly come to us….We don’t have a home, we have a hundred homes. And we can mix and match as the situation demands.” Pico Iyer in Unrooted Childhoods, Memoirs of Growing up Global page 13,14
7 thoughts on “That Place We Love Most Dot Com”
Well put! Since I moved around a lot I couldn’t pinpoint a specific location as home. I have only lived in apartments and they change tenants quickly. Therefore I think my home is with people I love. No matter where and how we lived, my core family was always there. So we are pretty close – I guess this goes for many TCK families, would be interesting to study their family dynamics.
But somehow home is also with people who are like me, which is why TCK meetings or camps always feel like a weekend with family.
I also really loved the idea of piecing together your version of home. We collect items on the way and make them our own version of home. When I travel I don’t really like buying souvenirs. I usually buy ordinary things like clothes, books etc. They can then remind me of where I stayed and experiences I associate with that object.
Yes, but… Seems too gnostic to assert this too boldly. I like what Chesterton said. He always wanted to write a novel in which the hero leaves England, travels the world, only to return and re-discover his homeland anew. C.S. Lewis would then be quick to remind us that our true home is in heaven; here we are just strangers and aliens no matter where we have been given to live at any particular moment.
Something should also be said about where this billboard is situated. It is Times Square, yes? That frenetic icon of hyper-temporariness and the antithesis of where I grew up in the midwest where the biggest thrill was sitting on your front porch watching the grass grow.
So – I’ll confess. I made this billboard online! The billboard that I saw out the window was too far away and we were driving too fast. But it is interesting that I chose a city — probably because I feel more at home in the city than other places.
Home is in my own skin.
I like this. And my guess is it maybe took you awhile to say this.
“Home is where the heart is.”