Home is where the heart is, home is where the music plays, home is where the food is at, home is the landing page for your social media and so on and so on.
So I started this, and thought to myself ‘Hey, if I’m back at this, I might as well kill any high expectations and start on a cliché’. The problem is that as far as home is concerned, there’s just far too many clichés.
Cosy, welcoming, safe, a well-stocked fridge. All well and good but over the years I have come back to questioning this very premise of what serves as a “home” for us, maybe more specifically to someone who is like me. And whose idea of home is one which I have had to revisit numerously having grown up identifying with more than one distinct place as my home.
A distinction that raises natural question in mind, especially on identity but also raises probing questions like the all time migrant favourite question “Where are you actually from”.
For me home is my parent’s residence, and/or the M&S Bakery, if they would just pull me out a bed there. It has been a place of provision born from the hard-work and sacrifices of my parents, but has also served as landing board, and safety wheels for my going out into the world.
And in recently reading a Ta’Nehisi (yes, Uncle Coates is a collective noun for the culture), I revisited some of my “thoughts” on how little emphasis and value, we seem to place on some things that lend to our futures. Things like home.
In a sense this was -loosely- what Ta’Nehisi was getting across; in that position, power and privilege do a good job of separating us from the struggle without those things. Well either that or we choose to forget. Where a person with authority might not place value or emphasis on the work of his underlings in securing their success, or a person with a measure of fame might not place value or emphasis in the work of his many fans in securing their success or a person with all of the comforts of a first world upbringing might not place emphasis on their unique opportunities in life towards securing their successes. And specifically for the latter, where the person places greater emphasis on things like their ambition, and their diligence.
I have been lucky in this life. And words do very little justice to the fact that so many others have not. The fate of hundreds of refugees and other migrants still rests in the balance as policies are still being debated and decided on and around the Mediterranean, and this could go one.
We live in a world where not everyone has a home. In this moment, I am especially grateful for mine.
Favourite Tweet by UN Secretary General @antonioguterres on twitter
Favourite Read still reading Slay in your Lane, but also a copy of the Weekend Guardian with an Obama Special