Nastos, an endless longing for home, for an archetypal abode of comfort and belonging whose reality is palpable even while we know there is no such place on earth.
Marlene Schiwy, Gypsy Fugue
What is it about home for me? Of course, there is the vagabond, the adventurer, the renovator, the restless change agent with serial careers, educations, partners, searching for the “abode of comfort and belonging”, good for a while but then inevitably the itching, the discontent, the seeing of holes in the story. A temporariness about life.
Is it not trusting that it will last? Getting in front of the inevitable abandonment? That’s part of it perhaps. I felt abandoned as a child. My mother, pictured here, wanted to be an artist, or out dancing, partying, not stuck with three little kids and her husband’s elderly mother. Or at least that’s the story I’ve told myself. It makes some sense as it allows me to be a seeker, a yearner for home.
But what if that’s not it? What else is here? Maybe I entered the world feeling abandoned by my spiritual home, not ready to be here, not wanting this home and yearning to be back, safe, without suffering. Did I know this was a ‘life sentence’ at some level? I do have the sense I arrived angry, a mad as hell little creature who wasn’t at home and was not to be comforted.
So my mother, then, was not the abandoner. She was the rescuer, the comforter, provider for my needs in this world where I didn’t belong. She was in a sense the victim, not the perpetrator and I was inconsolable. Wow! What a dark witch!!
If that’s so, then the search, the sadness, the yearning for home is something I cannot have here on earth. I am destined to wander, to seek and not find, lament and rage and hunger for what I can never have, to suffer until the return and gift of death. I can find a kind of home here if I understand it is not ultimate or infinite, always partial and temporary. I can begin to understand the dark feminine in me that disrupts, destroys, is careless and selfish and demanding in my search for what I can’t have. I have lived my life as a temper tantrum, like a two-year old, dedicated to my own path despite the consequences for myself and others. I have been running my baby carriage into the wall, a story often told of me as a toddler, all my life.
What are the consequences then of this hidden dark path? Restlessness, hunger, inability to really love, to trust another, or even myself? Always looking for what’s NOT there, at some level knowing it’s not right, not whole. This dark feminine, my dark sister, has been bubbling below the surface and erupting when the pressure built without my even knowing it. My vagabond has been running away from life and love as well as seeking adventure and discovery. I have told myself countless times, perhaps home is just around the corner – a new job, new interest, new relationship, out there somewhere waiting if I just persist, adapt, keep looking.
So now after a long dark passage and a reunion with my dark inner sister, I know home is not out there, it’s in here, as good as it gets. What does that teach me? To acknowledge and honour the dark feminine energy but not let it drive me, to bring it into balance and wholeness. To allow both the gypsy and the settler, the permanent and sustaining as well as the transient and temporary, and to know they are interwoven, inseparable, the darkness and the light as opportunity in every moment.