Saturday, June 20, 2009

Home...I guess I'm already there

It's Refugee Week and a lovely meme is circulating the globe. Beginning in Scotland, Wendy via Johanna ask for three photos that represent “home”.

“Home” rouses complex emotions for me. I was born and raised in the same house til I left at 18 and began the semi-nomadic existence of a student/traveller/housemate. After living in Wellington, Sydney and London, on a third visit to Melbourne it was anointed as my home. Though oddly I can be "home" in New Zealand or Australia, yet homesick for something quite intangible. I often catch myself singing the melancholy lyrics of a Talking Heads song:

Home - is where I want to be
But I guess I'm already there

When you move to a different country on your own and live in a new place with no family, the concept of “home” changes. I am lucky; I did this through my own volition. What is more, I am free to go back to my birthplace and revisit my old life as well as the people in it, whenever I choose.

I have been privileged to get to know a number of political refugees - their lives threatened by brutal regimes, perilous journeys, not being welcome in a foreign land, finally gaining entry to another country with odd customs and an even stranger language, starting from scratch. I salute you! May Australia grow more tolerant and understanding, for it is a better country with you all in it.

What does home mean to me?

Wellington, New Zealand

These misty hills of green are my true home. I may kick against it sometimes but this is the landscape, the people and the culture that shaped who I am.

bricks and mortar

The roof and walls that create my own tiny home. I love this table best surrounded by people talking, laughing, eating soup.

loving creatures

A home is an empty shell without living creatures. The Significant Eater, our friends and the community provide the heart.

But lets be honest, it’s the cats that really welcome me home at the end of the day!

Please feel free to do this meme if it inspires you - three photos on the theme "what does home mean to you?" - check out Wendy's link above for more details.

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Blogger Ann oDyne said...

1. misty vistas gorgeous - a sense-of-place.
2. Table is beautiful, accessorised by very important cat underneath.
Photo looks glamorous-to-a-fault.
3. Yin/Yang cats just perfect too.

This year I have slept for more than a week at at least 6 different locations. no siblings. husband shot through decades ago. parents MIA, as are the 3 adult-children.
I am a refugee of a different kind.
No place has ever felt like 'home', although I do feel connected to the paddocks of The Western District and could drive through them full time and be happy.

Last year my contribution to Refugee Week was 8 hours of intense labour supporting a Sudanese Womens luncheon. It was so epic, I think I can run through this year on credit really.

6:01 pm  
Anonymous Esz said...

My father is a political refugee. You could say my brother, Mum and I are too though my Dad was the one that did the really risky thing of escaping his home country. We're from Romania and Dad escaped two years before Ceausescu was shot. We joined him only months before the end of the Communist regime.

I've also lived in Western Australia, Tasmania (where my parents are) and now Melbourne. Though I never felt at HOME until I first came to Victoria some 5 years ago - no other place holds quite the same connection. And it's funny because it is the place I have lived at for the shortest period of time.

6:46 pm  
Blogger Johanna said...

lovely and thoughtful post (no less than I expected) - will have to look up that talking heads song - beautiful views, good food and good company are the simple things that make a wonderful home - that table looks very welcoming and the cats seem so snuggly

10:55 am  
Anonymous Lucy said...

You know, this task very nearly stumped me. You, clever person, have encapsulated everything I wanted to say. (As Johanna says, I too expected no less!)

Think how empty our culinary lives would be without refugees... Beautiful, goose-bumpy post.

11:53 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Thanks for your lovely comments :) Though I think when I posted the link on facebook a friend who is indeed someone who the UNHCR rehomed across the world to a safer Haven in Australia summed it up the best when she answered the question "What does home mean to you?" with one word - Refuge.

Ms oDyne you are indeed a nomad and living proof of the less is more philosophy and you know there is a bed here for you in Melbourne when needed.

Esz - I'm loving all these lurkers coming out of the shadows and commenting lately :) Thanks for sharing your story.

Jo & Lucy :)

12:09 pm  
Blogger Wendy said...

Beautiful, beautiful post. Like Lucy said, your words about refugees said everything I wanted to but just couldn't find the words too.

And to finish on a ridiculously shallow comment - I want your kitchen!

4:34 am  
Blogger Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

What a lovely post, so well written and gorgeously presented.

My parents left Italy to start a new life here in Australia, a place where all the opportunities are available for their children. I'm entirely grateful to them for that opportunity. I can gladly say that I've always felt at home and never felt misplaced, I wish I could say the same for my parents. I saw how difficult it was for them to be away from their family and friends, and its a struggle that my mother continues to battle everyday.

11:35 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Thanks for all your lovely feedback, on and off blog about this post. I did not realize you'd find it so moving.

Wendy - thanks for the delightfully shallow comment too! Though when you realise the kitchen *is* the dinning room *and* the living room you might have second thoughts about wanting it. Very cosy - especially when it doubles as a feline bedroom (at one stage x4) as well!

4:37 pm  
Blogger Kate James said...

Lovely blog and this post especially.

9:05 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Thanks for coming by Kate :)

5:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:34 pm  

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