Sunday, 21 August 2011
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME…
I've always been troubled by the phrase or proverb:
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS.
It has an ambiguity that is open to misinterpretation, suggesting an unchanging and universal notion of home as 'a good thing', the saccharine view of the world that likes to portray ' the family' as all that is wonderful. If, like me, your experience of home and family life has not always been rosy, this phrase can acquire a sinister meaning, twisted into some kind of moral obligation:
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART SHOULD BE.
It's why I've always been concerned about the messages behind such films as 'The Wizard of Oz' and 'It's a Wonderful Life'. Should Dorothy and George really stay at home, meeting the expectations and demands of others, in effect denying their hearts? This would seem to discourage all enquiry, development and spirit of adventure.
It seems to me that a much more authentic reading of this phrase is possible, a wonderful unfolding of one of the great truths: that wholeness and fulfilment is to be found in seeing life as a continuing search, an evolutionary journey that never truly reaches its end.
With this interpretation we can re-write this as a glorious phrase that conveys its real, deeply spiritual meaning, of having found all that is worthwhile and meaningful in our existence:
WHERE IS THE HEART, THERE IS THE HOME.
Of course this may lead you to the same conclusion as the traditional version. But you have to make the journey in order to find out. Perhaps that's what those old Hollywood movie directors meant all along.