There is more to home than pictures hung on a wall. And the difference between house and home is a gulf a million miles wide. When younger and more apt to carry a camera like some carry cigarettes, anxiously snapping shots anywhere, everywhere, I explored that gulf for myself. Creeping, crawling over busted beds, broken dolls, empty cabinets, all the refuse of homes abandoned to die as just a house, shells of what was, empty husks with their families shucked out.
Black and white and stark all over. These houses stand still today in photos on walls in places I stay barely long enough to hang them. Reminders of other places I’ve seen and more places I’ll be going and so much a reminder of where I stand now. These empty pictures on walls I do not lay claim to. I reside only in houses these days forgetting how a home feels. How home embraces you and cradles you. Home with its warmth and heart, a hearth for laying near, animals close, loved ones closer.
Home is family and love and safety and stability.
A house is roof and walls and floor.
And although I’ve been lucky more than once to even have that roof and walls,
I would feel so much luckier to have back my home and all it holds.
A home is more than pictures on a wall.
But for now it’s what I have.
It’s warm at night. And dry when it rains.
So I hang my pictures and surround myself with memories.
Books on shelves, pictures on walls.
I take comfort in these for now.
And I wake up tomorrow and keep searching for more.