Home has always been a tricky topic. For many years, I had too many homes and it split me up. After a while, I felt like I didn’t have any. I was always ungrounded and lacking roots.
Today’s prompt is to write a travel entry from your own home; to explore your place of quarantine like it’s a foreign land. I love the literal meaning of it, and I’ll write that version some day, but for now I’m reminded of my favorite prayer poem by Joyce Rupp. Its last lines go, “I search for Home, always for Home,/ Unaware of course, that I am already there.”
Simultaneously longing for and taking for granted your home. That’s something I understand more deeply than I can describe. I am too empty to achieve that same level of eloquence—or hopefulness—but I did want to pick up after it in some way. I want to write about Bahrain, the home I didn’t give the love I should have.
An Island I Imagined
Sometimes I pretend I still remember
I think of how thirst and sunlight must feel
With no wind or high-rise bringing relief
When I stand in the place I call home
I pretend I still know how the sand tastes
How the sea glows with the festival lights
Or how the island sleeps on winter nights
Like I never took it all for granted
In my memories, I still know the streets
Here’s the park where I last fell in love
The chapel where I struck a deal with God
The park where I learned I didn’t belong
Sometimes I pretend I gave it my all
I imagine how contentment must feel
With no regrets or ghosts or anxieties
No need to forget home to survive
“The Isolation Journals” is a 30-day quarantine creativity project. It was created by the brilliant Suleika Jaouad for the challenging occasion that is COVID-19. A different journaling prompt lands in my inbox every day for the month of April, each one from a different writer, artist, musician or thinker.
In Jaouad’s own words, “The goal of this is not to write the next King Lear or to churn out publishable masterpieces. It’s an opportunity to pause, take a few moments to exhale and reflect, and to expand our creativity as a community during this extremely challenging time.”
Entries are written first in my offline journal and then backposted to the blog as the date it was composed. Read all series posts from the beginning.
Today’s prompt is from writer and illustrator Mari Andrew.