This weekend we lugged the cats up to Kenny's parents' house in Seoul. It was an ordeal, but the kitters seem to enjoy exploring the new digs and are comfortable enough to lounge around on the furniture, displaying their soft round bellies to the ceiling.
This afternoon, on my way to Gwanghamun to meet Jennifer for some good eats, I rode my old bus. Good old blue 340 bus. And I walked against the wind past the apartment I lived in last year. And I rode the escalator down into the guts of Cheonho station. I felt like I was at home. Good grief, I thought, I only lived here for a year. But when I was there today, I knew where I was. Maybe that's what home is: knowing where you are. And somehow knowing where you are scoots a little insecurity out of the way and makes a place for you there.
I didn't live there long. But good things happened to me in this place. I discovered an entire country here. This is where Korea starts for me. Everything I learned about this country, about the people, and about myself spiders out from the 9th floor of Platinum River Apartments. And then it all doubles back into that little room where it was cried over, shouted about, and processed through. I got engaged here. I cooked horrible food in my apartment. I met my friends in the backstreets and down by the river here. Maybe that's what home is: where good things happen to you. And the good things that happen shove a little of the unfamiliarity out of the way and make a place for you there.
I've felt this sense of home before while we were spending a week or so in London at the tail end of Le Honeymoon. I just knew where I was. The place was familiar. I had only lived there a year, and not even in London at that. Exeter is a far cry from London. But James and Dennis were there. And perhaps that's why I felt comfortable, like I was being received into the city again. Maybe that's what home is: where the people you love make their lives. And they make small spaces in their city for you with the love in their hearts that moves some of the strangeness to the side and that pocket just opens up enough for you to slide into your place there.
I belong in Rome, Georgia, too. There are invisible footprints I fall back into every time I wind my way up the S curve on the hilltop campus of Shorter College. I learned to ask questions there. And maybe that's what home is: the place that helps you ask questions. Because asking questions seems to displace a bit of uncertainty and make room for the answer. If there is one. And when there's no answer, well, you've got a bit more elbow room to swim around in with your question.
Of course, I am at home in Tennessee. In the wood cabin with the red roof and the glowing porch lights on Poplarwood. Because when I'm there, I know where I am. And good things happened to me there. And the people I love still make their lives in that house. And it's the safest place I know of to ask hard and uncomfortable questions in.
Maybe those of us who wander aren't missing out on home so much as everyone thinks. Perhaps we're just lucky enough to have more than one.