I was clearing out our tiny study space the other day and came across bits and pieces of notebook-writing from sessions with a friend about six years ago. One of the things we did was to have a pick-and-mix of words, and I think this piece probably came from the word 'Home'. We used to go back and underline bits afterwards, for whatever reason. I have kept those in.
The question of how to keep the fire burning is ongoing:
I still don't know where it is. Am only just beginning to feel that England may after all be it, because after all, where else? Germany - but we were nearly wiped out there, and home should never be in a place where they once tried to kill you off. And anyway, this is where I am - this England, this particular village which I may or may not move from. I have a restlessness inside that both looks for home and seeks to avoid it. I want roots, to feel connected to a place, yet I don't want to be tied and constrained, unable to leave in case a move kills me. You have to be careful with roots. P (friend) always talks of renewing the ancient hearth. He has a ready-made hearth, one that he also tends, at (place of work). My hearth is where I light my candle or, failing that, where I come alight in a group of people with something to share that is more than just a box of chocolates. Though, a box of chocolates can be a hearth too, for a few minutes, and perhaps in this time and place we can't expect more than a series of temporary homes and hearths. The I Ching has told me, The wanderer has no place to lay his head; and once I wrote, I lay my head on my lover's shoulder, it smells of grass and reminds me of home.
When you lose a lover, a marriage partner, a close friend, you feel a sense of exile. The lay of the land is suddenly different. I feel this all the time, the ground shifting beneath my feet; also, the fear of coming home to oneself and no fire in the hearth, no lamp lit, nothing to eat. I have my own hut, and a good one too, but the walls have gaps in them where the wind whistles through and I forget to bring in the wood so I have something to burn, to make fire with. Without fire, no home.