homelessnesslessnessless

it isn’t even fair to say the word.

but i have my own version of it:
i always have

it used to be funny….where i was at home.

more happy when alone with the doors locked tight behind me in the music practice rooms of high school
22 cubic feet of concrete and a shit upright
more at home there than in the giant living room of my house with lurking humans in the kitchens, the bedrooms….

human ears – probably not even listening, who knew – that invaded a sense of freedom

DON’T LISTEN TO ME

i didn’t want anyone listening

(funny given how desperate i was, in general, to be heard)

BUT LOVE ME

i remember this being a problem in general – the messages always mixed

i remember my first solo piano show – that was a dark one – that room i played in, for 20 people, it was living-room-y
carpeted, grand piano, grandeur
i was so afraid

and my friend will greene was doing sound for me
there was barely a system at all, but i wanted to record that show to four-track – to have a record of it

and we tweaked the sound and once we got it right
will stayed while i practiced and pulled out a book
and my face started burning
and i couldn’t stand the idea of him sitting there
READING
while i practiced and ran through my set : my songs
the ones that nobody had ever heard

and i banished him

i think i said something to the effect of

if you’re not actually listening to me, can you just leave?

oh, amanda

classic

home growing up my room was a temple
everyone was banished and the walls were covered from floor to ceiling with an ever-growing collage
most of the images were meaningless – cut out of magazines
newspapers
old lost mix tape covers
ex-boyfriend cigarette boxes
xeroxed of drawings
shells the envelopes that housed love letters
secrets that only i could uncode
all stuck up there with scotch tape over the course of years
and years
and years

my parents recently stripped the walls

a few weeks ago

they didn’t warn me.
i was really angry.

i would have come to say goodbye, to have my moment with the last artifacts of my childhood
i would have pulled each relic down, one by one, remembering the stories

but sometimes we don’t get the long-drawn-out cancer
we get the heart attack

and we don’t get time to say goodbye

my mother went above and beyond and photographed the walls before they stripped them

and sent the photos in 16 emails that are sitting in my inbox that i cannot open

and….

i mean

seriously amanda

some peoples houses burn down….

STFU.

i remember when anthony’s mother jackie died and they had to sell the house

he’d grown up there and even lived there for a few years as an adult during a crazytime

he said

we’ve lost

homebase

that point to which he and his brother would always return –
the scene of the crime (and you’ll get that more if you’ve read his book, but whatever)

but still:

home nonetheless

every memory i lose leaves me a little loster
every stranger in my personal space leaves me a little more homeless

and so that’s the hilarious part

i feel more at home in a cafe where i know i can look up and see the same disfigured pipes

or the same portrait of jimi hendrix
than i do in a lonely invadable space

than i do in a hotel room belonging to the disconnected souls of yesterday and tomorrow
than i do with you if you’re not listening to me

and i’m writing this TED talk and going blah blah blah blah about risk and shame and my noble ability
to surf on every couch and connect at the deepest levels of trust with a crowd of intimate strangers

but man FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FUCK if you actually cross my lines and pry into the box of privacy that i must keep locked

the more i share, the more i live publicly, the more couches upon which i surf, the more dressing rooms i must share with 15 others

the more desperately i need retreat
the more i need the sanctuary
the more i need a holy place of total privacy, of safety

and
funny enough
that doesn’t mean a place with no people.

you see
privacy and safety
to me
don’t mean

alone.

it is why i don’t feel invaded when a stranger approaches me

but why i do when a loved one knocks at the wrong time when the do not disturb sign is up.

always been that way.

i’ve been sitting in the car lately, outside the house, listeneing to NPR and talking on the phone for hours in my coat and hat and gloves

i feel safer.

who said that?

oh, gary.

Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It’s the only way to live
In cars

Here in my car
I can only receive
I can listen to you
It keeps me stable for days

so, yeah, i like sitting in the car more than being in the house.

it’s safer.

i remember that feeling i got ….

i was in college, or just out

and i’d been to a family funeral that left me feeling so alone, so lost, so unloved, so disconnected that i wept the whole drive to new york in my shitty volvo

i was staying with friends that night – but barely friends, college acquaintances, a handful of poets and musicians that i’d spent some times with – in a strange loft

and i found the joint, walked up the many stairs and into a wooden church of company

wine was poured, i shed a few more tears, told them how sad i was, how tired, how lost

and my poet friend set me up on a futon in the other room, and pointed a space heater at my head (the loft was cold)

and he wrapped me in a blanket

and as the space heater blasted rays of warmth onto my body and the blanket shrouded me
he walked back into the main kitchen
where 3 people played guitar and laughed
and sang
and talked

and their voices sent me off to sleep

and i felt
perfectly

alone

and perfectly

at home.

i like being alone around people.

we all need to find home

and

it isn’t a house
but it can be

it isn’t a cafe
but it can be

it isn’t a relationship
but it can be

it is a space you must define

and only you know what it is

and only you know what it looks like.

i don’t have any songs for you….
i’m not sure where they are

i’ve only written two new songs in the past two years.

all i have for you right now is this blog.

it’ll have to be enough.

i’m homeless right now.

and i need to get home.

i want to get home.

i have to get home.

i have to get home.

there’s no place like home.

that’s where the music comes from.

Back to Blog
  • Erin

    Wow. This is beautiful.

  • http://twitter.com/KateDelaurier Kate DeLaurier

    Last year, my parents literally tore down the room that my dad had built for me in the basement. That’s when I realized that I can’t go home anymore.
    There’s no space for me.
    And it’s terrifying because that means I HAVE to succeed out here.
    But it also means that I never get to go back and remember being thirteen and laying in my tiny room, listening to music way too loud.
    It breaks my heart.

    • http://twitter.com/jennmercerFE Jenn Mercer

      There is a freedom in that as well. I remember that when I *really* left home – after leaving for college and moving into an apartment, I took everything of mine that was not nailed down. It gave me the feeling that I had reestablished the gravity somehow and would not be torn between two places.

      • http://twitter.com/LittleJanelleS Janelle Sheetz

        I’m living on my own right now for the first time and while I go back to my parents’ a lot, I am creating a home for myself. Or at least I’m trying to or figuring out how to or practicing for the future or something.

        The first few nights I spent in my apartment, I felt like I was in a hotel. Now I feel like this place is truly mine.

        • http://twitter.com/KateDelaurier Kate DeLaurier

          A lot of times, after I come home from traveling a lot I just feel like I’m just visiting

    • cherielkins

      I know what you mean. There is no way for me to live there anymore either, now that my sister has my old room. Mom turned HER old room into a sewing room. But we’ll make it, Kate! <3

  • cherielkins

    My little sister now lives in the room I had until the age of 22, back home. But every time I visit my family and stand in what is now my sister’s room, I still feel like it’s my room. It’ll always be my room, no matter who lives there.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnMCoons John Coons

    I was recently called out by a friend – “How can you talk about your sex life in front of people in your one man show, and then shut down when I ask you something that seems completely trivial?”

    Do we get to chose our privacies? I don’t know. I think they choose us.

    “I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other.” – Rilke

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      yes yes yes

  • http://twitter.com/marajade13 Mara Jade

    I am eternally grateful that you opened up enough to share so much of yourself with us, Amanda.
    Really.
    Each and every day you touch me with your songs, with your art, and with your blog.
    It inspires me more than you can ever know, and has really helped me manage some extremely awful shit in my life.

    Thank you

  • http://twitter.com/MynteValkyrje Birte Valkyrje

    Home is where the love is and we all love you so very, very much. *Internet hug*

  • Jo

    I am sitting here in front of my keyboard (musical) with my other keyboard (typing) on my lap. I love to sing, I love to play. Music is my home. But as soon as I hear someone walking along the corridor outside this room, I stop. I don’t want anyone to hear me. Sure, I want to be a rock star. I want the world to hear my music, love me, chant my name but for the love of God please don’t listen to me practise.

    I hope you find home soon, Amanda. Wherever it is for you, I’m sure the key is waiting under the mat.

  • aflyingkiwi

    Love you, Amanda.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MissMandala Mandi Blahey

    This blog is more than enough Amanda. For some of US, it’s home. It’s where we finally found our connection. Our people, who are alone, on the other side of that screen, that phone, that whatever they read this on. Perfectly, quietly, alone, with all these others. It’s poetically, connectedly, right.

  • Sabrina

    I still have a hard time knowing where my true home is. Thank you for this.

  • http://ashshields.tumblr.com/ Ash Shields

    I forcibly moved out of home last March, at the age of 17, because my mother decided to move to another city for the hundredth time. I told her that I wasn’t willing to leave everything behind again, so I stayed. That in itself is okay. It has been good.

    But in the process of moving out I had to disassemble my wall – a collection of drawings and writings and photos and poetry, partially my creations, partially things I’d collected. Every single thing had some huge important relevance, and a lot of them linked in to trinkets and memories I kept hidden away in boxes and folders, things that have only ever been shown to one person (and that turned out to be a mistake).

    The wall is currently in a box underneath the bed I am sitting on right now. Partially because I don’t have room, but I feel that the proper reason is that I can’t bring myself to recreate that. It’s both so ethereal and solid – it could only ever have existed in that one room, a room I was only in for six months, a room I didn’t particularly like, but only that room nonetheless.

    But yesterday I put the first thing up on the new wall. A poster my closest friend had made for me. On the surface, to outsiders, something trivial – a reference to an anime we both watch. But I had seen the poster in the background of an episode, laughed at it (it is rather nonsensical) and jokingly mentioned that I’d love one. So she made it, and it’s now one of my prized possessions.

    Home is growing and developing. Occasionally it feels lost – I sure know that. Home right now isn’t the caravan I live in, isn’t even the city I live in. It’s the people I’m with, even with my love of being alone, it’s being with the people that matter that make me feel at home. And I’d never felt like that until I moved out of the “family” home, or perhaps even later than that. It’s a recent change, but one I like. For me, there’s no better place to have my home.

    You will find your place, wherever and whatever it may be. I know that. I am sure of it. It may be a slow realisation – one day you may look at yourself and see that you have been home for a while now. It may be a sudden change. Either way, it will come, whether you look for it or not. Nothing is ever lost.

    Much love.

    (PS/side-note: It’s been a year since I got to play with you in Wellington, almost exactly. I visited the friends I made at that show a couple of days ago, and it was wonderful. Friends made for the long run. That night changed a lot, and it’s something I’m ever grateful for. Thank you.)

  • http://amythewicked.wordpress.com/ Amelia E. Adler

    I’m still in this period of my life where I have two homes. I still feel at home when I go back to my parents’ place, but I also feel at home when I go back to the place I rent in the city where I study.
    Which means I’m always going back home. Whether I’m traveling from Kraków, where I study, to Chorzów, where I was born and raised, or the opposite way, I’m always going back home. And I have to say, it feels awesome. I wouldn’t want to lose that ever.

    By the way Amanda, that’s the most lyrical post I’ve seen you write in quite a while. Beautiful. Makes me kinda nostalgic in the good way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=825794088 Tim Buchanan

    The song is written, waiting to be arranged. Home has always been there, waiting for your heart.

  • http://twitter.com/YogiKai kai charles

    Ah! Amanda! I’m reading this in my car ironically :) This is my first Monday after losing a job location. I feel lost, afraid , angry, relieved to finally be gone from there desperate for something new. Yet through it all I’m coming home to myself, and I’m doing it alone which core parts of me rage and rail against but other parts are waking up, stretching, ready to be a warrior ready for change. Much love to you.

  • http://danceinblue.com/ Monica

    I just started crying at my computer. I’m at work. I kind of don’t care. This is beautiful, and yes. I think this is that thing I feel sometimes when I can’t create. I’m out of place, out of space, out of time. It’s misplaced, something or other. I don’t have that home, that safe place, but when I do, even if I’m not there, as long as I know where/what it is, I can. … I hope you find yours soon. <3

  • mischiani

    When you first wake up in the morning, before you’ve opened your eyes, which surroundings do you expect to see?

  • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

    “my noble ability to […] connect at the deepest levels of trust with a crowd of intimate strangers”

    This remind me of a sentence that made me think, from Björk’s latest album:

    “My romantic gene is dominant, and it hungers for union:
    universal intimacy, all embracing”

    I often want this. Some ideal state in which I can walk around with no shield on, forever, everywhere. Not that I am often in full armor. I’m not hiding secrets. I’m not in the closet. But my romantic gene is more or less always dominant and I just really want to fuse in a huge hug with existence itself.

    Yet at the same time, I have periods of time in which I really don’t want to see anyone. I instantly know when I’m on these moods, and I they’re the main reason why I wish I didn’t live with my parents. I love them, but I’d love them better if I didn’t HAVE TO interact with them. I dream of a future in which I can spend a day without talking to anyone if I don’t want to. I think it’d actually make me enjoy company time more, because my wish for loneliness would have some sort of closure.

    Then I’d be able to spend the rest of my days being in love with the people in my life.

  • quietly loud

    hang in there and value your friends who you really know. they do love you even though you think they don’t. we’re just voices in the wind and goofballs at the clubs.

  • http://elliedi.com/ Ellie Di

    I’ve got the wanderlust – bad – but the feelings of home and homelessness haunt me in equal measure. It’s so strange to desperately want to be rootless and wandering, yet at the same time madly craving a place to belong. I’m learning to cultivate home within me. So far, it’s not working too well. But it gets easier every year.

  • fenhueisen

    I whole-heartedly identify with how you feel. That need of “home” when “home” is not a physical place. My dad had to transfer a lot when I was little so I never lived in a house for more than 3 years. I developed “expiration date friends” since I knew I would eventually leave and never see them again. This follows me to this day, after 15 years of not moving anywhere else.

    Home looks like books, sounds like oldies music in car rides and my sister’s laughter, feels like my dad’s old brown wooly sweater, smells like my mom’s makeup kit… Home is never one place or one thing. Now home feels like my husband’s embrace when I’ve had a bad day, tastes like a cold beer with an old friend. Home changes, but you always KNOW home ’cause it’s a feeling that is embedded in your heart and soul.

  • Elise

    Dear Home,

    You missed a lot after you left.

    You weren’t there when I had to pack up our life. Everything I owned went in two places, a box or a dumpster. I was numb. I didn’t care what went in the box and what went in the dumpster. All I knew was that you left me and there was nothing that I wanted.

    “Elise, let’s go through the old toy box.” Or “Elise, let’s go through your closet.” My mom would sit me down and we would trash my childhood. Little toys that I used to play with, stuffed animals that I hadn’t
    seen in years were being put in plastic bags to be given to away. I wanted to yank them from suffocation and hold them. I wanted to fall asleep in a pile of bears, and kittens, and dogs and bunnies and a Piglet. They are all gone now. Just like you.

    The stuffed animals were in a plastic green bucket. When I was a small child, I would
    throw all the plush animals out of their plastic prison and liberate
    them all over the floor. Then I would grab the bucket and drag it
    down the stairs letting it bang on each of the steps. After calling
    my brother into the room, we would wedge ourselves in the bucket. My
    long blonde hair would stick to the sides with static electricity. We
    would sit in the cell of plastic and whisper secrets to each other
    and giggle.

    As my things began to disappear, I started forget what you looked like. You were no
    longer in the warm sun coming through my living room window. You
    disappeared from the creaking floor. Your voice was no longer mingled
    among the loud neighborhood lawn mowers. Suddenly, my house was
    empty and I couldn’t bring up any memories that I shared with you.
    There were only echoes in that house. With every foot step, I thought
    you were coming back, but everything bounced back into my ears and I
    remembered that the house was empty. You were gone.

    You were talking about leaving when my dad got his new job and moved there a year
    earlier. I thought they were only ideas. I thought you loved me more
    than to leave. You were still here when they started taking the boxes
    to the new house. I was scared, and you were still blabbering on
    about leaving.

    My family was excited to move. My dad was just excited to have his
    family living with him again after a year of rattling around in an
    empty house like a marble in a shoe box. My brother loved packing up
    his room. He loved going through the things that had hadn’t seen
    since he was five. He threw them away without a second thought. He
    was always going on about the big room that he could use for all his
    music equipment. My mom just wanted to be a family again.

    I wanted to tell them that you left. I tried several times. They just
    told me that I was being selfish and I should be looking forward to
    starting over again. Think of it as an adventure, they said. It was
    the summer before college and I was going to somewhere completely
    new. They told me I should be excited.

    Sometimes, I think they told you to leave.

    Everything came crashing down one day. The house was empty. I had been sweeping the
    barren rooms all morning.

    “Why don’t you want to move, Elise?” I remember my dad asking. We were sitting on
    the porch; the summer sun was pounding through the windows. My mom
    had her mouth open slightly, ready to talk at any moment. My dad
    looked at me with wide eyes just waiting for me to answer. I told
    them that I was miserable. That I was feeling alone. I told them that
    you had left me and I was so, so empty. Everything was alien to me
    after you ripped yourself from my life.

    “Why don’t you love us?” They asked me, “Isn’t family enough for you?” I
    love them. You know that I love them. I told them a thousand times
    that I loved them. They just couldn’t understand why I was upset.
    Home is where your family is, they told me. Home was where your
    family was supposed to be. I wanted to believe that. But in reality,
    I was tearing myself away from them. I didn’t know why. Maybe it
    was the seventeen year old in me being selfish, not wanting to give
    up the rooms that I had grown up in. The selfish part of me that was
    willing to drive a stake between myself and the people that loved me
    most for a place that would be meaningless without them. You were no
    longer a definable thing. You were all the things I had lost.

    I wanted to run. I remember standing in the empty space that used to be the living room.
    My dad was yelling. There were words, but I forgot them. I just
    remember how his voice echoed. My mom and dad backed me into a corner
    and yelled at me. When I tried to get away, my mom grabbed my arm and
    pushed me back. Who were these people? My parents were understanding,
    they listened to what I had to say with calm even voices. These
    people were strangers. I was trapped. I wanted out. I covered my ears
    and hoped it would be over. Everything was so much louder in that
    empty room.

    Then there was a voice louder than theirs. They went silent, and I realized I was
    screaming. No words. Just one long drawn out scream. It filled the
    house and then when I closed my mouth there was nothing.

    I ran. I broke away from my parents and ran out the door and down the street. It wasn’t
    until I made it to the park that I began to sob. For the first time
    since we began emptying the house, I cried and I couldn’t stop. I
    was alone. I sat in the woods and felt like my house. Empty.

    Two hours later, I walked back into my house. We all pretended that nothing happened. We
    all went back to packing. We still haven’t talked about it. It
    weighs down on me to this day. I have forgiven them, but I will never
    forget the feeling of being trapped in an empty room.

    I needed you. Why did you leave?

    • http://twitter.com/emsquarenc James Michael

      Remarkable.
      I’ve only felt a shadow of what you have written but I know what you write about.
      People, places and things.
      I never expected life to be as transitory as what it is.
      I miss most my girlfriends of years past.
      And I cannot believe that we are not even so much as friends anymore.
      There is something highly offensive about that.
      A betrayel of deep friendship and connection forever shattered.
      It is written that ‘You can’t go home again’.
      Is this true?
      I cannot say for sure.
      I surely appreciate what you have written.
      Thank you.

    • Ashe

      That was incredibly sad and beautiful. I am envious of the way you are able to write and share your own emotions like that, but nonetheless thank you so much for sharing.

  • Amanda, as well.

    Over-sharing
    Five years ago, my mother sold the family home. And I was given plenty of warning, got the precious things out (that now reside in a box, in an attic, in a country I no longer call “home”). I was more angry that toward the end, she treated this place, which for all intents and purposes may have been a member of the family to us, like a burden. Like the sibling who can’t quite live on their own in the real world, or worse, like the invalid maiden aunt. And the day she handed the keys over I felt like an orphan. Didn’t she realise that room is where I overcame huge obstacles? Where I discovered my love of reading and painting (as the paint stained floors held testament)? Where I became a woman and learned the ways of love? I felt really exposed, and immediately started searching for my own family home. Somewhere I could shut the door and keep the people I love safe in. Sometimes I want to go back to that once decaying turn of the century-didn’t-fit-with-the-aesthetic-of-the-town house and just hug the sides of it. Because I’m sure as anything that when we lived there, I was the only one who loved it.
    Thanks.

  • kmwilliams

    “every memory i lose leaves me a little loster”

    I read that as “a little lobster”.

    I wish every time I lost something a little lobster would show up, maybe waving his little claws, telling me not to worry about it…

    • Me

      I think I’ve actually met that lobster.

      I went out to a concert at Brighton Music Hall in Boston, and ended up missing the train I wanted and deciding to catch the #1 bus home. Had to walk quite a ways to get to the bus stop on the corner of Newbury Street and Mass Ave. It was well after midnight. For some reason there was a man sitting on the median taking pictures of an old shoe as cars whizzed by on either side of him. It was just one of those strange moments where you start wondering how you got where you are, why am I standing here alone in the middle of the night watching a man take pictures of an old shoe and worrying that he’s about to get hit by a car? Anyway, I turned my head and there, sitting on the bus stop sign, at eye level, was this little stuffed toy lobster, just hanging out, I guess he was waiting for the same bus. It kind of cheered me up, anyway.

    • http://www.facebook.com/coinoperatedbear Steven Smashy Barker

      That may well prompt a drawing.

      • http://twitter.com/AlexandraBecker Alexandra Becker

        I want to see it when it’s done!

        • http://www.facebook.com/coinoperatedbear Steven Smashy Barker

          http://instagram.com/p/VGHKBvRGjn/

          here you go. oddly enough I learned this lesson from Neil’s The Sandman.

          • miserichik

            That’s just awesome. Louis the lobster of Loss. That’s a story right there.

          • http://www.facebook.com/coinoperatedbear Steven Smashy Barker

            Perhaps we should build a short story collection following Louis :D

          • miserichik

            That would be awesome!

          • kmwilliams

            I’m a little bit in love with you now.

            *lots of lost lobster love*

            x

          • http://www.facebook.com/coinoperatedbear Steven Smashy Barker

            Aww shucks, thanks :D

  • http://twitter.com/hudsonkmusic Hudson K

    Amanda. I met you for the first time in New York at your NYE show. I traveled all the way from Knoxville to see you. On an airplane. I want you to know, that through all the airports and cab rides and train rides and basements…at your show…i felt at home.

    And I met my friend Tony there. He had his picture made with you. That made him very happy. Which in turn made me happy.

    And our home becomes our tribe. Wherever that tribe may be. The music is the glue. The attractor. The seducer.

    And so we make music. And laughter. And we create our stories that way.

    Without people who live with their insides on the outsides, we would all be crushed under the weight of that loneliness.

    you are the space heater.

    For so many people.

    • http://allthecheri.tumblr.com/ Cheri Elkins

      I live in Knoxville! :D AFP friends. <3

  • Lizzie

    This put into words what has constantly been on my mind lately.
    And I don’t think I have one, in a place or in a person, but these little fleeting moments of self recognition and friendship and love and belonging that the internet brings make me feel like I can find it. Like there are things and people and places better and more hopeful, more loving and understanding than what is around me every day, and there’ll be a time after I leave school and move out when I can live in ‘home’, whatever that is. Except the feeling that there’s a much better existence out there is sort of saddening, because it makes the mundane and the everyday a bit less bearable, the knowing that there’s a place where the music comes from.

  • http://neversaynikki.tumblr.com Nikki

    I think home is anything you can leave without really feeling like you’ve left at all.

    The thing you can go back to. Or the thing you don’t have to go back to if you don’t want to. I don’t know — I just left “home” this year and I do miss the house more than anything. Big tree house in the middle of the woods, outside paint never got finished, basement built around an excavated rock face, east-side wall of nothing but windows to watch the sun rise over the lake, and Mom and Dad are gonna sell it soon.

    But it wasn’t home, I don’t think. I could never write there. And I can’t write here to save my life. It doesn’t feel safe, or real.

    I can only figure that art comes from parts of us that are always working, but parts that just aren’t always making themselves known.

    I wish I could tell you that we are your home, but I don’t know if that’s even worse. We are only so many faceless followers who turn up intermittently in your life, and that’s not really a home unless you want to make it one — and maybe you have been making it one for a long time, and now it’s not enough.

    But you should know that other people have found their home here. And that it will always be yours if and when you need it or want it. And that you are still creating beautiful things, like this. And that the music is doubtlessly still being created somewhere, and maybe just isn’t ready to make itself known yet. Like you in your practice rooms. Doesn’t mean it’s not good. It just means it’s not ready.

    • http://twitter.com/size4riggers size4riggerboots

      “I think home is anything you can leave without really feeling like you’ve left at all.” Yes! I feel this every day :)

  • disqus_NQvnp0an6J

    stood next to you at your los angeles private show with my best friend… felt alone… wanted to say that i love you and your work has meaning… and only was able to murmer i really like your opening bands… thank you for your courage. – the guy at the roxy who knew who klaus nomi was.

  • http://twitter.com/revsean revsean

    beautiful. haunting. familiar. thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/katrinagalore Katrina Galore

    Slowly but surely, I am making my home at the firehouse…

  • myself

    Always amazes me how much smaller my childhood bedroom seems whenever I see it now, even though it’s almost a storeroom these days. It’s always so much bigger in my memory, even though I was an adult when I moved out

  • http://twitter.com/bamahippie1 Marleah Blades

    I always feel strange commenting on intimate blogs of people I’ve never met. I know little of the world and less of the people in it, and that leaves me feeling naked and terrified. You make yourself naked, you lay yourself out, and I don’t know you, so I don’t really understand it, but I envy your courage to do it, and God I respect it. There is no greater honesty than to lay yourself bare and say, here I am. Look.

    I hope you find what you need. I hope the journey there makes you stronger.

  • http://twitter.com/Gadgetosis David Malcolm Shein

    Virginia Woolf described Shakespeare once as “the unblinking eye,” and you have that. The ability to stare unflinchingly (and/or note the flinches) at the painful oddness which we are all so full of. Thank you for all of your hard sweetness. I feel less alone reading and listening to your work, flopped on your mental futon and soaking up your warmth.

    • http://twitter.com/KlementineBS Klementine Sander

      That’s such a wonderful way of putting it. Thank you.

  • lotta

    yeah, I feel homeless too even if I have two homes – the real one in my hometown and the flat where I live for two years in a city where is my college. and I don’t belong anywhere anymore. home is a state of mind and I have lost it along the way. i started to understand more and to see more. situation of my home and my past started to irritate me and I don’t enjoy getting back there. as long as i won’t accept my past and who my parents are I won’t feel comfortable there. it’s a matter of time. my second “home” also isn’t the place where i find peace and comfort. don’t always enjoy living there. i feel alone even when there’s 5 person around. i usually feel that way. in crowded rooms, cities, small groups, it’s such a human experience. existential loneliness. i realized there is no escape for me, no psychological home in physical form. i only found that future is a hope and home for me and i see myself there. but it doesn’t exist so state of my mind isn’t stable. I wish you to feel more at home anywhere where life will get you and I love you Amanda. you are giving me substitute of home through your persona.

  • gabakulka

    All my life I’ve been searching for “my tribe”. And now I think the feeling of the greatest alone-ness is when you’re at the verge of it, and the very border between you and the people you consider your spiritual family, and you realise there’s no way to really cross the border. Maybe you feel the most homeless around people closest to you, because it’s them that make you realise no matter how close you get, you’re separate. Not sure if this is on topic. Many, many hugs, Amanda. Thank you.

  • just me

    I have a home, it is where my husband is. It sounds so codependent, but its not. Its beautiful and fun and we could spend every minute of every day together for the rest of eternity and it wouldn’t be enough. But he is in the military, and in Afghanistan, and I have my house and my dog and all of our belongings, all of our STUFF, but I’m not home. And I won’t be for a long time.

    • wiccabasket

      This touched me, and I wanted to acknowledge it. Because although I am not in the same position as you, there are times where I do not see my husband, and everywhere feels a little bit empty and cold.

    • http://twitter.com/LittleJanelleS Janelle Sheetz

      It doesn’t sound codependent at all. I’m not married, but this discussion has made me realize that my ties are almost entirely to people and not places. My boyfriend might be taking a job three hours away, and I have no second thoughts about picking up and going with him–except for leaving behind friends and family.

      But I have been there with the military–my dad deployed three times when I was a teenager, my boyfriend’s brother is leaving for the Marines in two weeks, and my best friend’s husband left a week ago for training with the Navy. My dad and I don’t get along very well, but it completely changes what home is.

      • http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.paes.7 Stéphanie Paes

        or maybe codependence is not that bad after all… I’m also like you. I’m not quite sure that the company of my loved ones is my only way home, but it one, at least. I’m the type of woman that’s is her room but the door is almost always open so she can listen to the house movements. That even though she dosen’t like to wake up early in the morning,likes to hear the sounds of her mother in the kitcken, preparing the breakfast. Those signs of people’s presence. They don’t really need to be by my side. They just need to be there, somewhere around. It’s enough to make me feel safe. I’m definitely not the lonely-by-choice type. I can’t imagine myself in this position…

        • http://twitter.com/LittleJanelleS Janelle Sheetz

          I can relate to that, too. When I lived in a house with three roommates, my room was in a refinished section of the basement, and I spent most of my time there. But when I heard someone up and about, I’d emerge.

        • http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.paes.7 Stéphanie Paes

          ouch! I mispelled some words up there and i don’t even know how i did it. lol i’m sorry and i hope it didn’t bother you as it bothered me. :)

    • CMH

      I understand this completely. My wife’s job requires her to travel quite a lot (though thankfully never in harm’s way…I’m not sure I could cope with that. You’re amazing in that respect.) and our house just doesn’t seem like home when she isn’t around.

  • DefaultAllyson

    This hurt so much to read. Words have never been my strong point, I’m really more of an images and feelings type and this expressed a lot of how I’ve been feeling. I have spent soo much time curled up in my bed crying that I wanted to go home while I’m in the house I’ve lived in for most of my life. I haven’t created anything I really loved since college, when I had a studio space to use. I miss how quiet the studio was at night and how alive it was during the day while it was full of people. I haven’t had that in 4 years and I feel so broken. It’s so hard to work where I live and no one ever seems to understand that and I don’t want to share what I’ve drawn until I’m happy enough with it that nothing you can say (or silently imply) will change my feelings about it. I don’t want anyone to ask how I’m doing on my projects, I’ll tell them when there is something worth telling. I just want so much to feel alone and have a someplace that feels safe and protected from everyone else that is not only when i am asleep/dreaming.

  • http://twitter.com/BerenWeil Beren Weil

    It’s weird. I haven’t lived at “home” for nearly 20 years, but when my mom casually mentioned maybe on one visit going through the few boxes I have on the top shelf of my old closet (everything else of mine has long since been moved out to make room for mom’s hat boxes and grandma’s winter clothing), and I got really upset about it – mom has the whole house, why can’t I still have that lousy shelf – which she can’t even reach on a step stool, anyway?

    I have a place to live, and sometimes it’s even home (with two preschool boys, it vacillates between light chaos and full on FEMA worthy destruction), but having that ONE SHELF in my childhood home seems SO VERY IMPORTANT.

  • Mia

    I feel there are things and persons and memories, that are home. My old stuffed bunny, representing one of the first times I made my decistion, and didn’t just accept one that others made for me. A neclace, which is the memory of a time I stood up for myself in the darkest of times and let my passions win over my fear. Dried flowers, a gift from a lover. A wish, that I will make come trie once. People I love and that love me and REALLY SEE ME (that’s the not really listening part), that I can go back to. Memories of good things and days.
    I’m sure you have them as well, or can recall them. There won’t have to be many, and sometimes they are forgotten, but that’s home, somehow.

    • Mia

      Thought about it a little longer. The most important part is not to be invisible. If people SEE YOU, HEAR YOU, if you want to.

  • http://twitter.com/DirtyCarrie Caroline Willis

    I feel this way too, quite a bit. Strangers don’t really see you, they see what you’ve said with your face and your clothes, and they see what they hear with their history and their assumptions and their wishes, but it’s all so quiet when it’s a stranger.
    When you know the person, they’ve seen and heard every version of you for a hundred lifetimes, and they can barely hear you over the weight of your past glories and idiocies. It’s so loud, all that shouting history. Valuable, and important, but LOUD.

  • http://twitter.com/EpidemicZero Kristen Maloney

    My house did burn down, almost 6 years ago.

    They told me it wasn’t too bad – I was away at art school in Manhattan.

    I came back to see it the day after. I took pictures, as many as I could before my arms gave out. I didn’t cry. My room was melted. What they meant by “Not too bad” was – “our stuff isn’t too bad”. They didn’t tell me my young art career had melted. That my safe places were ash. That they threw away my dead grandfather’s favorite armchair in the wreckage. The little things I could remember him by.

    He’s been dead 15 years today.

    I tattooed “Home” on my chest a few years ago because I realized that idea of safety and comfort, the house I remembered, the place I wanted back was gone. I knew that I had to make my own safety, find my own quiet places, and be “at home” somewhere else. I’ve not yet found it.

    But even cafes change. Cars break down. People walk away. I moved to find new homes, or to make this new one seem right when I return to it. Neither worked.

    As a fellow wandering soul, I wish you the best of luck. But I also wish to warn you: it’s not an overnight process, as I think you well know by now. It’s not something you simply conjure out of thin air and are satisfied with. Like art, once it’s gone, you must hurt and labor over it, fight and bleed for it, and only then is it worth protecting. Because a home isn’t something that just harbors you against the cold nights – it needs your consideration as well. But if you ever find yourself in need of a friendly ear who understands the feeling of homelessness, please, feel free to drop a line by.

    Stay warm Miss Palmer, however you choose. Home is what you make it.

  • Drew

    Rarely do I leave a message (in fact, I’ve only left one previously). But this, well, this is different. Because this is my life.

    Because what I want is to be left alone. I want my family to leave me alone and to talk with me only when I want it, when I’m comfortable with it. Other than that, I want to be left alone. It’s why I don’ answer my phone when my mother calls. It’s why I still haven’t taken my brother up on his offer to go to the animal shelter with me. It’s why, despite how much I love my infant niece and nephew, I don’ want to see them. I don’ want to be seen. I don’ want to see.

    Because what I really want is to not be left alone. When my mother pays a surprise visit, my life feels like hell. I love my mother, adore her. She’s been the only person to support me for this absolutely terrible last decade of my life. And I like having her in my life. But she doesn’t know when to myself and when to invade. How desperately do I want that person, those people out there to know the difference, to know what I want before I get up the courage to say it.

    Because it hurts to go outside, and I love going outside. It hurts trying to carry on a conversation where I stutter and stumble over my words like I’ve never done before, and I love talking to people. So I build up my walls, physical and otherwise, to protect me. But walls have gates, no matter how cleverly disguised.

    Because I know what it’s like to be homeless; truly homeless, truly alone, truly hungry, truly desperate. This is almost as bad. Having a roof can be worse than not having one. When you live on the street, people see you and know how to respond. When you live in a house, people assume you’re fine. You must be. You have a place to live.

    Because I’m not an artist, but I make noise. I’m not a singer, but I never stop singing. I’m not a writer, but I always have a story. Four walls, some food and a warm bed distract me and keep me from what i enjoy. Walls to keep people out keep me in.

    Because we all long for that one place with our stuff and our memories and our art and our love. Even if those things are bad. Especially if those things are bad. I keep the ways to harm my mind close by in warning, for protection. My means of ensuring my safety are also my means of ensuring my aloneness.

    Is that a word? It is now.

    So rambling is over. Understanding, perhaps, is achieved. The beauty and essence of communication, the sole goal of it will be found, will be met, will be completed.

    But I still love you. That won’t change.

    • http://twitter.com/KlementineBS Klementine Sander

      “Because I’m not an artist, but I make noise. I’m not a singer, but I never stop singing. I’m not a writer, but I always have a story. Four walls, some food and a warm bed distract me and keep me from what i enjoy. Walls to keep people out keep me in.”

      That is beautiful.

      Thank you for sharing all that you did. It’s all wonderful, but I can’t exactly just quote the whole thing, can I? Please, stay strong through your trials, and remember that people will still love you even if you do shut them out. They might not understand, but they’ll love you anyway. It’s OK for you to leave that wall up until you’re happy to tear it down, as long as you’re trying your best.

  • wiccabasket

    I’ve never been able to count on one place as ‘home’, mainly because my parents were very much of the opinion that the space in my home wasn’t mine. It was theirs, and I was borrowing it. I could have posters, but not mark the walls, and I didn;t really have much say in how it was to be decorated – they were proud of their home, and didn’t want it ruined by a sulky goth. My old room is my dad’s study, and I don’t really feel any attachment to it. I love my parents, but it’s their house, not mine. I’ve moved around too much to have a base. If pushed, then the one place where I am truly at peace is Polzeath in England. If I’m there, on the cliffs with my bare feet on the grass, then I am grounded and safe.

    Truly though, my home is in the stories I read as a kid. I go back when things get a bit much. That’s where I go to be alone, or to be with old friends who don’t question or judge me. If I am reading I hear nothing, I see nobody but the people in my head. It keeps me sane. Anyone who knows me, knows that if I am reading, you’d better have a damned good reason to disturb me.

    • 50 Ft Queenie

      I didn’t realize we shared the same parents, at least in spirit. My locker at school felt more like “mine” than my room at home did. At least I could put up pictures in my locker.

  • a(me)

    My sister and I were abused by our dad when we were little. And we tried to live with rules as adults, once the dirty secret was out, that would keep the redeemable part of him in our lives (interesting…I typed “lies” first there…). A few years ago, we finally couldn’t tolerate his trying to step over those rules all the time. So we ended contact.

    Since then, I have felt lost and homeless. I’m 50ish. This is ridiculous. But it’s how I feel and didn’t realize what it was until you labelled it for me. Thank you for that. All our traditions, built on lies anyway, are gone, but they were SOMETHING. I have no idea how to be around my mom who doesn’t deny what happened and is on our side (as much as you can be when you live with the former abuser), but tries to live with him anyway. I haven’t seen the rest of my family in 4+ years. I have no idea what they think of me or my sister.

    We have each other, but even that’s broken somewhat. Our whole history is based on what happened when we were little. All our family inside jokes now feel like mockery and cruel reminders of what a real family might have between them.

    I miss the delusion I used to have that there was always a safe place to go to no matter what happened in my life. That safe place (post-abuse, but swimming in unsaid fury and sadness), as fake as it was, is gone. What did I have that I don’t have now? Constant reminders in my face of what he did, sure. And then the big empty space where some people have a family.

    Lots and lots of therapy, and still a work in progress. I am remembering more than anything that the friends I have chosen to be around me ARE my family. But I’m not sure they’re my home. Maybe they will be, in time.

    • a(me)

      I’ve never written this in public anywhere. Thanks for giving me a place to say the unsayable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/coinoperatedbear Steven Smashy Barker

    I know the feeling. For the longest time I felt like I had no real hometown due to moving every few years. After completing university, I lived with my mom in Peterborough in the city where I was born and suddenly found myself in the right place with the right people at the right time. I was alone in the crowd, one of a small handful of the gay population, one of the art kids who hung out with the guys in bands who made my own music in my basement apartment.

    I had a space.

    I had a hometown.

    I left, stupidly, in 2008 and ever since, every time I’ve gone back something had changed. various stores vanished and were replaced by places unfamiliar. The mall which was the same mall I’d visited since childhood, was completely remodeled and seems so alien now. The pieces I was so proud of being part of were being rearranged or destroyed completely. My old favorite club has since become a fucking gourmet burger joint.

    As time has gone by, I feel a greater disconnect to my surroundings. I live in KW but I’m not really tethered to it as I haven’t got the sort of connections I made in Peterborough. I’m not alone, I’m not fully at home either.

    I used to write stories and songs, now it’s hard for me to put cohesive, long enough plots to paper or find lyrics that aren’t shit. These days I work on visual art but find myself grasping at those straws increasingly. I’m trying to force my songwriting habits for the RPM challenge that starts next week.

    Maybe we’ll both luck out and the lack of home will prove its own inspiration when the time comes us for to create great statements.

    I hope it does.

  • http://twitter.com/MissHumbug Vera Keitmeier

    in the past two years, I lost three homes. The house of my grandparents which we had to strip naked until I didn’t realize it anymore, like the feeling of home had never been there. The home of two friends, because the one moved away, and it had always been like a conspirative circle there, just sitting in the kitchen with everyone doing their thing. And the house that I grew up in ( I heard your song AFTER I abandoned that one and had a major deja-vu). We left there, because my father had died. I played “always look on the bright side” like we played at his funeral and then it wasn’t bad to leave because actually he had made this place a home, and without him it wasn’t anymore. Now I share an attic flat without my boyfriend with no walls at all, which means no door to close to have some privacy. Which makes it okay to dance and sing around with no clothes on and without bothering that someone is watching, because this too is home now. Yesterday we talked about burning down banks fight-club-style, but the same time I can’t let go random junk I took from my grandpa’s house that never mattered to me. Home is people. This thought makes it easier not being owned by your own stuff… And this: thank you for “Lost”, Amanda, it makes me feel like home :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ashley-Walters/1283920437 Ashley Walters

    Wow. This blog couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I cried myself to sleep last night because I hate my living situation. I’m stuck with a roommate who thinks I’m a socially awkward misfit (and constantly reminds me and her friends of this fact) and a cat that I have to babysit and pretend I love because my roommate is never here to take care of him. I don’t feel at home here. Nothing in the living room is mine. My only possession in the kitchen is my coffee maker. This isn’t my home. I’m nothing but alone here. This is where I house sit when my roommate isn’t here. I feel homeless. I couldn’t put it any other way. I want nothing more than to leave. There’s nothing holding me here other than this lease. Ah. This was nice to get out. Thank you again, Amanda.

  • Leslie DuBay

    Home for me is in the woods. Out in nature where you can’t hear cars or airplanes or other people. I like to be there with people, but don’t like to be invaded by strangers’ voices unless they’re walking by. Then I will chat and learn all about them. It’s a weird thing. I can’t wait for my trip to Missouri to spend 5 days in a yurt in April :) It appears to be on a secluded site during the off season at this campground, so we should have lots of quite healing time. Good stuff.

  • MeiLin

    We moved constantly when I was a kid; my home always had to be something else. My parents at first, then when the inevitable rift came I was “homeless” for years. As soon as I was able to I bought this house and I’ve been here 25+ years. I’ve hung into this place through a divorce and several devastating financial setbacks. I’ve clung to it fiercely, the only sure constant in my life. As I grow older, though, i’m less and less attached. I’m realizing the time is rushing toward me when I will leave here one way or another, and I will have to find a new “home.” Everything changes, constantly, and I hate change. The only constant is within us, and finding the essential parts of ourselves that never changes may be our life’s work.

  • RiverVox

    I feel at home when I walk into a library. Surrounded by books, my heart rate lowers, my breathing slows and I relax. Safe where I belong.

    • BL

      i get the same feeling from art museums. they are like churches to me, in a weird way. i like to travel, but then i find myself going to art museums in whichever city in the world i might be, and i immediately feel the silence, the concentration, the history and the strengh and pain of the artwork and the people respectfully experiencing…and inspiration flows into my body…screaming: home.

      • RiverVox

        Yes! Art museums are another sanctuary.

    • http://twitter.com/LittleJanelleS Janelle Sheetz

      I felt the same way in a very similar setting–I’m a writer, and some of the times I feel most at home has been when I’m sitting listening to other writers read their stuff to each other. That’s where I feel like I belong.

    • http://twitter.com/fluffboll fluffboll

      Libraries and botanical garden greenhouses for me, sometimes forests as well, depending on if it is inviting or not. There’s just a special feeling sitting in a beautiful library, surrounded by stories and knowledge or walking around plants that in some instances have been around for hundreds of year more than me. It makes me feel small and it makes me feel safe knowing I’m just a part of the big story of life and although that part is my very own to play, there are many other parts to gain strength and inspiration from.

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.bailey.5 Susan Bailey

    I remember going away to college and when I came home my parents had hired loggers to clear out the forest behind my house. (They wanted a new deck) I had many hiding places in the woods and they all were destroyed. They didn’t tell me beforehand and I wept for days. I cried for the loss of the trees and the loss of the one place I felt alone and free to be just me. I am still looking for that alone place, that home. I will keep looking if you keep looking.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      I will keep looking.

  • http://twitter.com/n6vfp Alan Stanley

    Right now I am in the last home I know. It is where I lived many years, but I’m also working to leave this place. It has memories, but some of those memories I want to forget. This is the house where I saw my dad slowly die. It is the same house that a few years ago I did the role of caregiver as my mom passed away, from a combinations of cancer and dementia. I have been living here off and on for decades, but I want to escape this. I don’t know where i want to go or where I want to live, I guess I too want to be alone. I will leave here, taking only what can fit in my car or truck (I haven’t decided yet). I’m going to get lost, be alone, talk to people as I explore, discover myself, discover friends, take pictures, write stuff, learn, enjoy, find peace. I have only felt secure and at home a few times in my life, and yes, I feel safe when I am in my car.

  • http://twitter.com/TheMarcusCircus Samantha Marcus

    You beautiful person, I can write you no songs.

    So I am writing you this instead because what are songs but poetry with melody and the same message?

    There you sit, connnected by voices; your home, voices of people who know how you think.

    You think in sound, I think. I can’t know, I am not you.

    Sometimes I sit and write and read and my youngest sister will come in. I will say ‘go away’ and mean it kindly.

    But meaning it kindly means that because my head is racing and words are not playing Tetris I cannot say it so.

    That is a betrayal on both our parts; hers for coming in, mine for saying go away when all she wants to do is share.

    Every day I see atoms dance in front of my eyes, all the solid objects behaving fluid and cold is the only thing that will ground me as I hold on with my fingertips; you have a man to hold on to, who will fight and cling to you when you feel as if everything is liquid.

    Let him.

    I am in no place to tell you, me an unpublished 18 year old writer who screams her desperation onto the pages of a notebook in the mists of insomnia, but you have written a song above these words. In them, I see patterns and possible melodies- your own Tetris.

    I hope that my words burrow into your brain as much as your songs do into mine. Words, I have found are the greatest connector, but sounds are more so. You and the voices. Can they be your home? A home in your fragile life where the most important things can go in the smallest moment.

    You have friends who you fly across the world for: I wish for the same, but I take what I have. We all have fragile lives, cobwebs of things they are. Yet cobwebs are the strongest things of all.

    I’ve lost the path of my words.

    You have a home in us, and we talk back. You will find a space once more and make it yours. You can carve it out of the chests of those you love, curl into the shell of their ear so they will always hear you. We, collectively, always listen.

    Even if it is distracted moment in which we can barely find the time to hear your exact words, we are listening to the sound of your voice.

    You are heard.

    We hear you.

    I cannot give you anything other than these words and hope that they mirror some of what you know and hope.

    Your song, you beautiful person, is your life. Words will come and they will shine and fit, but not right now. Right now, you are Amanda the friend, Amanda who is figuring everything out. We need no more than that. You are you, we ask no more of you.

    love in the lower case is no less significant,

    SRM

  • Jes

    Sitting at my kitchen table and my family is around me busy with their chores and I’m silently bawling my eyes out. This is exactly how I feel. How do we find home amanda? To quote a film I can’t remember the name of, “it’s like I’m homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist.”
    Maybe you’ve found home(s)
    I’m still looking. It’s harsd.

  • Mary Jane

    I just cancelled a meeting at work in the middle of it cause I read this on my phone under the table and it shook me up entirely, so so so familiar. this is it, what you’er describing here, is exactly why I love you, is exactly why I identify with you so much and why your relationship with yourself fascinates me.

    it’s the traces of this amanda that I keep seeing here and there in your songs, and blogs and tweets. it’s exactly where I am and probably always will be, looking for my home to be a room in somebody’s house, with a lock on the door, but always with someone out there in the living room I can choose to come out and be with, never really alone. it’s the beautiful feeling of being alone around people in the city, walking around listening to music and making music videos in your head without having to communicate with anyone if you don’t really want to.

    that room/safe place is where music comes from and where a sense of self comes from, and when it’s being invaded it feels like the person you are inside of you is being chased out of your mind. the only time in my life I stopped writing music was the few years after moving in with my husband before I knew how to keep myself place inside my marriage.

    it doesn’t sound ridiculous to call a house your best friend. it might sound ridiculous to write to someone you don’t really know in real life that you love them, but still, I love you.

    I identify with so much of this and it’s so beautiful that you’re able to write from a vulnerable place like that.

    a friend of mine uses this as an emoticon for a hug, so here, a big big hug: ()

    • Mary Jane

      to add to that, I think the safe place inside where the music and sense of play come from, is the same part of the adult human mind that’s like a child. It was always of the opinion that we don’t morph and grow up to be adults; we have a part of us that’s an adult growing up alongside our part of us that’s a child, and they co-exist in our adulthood, along with all the other parts of our personality.

      so if an adult mind is a house made up of multiple parts/faces/rooms, there is and should always be one room for the childlike part of them that’s inside them, that may want to stay in their own goddamn room and play a song without anyone’s gaze on them :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/gemmanova Gemma Nova James

      ‘it’s the traces of this amanda that I keep seeing here and there in your songs, and blogs and tweets’ yes.

  • http://twitter.com/PaintingDucks Michelle

    i feel blessed to know very solidly where my home is. i was born and raised in a 100 year old house in a beautiful mountain town. just 5 months ago i left and went to the other side of the world to go to school, and i miss my house so much it hurts. my parents are fighting hard to keep it, for me, and because it’s their home too, and it would break all our hearts to leave it. it is such a perfect home, i can’t imagine not being able to go back there.

    but then again, i also think that it is possible to have more than one home. or to feel at home in more than one place. home is not always necessarily a specific place, a specific building, or even a specific person. it is a feeling. a sensation of belonging, of peace, of security. it is true that only you can truly understand where or what your own home is. and sometimes it’s hard to find. but it can be found, even when it seems impossible. and guides will come in unexpected ways.

    i’ve been trying to make a home here, in a strange country with nobody to love me and care for me. it’s scary, and hard, and heartbreaking. i feel terribly lonely, but i also find myself hiding because being around people who just ignore me only makes me feel more alone. i feel like i’m never relaxed, and sometimes i just wish i could give up and go back to where i know i will feel safe. but i know i will also feel disappointed if i run back home and hide now. so i am trying to find my way here, and find a way to feel at home here. keep on pushing forward, cause there’s no other option.

    even when we’re lost, we can’t stop searching. as long as we don’t give up eventually we’ll find our way home. <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.rred Jason Derr

    I remember going to university and my sister took over my room briefly. I was aghast. My one, small connection to home was gone. My wall – the wall i spray painted – was going to be repainted. It was the place where I wrote poetry, dreamt dreams, and listened to Vanilla Ice cds (not all memories are good memories). Its loss was hard to take. Eventually I got it back and kept my wall until I was ready to admit I was living Elsewhere. http://www.amazon.com/The-Boston-395-ebook/dp/B006OFRY0O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359406220&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Boston+395

  • Joy Maul

    This is enough, more than enough. I’ve seen you perform live twice, seen how you give yourself to the crowd until you’re turned inside out from the giving. I’ve read and watched and cherished your stories over the years, because they have helped make me feel brave enough to look my own story straight in the eyes without flinching. We carry our homes with us, reinventing ourselves along the way, but at some point you have to be able to turn around, see what you’re carrying, and embrace it all over again… and then let go of the parts that are packaging rather than content. I hope the road that leads you home is gentle to you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Myrdrin Monica Schumacher

    I know I’ve written similar words.
    About home.
    But I’ve never captured that ending part you have here…
    that feeling of home and alone and peacefulness,

    when you are wrapped in a blanket on a kitchen floor
    feeling the rhythm of music in the tile and hearing it in your bones,
    as your friends are disassembling on guitar around you,
    so dreams are floating in the air, letting one settle on you,
    sending you into its world before you realize you are resting…
    feeling safe…. and Home.

  • Missy / @mformagpie

    Most of the places I’ve lived have – in one way or another – ceased to be, not long after I moved on from them. Including (most rendingly) the place I grew up – a rambling old house with tilted hardwood floors and huge windows where I could watch the deer wander through with their new fawns each spring, a front field and a back field instead of a yard, full of trees and plants I was on a first-name basis with, every beloved one – now that land is full of 30-some new houses and several new roads and no trees. Footsteps behind, erased, no map in front, just me, always moving – even when I stay still a while, it’s still movement, still unfolding between what-was and what-may-be. Many years ago it occurred to me that I’m the home of all my lost places now, and that everything I create comes in some way out of those homes I hold in my heart. You understand, I think.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pauline.daconceicao Pauline Da Conceiçao

    It’s okay. We all need a bit of space to breath. You give so much, of course you’re allowed your alone time.

    I get that feeling, sometimes. When you keep on giving and giving and giving tiny pieces of yourself to people, and it leaves you so weary aftermath. When I do that, I know it’s time I start writing.

    Do what you need. Be what you need. We love you for that !

  • cryingsignwriterfromparis

    I’ve got a very strange feeling about my own home. You know, family place. Last year my parents divorced and when my father left for good it was like the whole house was relieved, and in a great sight pushed him out. As if the house did it itself, for my mother’s good, and most of all for mine. Maybe i’m a little egocentric shit, but i use to think that way. I feel safe then. But the house is, as always, the great thing my mother made with her whole heart, arms and will. The house is my mother. Warm and cosy with the rabbit and the cat both next to the fire place, and a warm meal and rain and wind and cold outside but noone cares about it. This is the House where there is a queen called Family. This is how things work at my mother’s place. My room is all white with pictures of the time when i used to ride a horse. There is no view but the wall of the next door house. I put all my things in this room but it’s actually not mine. I can’t smoke in it because this room is a part of my mother’s house. I can’t be fully myself in there. If I did then it would look like secession war in the House. Though the House and moreover my mum won’t understand me, listen to the crazy stuff in my head or noticing when something’s wrong, it will always be a shelter. And my mom, if i happen to break into tears won’t understand what’s going on. She will hug me for a little while and then say shit like ” everything’s gonna be allright ” and then go. It won’t confort me, i’ll cry and rest the time i need, and then pretend that things are fixed up hoping that they’ll be for real.
    I met you in Paris, november the 2nd. I was one of the signs writer (the crying when hugging one), and a few weeks later i wrote you a mail. I don’t know if you read it. I hope you did, but i can’t reproach you anything if you didn’t. the point is that i offered you a place to find shelter if you needed to. My shelter could be yours. It is stupid, I admit it, sounds crazy, fanatic, or whatever. But I mean it. I use to think that strangers can help you setting things right, because they are strangers and you owe nothing to them. You can tell them or do with them the craziest and stupidest things because you won’t ever meet them again. It’s better exploding with strangers than with loved ones you can hurt, no ?

  • mismith_yote

    Amanda, I’m older than you. You helped raise my kids, through giving them the words to get them through highschool, and beyond. You helped me, have words to get me through buying my first house, going to college late. I promise, you get to reinvent home. It’s in you. And I think it’s why you sing. Somebody sing!

  • Elena

    I’d hate to admit it, but reading this makes me think of myself.
    I insulated myself in my own little world where I’m alone. I feel lonely all the time but I jealously guard my solitude.
    I’m afraid if I give up my solitude I’ll give up something that makes me who I am and keeps me sane. I push people out and push them away and I find more comfort in strangers on the internet than I do with friends.
    And the friends — the real ones who love me — I keep them at arms length. I always insist on dictating how and when they get to have me. It’s always on my terms and they accept it. It’s profoundly unfair.
    But I don’t know how else to be if I’m not like this.

    I guess what I’m saying is I’m a hard person to know too sometimes. And the more I care about you, the harder it is. But I just don’t know how to be different.

  • LyndayLarissa

    I don’t know why, but this left me trying to hold back tears. Sitting in Starbucks, this is not the best time for an AFP induced sob fest.
    Ever since I can remember, whenever I get upset I say to myself over and over “I just want to go home”. Like you said I don’t think home is a place, but more of a concept. I spent a about a year in Florida when I was younger and was miserable. “I want to go home” had to be my mantra, everyday, I don’t think there was a day that I did not think those words to myself, or wish on the first star I saw that I could go home. Then I meant it in a literal and figurative sense. I couldn’t stand where I was nor how I felt. To this day I find myself whispering those words to myself when I get too on edge or discontent.

    It’s funny because since I moved out at nineteen I haven’t really had a home. Not a room I could call mine and mine alone. Sure, I’ve always had a roof over my head, but nowhere I could got and guarantee no one would interrupt my silence and if they did I could not get mad. They are doing me a huge favor. I am grateful. Still I cannot hope for the day when I get my own place to come faster. Once I do I’m sure I’ll miss having people around, and my sleep interrupted by my brothers movies and video games in the morning. I’ll miss our crazy dog. I’ll miss having someone constantly making food and too much of it so there are always leftovers. I’ll miss having to move someone else clothes out of the washer or dryer so that I can do my own clothes. I’ll miss having someone else pick up (or in my brothers case) destroy the house, so that when I come home you can tell someone else has been there. I will miss all these things immensely. However by the time I have found a my own place hopefully I’ll have found a new place, maybe a person to call home.

  • MIchael

    Its been a while since I’ve read your blogs.

    Randomly read this one.
    Funny how “titles”

    Catch my attention.
    The subject was far from what I was expecting.

    But still striking…. Your words are striking…yes.

    You always knew how to turn the subtle malaise of everday life.

    The subtle “whats wrong with me today?”…

    You know how to turn those into words; you know how to

    Figure those things out…more ebb and flow…and

    From my stand point, I appreciate that view. Its tough enough

    To even see these things clearly in everyday, overwhelming
    life,

    Let alone set enough space, time, energy, tedium, etc…to
    think of

    These things that explicitly bother us as humans.

    But thank you again and again and over again for posting
    these

    Blogs. Like one
    lonely cell of an organism, if changed, the whole

    Organism changes.
    Thoughts provoke….thank you love.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nina-Baron/1532425680 Nina Baron

    Your music is my home. The way I can cry while singing your songs in the shower that is my home. You Amanda Fucking Palmer are my home. You can be alone around people any time of the day. I think that is what the internet is. It is being alone around people. The web connects us all in the most personal possible way while still allowing us solitude. I love you.

  • KAOS

    You know, my best friend recently had a medical accident… One of these things which usually happens to.. The others, someone who’s not me.. In TV…
    Anyway, she almost died, but luckily survived. That’s not the story.
    She’s in such a rehab place now, learning to walk, being independent…again.
    It’s like a hotel crossed with a senior citizen home. At the end of the world in the woods.
    And the thing is… She’s happy there! She has her own four walls which are not actually hers. She has people around, strangers with their own story. She has time. Peace. A door she can close. Or open.
    And she found independence on a place where you would not go to look for.
    And while we sat together this weekend and talked… We figured, that basically it’s a chance… To find ourself… Which has a tendency to get lost in daily life…
    Sometimes we need to break free… Get out… Just to see, again, who we really are.
    To be happy…

  • Kim!

    You know that feeling when you want to cry and laugh and kick and scream and punch and hold and fuck and make love all at once? But your only one person. You can do only one thing at one time. and its frustrating and draining and confusing. You do that too. I can tell. When it happens to me, all I can do is cry instead of doing all those other things. I cry, just a little, because each tear that drips down my face contains within it all those things I feel. All those wants. All those feels.

    Tears are terrariums in that way.

    Know that I love you, even though we’ve never met, and probably never will. My soul loves yours, across the distance, and despite all the feels that we feel. Xo

  • margot

    i thought she said “lobster,” too.

    which made me think of how my mom and i were staying at a family friend’s house one time when she and dad were not getting along. i was probably 3. the friend’s name was “long haired charlie.” he had long hair. long grey hair. he was old. and fun. and gay. he wanted us to feel safe, i remember. that we had a place to stay. a home for a while.

    long haired charlie wanted to have a small party. he apparently ordered live lobsters for the party. did you know lobsters are boiled alive? they are. isn’t that terrible? boiled in water. in their home.

    i was so young, i didn’t know the lobsters were for eating. long haired charlie brought one out to the pool where i was swimming in the shallow end. the lobster had those things on its claws to keep it from pinching. long haired charlie put the lobster with me in the pool. i thought he was bringing me a pet. i named the lobster charlie. (in retrospect, long haired charlie might have been drunk… not sure what the idea of bringing a live lobster to a swimming pool with a toddler in it was about….)

    i thought it was the best day ever. no telling what my mother was going through then. what was really happening in Adult Land. but i had a lovely afternoon with charlie the lobster.

    i was devastated when i learned he was dinner.

    it’s amazing i was 19 before i became a vegetarian.

    lobsters. and homes. and being loster.

    • http://twitter.com/LittleJanelleS Janelle Sheetz

      My Uncle Clark did something similar, except I was a little older and he let the lobster crawl across the kitchen floor of our beach house. I was a vegetarian by 14.

  • http://twitter.com/LittleBlueBox10 Lauren Arsenault

    I felt homeless when I got married 2 years ago and moved out of the house I’ve lived in since I was 5.

    My parents moved out all of the things I had left behind. Got rid of my bed. They even let a family member stay in my old room while she was trying to get back on her feet. I was a bit upset with them, because it felt like my safe space I could always come back to was torn away from me.

    Even though I am married, have a new apartment, and I share the space with the man I love, I still feel like it’s not home.

    I hope to one day find my home.

    Until then, much love Amanda <3

  • T. Z. Wallace

    For me, home was a tiny town in Oklahoma. During my childhood, we had a house there. My great-grandmother had a house there, too, and it was still during that point in time when people would let their children out to play and ride bikes until the sun went down without fearing for their safety. In my memories, it was always warm and smelled of summertime.

    Even when my parents sold the house, it was still home to me. My great-grandmother passed away, and my uncle moved into her regal old home, and the memories collected there.

    Since my heart was still so firmly rooted there, I chose to get married in that house. Flowers spilled out into the yard on that crisp autumn day, and a bag piper stood at the top of the hill and washed his music down over the guests.

    When I said the words, “I do.” My husband and I stood in the middle of my home, my past and present and future all around us. For a moment, everything was possible.

    Funny, though, how life has a way of deciding to end things.

    In a heartbeat, that tiny town became a stranger to me. On July 19, 2005, my uncle walked into the tiny diner down on Main Street, and murdered a waitress there. My mother called me at work to tell me.

    I thought she was calling to wish me a happy birthday.

    The world lost so much innocence for me that day. When someone you love does something terrible, the world turns that same vengeful face at you. Perhaps it is guilt by association.

    For years, I couldn’t celebrate my birthday. It just felt…wrong somehow.

    The weeds grew up quickly around that place I called home and soon they overtook it. The fences are chipped and the planks torn down. The flowers have long since died, and no one I know lives there anymore.

    I passed by there the other day. The windows were drawn, the doors closed tight, and silence seeped from the the weather-worn walls.

    I am still homeless, still looking for place to return to–my refuge.

    I am weary from searching.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/outcastspice outcastspice

    I love you, Amanda.

  • publicq

    She was the only thing that ever *really* felt like home. No other woman, place, job, set of friends, anything ever has. 4 years of searching, moving, changing jobs, making art and music, therapy, dating, and nothing has ever felt like more than… “works for now.”

    I can’t ever go back. But I’ll never really be anywhere else.

  • http://twitter.com/NimueG IAmHuman

    On the last day in my sorority room, with the walls stripped down of all my pictures, my furniture in my current flat and a sense of desperation in my heart, I sat on the floor and sang “Dear Old House” at the top of my lungs. Funny that, since I don’t have a childhood home and I feel like nothing more than a guest at my mother’s…
    Somehow that frankly tiny, dark and smoke reeking room had managed to become something of a home in the two years I spent there, but coming back 6 months later I could feel nothing.
    I live in a small shared flat now, very adult with my signature on the lease contract and my name on the bills and so riculously temporary it hurts, and that doesn’t manage to be home either.
    Sometimes I get hit by this feeling of loneliness and insecurity, and it knocks the air out of my lungs. I want to find a place to call home but I can never go home.

    Some months ago I was at your gig in Zurich and it was a time in my life when I was so terribly lost. You took my hand during “Bottomfeeder” and among all the surprise and happiness I felt something else, I felt something pinning me down to the earth. I felt still and centred for the first time in a long while and now everytime I need a reminder of that feeling I play “Bottomfeeder” and the memory of the pressure of your fingers against mine makes me feel still again.
    I’m not home, nor am I safe, not yet, but you’re helping me feel secure during the journey. Your words are enough, your presence in the world is enough, you are enough. Thank you.
    I really hope you get to find home once again soon.

  • http://twitter.com/distortedabso Emily

    Can totally relate. Going to uni has meant living in four different places in the last four years. No-where to really call a base, rented accommodation where you always have to take the collage off the wall and start again. The reminders of all of those years lie in shoe boxes under the bed in my childhood bedroom along with the collage that graced the wall throughout my angst filled teenage years. All the cinema stubs, love letters, school girls band crushes and silly phrases cut out of magazines all in one place just waiting for me to re-appropriate them. I have 6 months left in this house and in this city and then there is a big question mark. Where will home be then?
    I am also loster than lost. Hopefully things unravel in a good way. Finding a home is the hardest.

  • Finkdoobiest

    Gilded in Eloquence

    Or perhaps it’s just the font :P

    Privacy versus celebrity. Strange how a mere century of social progress has upended Wilde’s defense in the dock. Perhaps fandom is the modern day Love that Dare Not Speak Its Name.

  • http://twitter.com/stepharabbit Stevie

    bawling my homeless ass off in a space in a warehouse ive been allowed to carve out and make mine for a week or two. sober. have no idea where i will be in a week or so. so lost all i want to do is cry and sleep.. so i force my self to go to meetings. drink coffee. just another one. another lost alone confused overthinker, who used to believe that things happened for a reason. and the potential for greatness… homelessnesslessnessless… cycle. that snake chomping on his tail… stuck. i need a lulaby.

  • http://twitter.com/stepharabbit Stevie

    this is my introduction to you really. and i connect. and if i met you i would ask for a hug. i like hugs.

  • Morticia
  • http://twitter.com/LittleJanelleS Janelle Sheetz

    My great-grandmother died about a week ago or so. When I drove home after the funeral, I passed roads that lead to my dead grandparents’ house where other people live now. I passed roads to my great-grandmother’s house that was taken out by a new toll road. I passed the cemeteries where they’re all buried. I passed places that have memories with them and meaning for me and some of my family, but when to strangers or even my own future children or other people I’ll befriend some day, they mean nothing but what I tell them they mean.

    I remember being sad when my grandmother’s house sold and I didn’t get a chance to go back once last time–at least to see it as it had been. Just a few weeks before Christmas, my mom and I were in the area and we drove by to see how they’d decorated it, comparing it to how my Pap Pap used to do it. We drove by at night so no one would recognize us or the car.

    Sometimes, the places we lose are as significant as the people we lose, too.

  • Raina

    Amanda,

    I think to get home you may have to leave this internet home for a while. It’s like being in a comfy bed with a nice thick doona and not wanting to get up. You probably need a doona right now, with what is happening with Anthony, all of the craziness over kickstarter. But this is not where the music is. And quite possibly, music is not what you need right now. I’m only a stranger over the internet who sees glimpses of the elephant that is your life. I may only see the trunk, or an ear. But I love you, and hope you find your home.

  • MichaelAnything

    A long time ago I realized that home wasn’t a place for me and probably wouldn’t be. Always made me think of that Blue Oyster Cult Song. These days I’ve come to realize I carry my own home in my chest. I’ve also come to realize that being under constant house arrest BLOWS sometimes. And maybe homes aren’t supposed to beat this much…

  • Luaths

    I moved so many times during my childhood and teen years- painfully uprooted as soon as I began to settle in- that home was always an odd concept to me. It was the light of the transmitter towers driving back into town. It was the poster I hung in each room. It was ALWAYS in my favourite books- the yellowed pages and cracked spine, the characters that felt like friends. But though home has never been a particular space, I have always needed a space of my own. Be it my room of the moment, a place in the woods, even a tent in the backyard during the cold fall months. I need to have a place where I am just *me*.
    Thank you for this post, and for all your posts. They are more than enough.

  • rosie

    in october i moved from the house i’ve lived in all my life to dorms at university, leaving the house i grew up in for the first time in my life. i’ve never been so excited and happy and desperate for a new start.

    i don’t remember the last time my childhood home actually felt like home. maybe it was back in 2008, when i was 14, just before i came out to my parents and they made me into the disappointment of the family. maybe it was in the months before i left for university, when our family were arguing more than ever and i didn’t have a friend to turn to, after the breakdown of my relationship and then my friendship group. i felt like i was drifting for a long, long time, not knowing any other place than my childhood home but not feeling truly at home there. i felt like home was a place i was wanted, needed and cherished – and i just didn’t feel like that in the mess of disappointments and broken relationships in my hometown.

    since i moved to university i’ve started to feel like i’ve found my home more than ever before. i live in a house with 15 other people; the kitchen is disgusting, my room is small and cluttered and messy and there are stains on the carpets i’d rather not know about and mold growing in the bathroom. somehow in the noisiness of the house i’ve managed to find peace and quiet inside my mind for the first time in a very, very long time.

    but uni still doesn’t really properly feel like home. i don’t really know what home is anymore. uni feels like a cluttered messy semi-home, a temporary home, a finite home without the comforts of my childhood home, without the fluffy carpet and the welcoming living room and the crackling fire. my childhood home, the “home” i refer to when i talk to my parents about “home”, feels like base camp, a place to pitch up for a few days, weeks, before i move on to a place i truly want to be.

    strangely enough, one of the times i truly feel like home now is when i’m in a corner of pret a manger two hours before i go to my job as a sales assistant, hogging the comfortable seats with a battered copy of foxfire: confessions of a girl gang and frank turner playing on my ipod. the solitude makes me feel completely at home within myself. it’s the only time when i’m not surrounded by flatmates in the kitchen, friends in my lectures or the staffroom at work, and customers at work. it’s the few hours a week when i am completely on my own, despite being surrounded by people.

    really, i’m still not sure where home is, and i know i’m still only 19 but i just hope i can find somewhere that feels 100% like home to me at some point in my life.

  • http://twitter.com/FenstarDeLuxe Fen

    It’s a little eerie you posting this as I was discussing this topic with my bestie yesterday as we roadtripped around Victoria.

    I grew up in an amazing town, nearly lost my house to bushfires but my heart was firmly entrenched where I lived. I moved out when I was 18, but I could always come back and lounge about, totally comfortable in my surrounds. My Mum died and a couple of years later my Dad sold our family home. My sister and I planned a weekend to come and go through our Mother’s belongings and our own. During the week our fathers new partner came in and removed the lot.

    It felt like someone had ripped my heart out and stomped all over it. I still catch my breath when I think about it. All of a sudden I had no home, only what lived in my memories. I guess that’s what everything becomes in the end. Memories.

  • http://twitter.com/grainnerhuad Grainne Rhuad

    “i like being alone around people.”- This just touched me. I don’t always, or maybe even ever feel the need to comment back on your blog. Your blog is a gift, I take it in and soak in it, sometimes I agree and sometimes I don’t. But that line…that line deserved comment. Because it exemplifies how it is that people like we, you, your fans, myself (also one of your fans who you never met and maybe-likely never will) are so very alike. The human experiences are what draws me to your work. And that one statement made me say, “YES!” and “ME TOO!” And all of a sudden, I just wanted you to know.

  • http://twitter.com/GRIMACHU James Desborough

    Revisiting old things is revisiting yourself.

    I mean that literally.

    A large portion of what makes up dust is our own skin.

    When we revisit an old book, a childhood room, a beloved toy we brush off the old us, breathe in a bit of who we were and leave a fresh layer of our new perspective.

    If you find that kinda gross, it may be strangely comforting that you don’t have to.

  • disqus_bRcs5Oe61N

    Today I learnt that a friend had found a TED talk that had helped her as I had tumblred about how awesome TED is, after watching the TED talks in your blog. My friend is 20 and unexpectedly had a brain hemorrhage this summer and almost died. She is now physically fine but has no memory of the incident and was initially shocked by how worried and relieved people were. Unsurprisingly she’s finding it tough emotionally to come to terms with what’s happened. After seeing this ted talk http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html she had the courage to make this promise to herself, out there on tumblr where everyone can see it:

    “I am going to try and embrace vulnerability. I am not going to pretend everything is fine when it is not. I am not going to feel guilty for my feelings. I am going to ask for help when I need it. I am going to talk about things, even if there are no answers. I am going to have the courage to be imperfect.”

    I love her to bits and I am currently too far away to offer the support I would like to and I am so grateful that this sequence of events occurred. Please keep doing what you do. love C xxx

  • watchmeboogie

    My mother ripped my all pictures down in a rage one day when she got “sick of looking at them.” They were all I had but they weren’t mine, nothing in my house growing up was mine, I had no space of my own anywhere. Things that are mine, are all inside me. Your home is inside you. I don’t know where my home is. I don’t think I have one.

    (fwiw I have actually been homeless and there is no worse, more desolate feeling. Yes, worse than not having music.)

    • watchmeboogie

      Also I really feel sorry for those who got attached to their childhood homes. For a long time I felt that about the place we lived when I was a toddler. Looking back now I can see it was just a crappy little shoebox, but to me, it was the only place where I was happy. I still have never been back there, but recently was finally able to “see” it with Google Street View. The other places we lived were all full of trauma and bad memories.

      I want to hug everyone.

  • http://twitter.com/ClaireShrugged Claire Targaryen

    Don’t feel guilty about comparatively worse things happening to other people. Someone being more sad than you are does not take away your sadness, just as people being happier than you does not negate your happiness. You have articulated perfectly the need to be alone around people, and I understand your pain. An emotionally safe place – especially for someone who travels & tours like you do – is essential, not a luxury.

  • Ruined

    The cliche often referenced is “home is where the heart is.” If so, in those times that I feel that I have no home, am I heartless? I agree that home is a feeling, not a place. Recently, my life has taken so many challenging turns that I no longer recognize it; I don’t even recognize myself. The person that I thought I was does not seem to be the person that I am now; if the change was forced on me, is that truly growth? The older I get, the harder I try to hang onto my “light.” People are either drawn to one’s light, try to steal one’s light or try to put one’s light out. Lately, I’ve found that I am at that place where I either yearn for the past or hope for a better tomorrow. I work toward the day when I am happy being in the “now.” To me, that will be when I find home. Until then, I shall keep searching, working, fighting, hoping and, someday, winning.

  • Shauna

    That was lovely. It reminds me of when I used to watch the No Rain video wishing I could find my field of dancing bee people too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=830644805 Ted Thomas

    I bought my family’s house after my dad died in 2008 (my mom shuffled off this mortal coil in 2006). I’ve been slowly working on it, updating here, repainting there, etc.

    A couple weeks ago, I was going through a cabinet in the basement–it used to be my bedroom from around age 12 to when I finally moved out for good in the late 80s. Like your room, I had my “stuff” stuck to every wall.

    Well, I open the aforementioned and found my mother had carefully taken down all my posters, pictures, and concert reviews (there were a *lot* of those, as I practically lived at the Boston Garden and The Orpheum), removed the tacks and tape, rolled them up neatly, an packed them away for safe-keeping.

    For nearly an hour, I sifted through them, remembering the moments they were hung, or repositioned to make room for something new. I thought about friends I don’t see much of any more. I thought about the priests and lay-teachers at the private high school I attended. I thought about the beatings they gave me on a daily basis. I thought about the bands I saw when I was younger; funny anecdotes about things that happened at them.

    The last one I unrolled was something I’ve been wondering about for over 20 years. It was a poster of The Damned–a band whose music I’ve heard so much it’s become part of my DNA.

    When I got it, I was working as the floor manager at The Channel in Boston. As luck would have it, they were playing the club on their “Phantasmagoria” tour, so I brought it in to work and had them sign it while they were waiting around for soundcheck, and I was keeping them happy with sudsy beverages and whatnot.

    The rest of my old posters went into the recycle bin. I kept a few of the more memorable review clippings. The Damned poster was brought down to a frame shop in Melrose.

    It’s been framed and is once again hanging on my wall in the same location where I’d originally hung it with thumbtacks.

    Thanks, Mom!

  • Morris

    I don’t know what a home should feel like, as a physical space. I moved out of my parents house this September at the age of 22, it’s my first time ever living away from my family in any fashion, and I don’t feel a lost connection with my old house or a new connection with my apartment.

    I don’t feel lost because of it though. I think it’s always been that way. I’ve been fortunate to have loving stable parents and a massive family that was always there, and always positive, but I also always felt more “at home” at school or at work or at a friends house or on the train.

    I think I DO feel at home very specifically when I’m travelling. And part of that is because I feel at best when I know I’m moving towards something. Something physical like a specific place, or something not, like working on a skill or building a friendship or solving a problem. I like the sensation of moving, of not being at my goal but working towards it. And I think that’s why I like reading so much, and why I love snowboarding so much – I just like being in transit.

  • http://twitter.com/kjerstioghvalen kjersti

    just another slightly relevant story, one that makes sense for me to tell:

    i used to have a friend. boyfriend. friend. lifevest. crutch. he had a single bed with two mattresses. when i slept over we put one of them on the floor. it got squished between his bed and the bookshelf, it was from ikea, both the mattress and the bookshelf, and it wouldn’t lay flat, was like a long “u” on the floor.

    we’d sleep side by side but on different levels, holding hands, or him just touching my back.

    in the mornings he would wake me up by falling on top of me and licking my nose.

    we’d drink tea from glasses – who drinks tea from glasses, i thought, the first time his mother served it like that – and watch videos and have sex and cuddle and he’d shower and get rashes ’cause he had a skin condition and when he came back out i’d watch him dry off and then rub ointment on the sorest and itchiest parts of his body.

    i still remember where the red blemishes showed up. behind his earlobes, left thumb, behind the knees, inside the elbows, both shoulders…

    i loved him. and at the time i thought he was me. that he was my identity. that he was my sole purpose.

    he wasn’t.

    i remember how upset i would get at little changes. he got a new computer screen, once. it was flat. nothing like the big box that used to be there. and i cried. a lot. had to take pictures of exactly how the stuff on top of the old one and around it looked. where his keyboard was. it hurt. the change. it hurt a lot.

    i remember his mother painted the bathroom. that hurt, too.

    he cut his hair. he used to have an insane, copper-brown afro, the biggest one i’ve ever seen. and then he cut it short. i couldn’t grasp that he was the same person.

    patch of mould showed up on his wall. we started sleeping facing the other way. it hurt. i couldn’t accept it. the change of it. it was loss, all of it, just losing and losing and losing and not being able to make the memories stay true because i felt i was the only one who really saw them.

    “i get torn to pieces
    for the stupidest reasons”

    – and now i know that i see the world differently from a lot of people. schizotypal personality disorder. it’s what makes me claw at my face because i don’t understand why my skin has to have a colour and it’s what makes me ask my friends to promise me that they’re still them if they change their clothing style or makeup or hair. it’s gotten worse over the years, but still, now i am, at most times, able to take a step back and really see what is happening. and i know that i had lost so many things and people and sanctuaries when he, the boyfriend, first entered my life, that “change” and “loss” had become the same thing. literally, not figuratively.

    i’m always homesick.

    and when i read about your wall, tears welled up in my eyes. it hurt.

    i love you. i love you. i love you.

    you are necessary, no matter (or perhaps because of) what you need.

    ps: i always sleep better when someone is in the next room – awake, with the door open, doing something, being something, without me but in my prescence and aware of me.

    • angharad-hamlet

      i was like this a lot in my relationship, a while ago. each tiny change was threatening, my whole way of life crashing down when he changed sleeping cycles – i had multiple panic attacks and cried myself to sleep – and when he transitioned and changed wardrobes, very early on in our relationship. my life was invested in the perfect continuity, that things exactly as they were in that instant would continue. somewhere along the line i stopped being like this – i am disordered, psychotic in fact, but i don’t have schizotypal personality disorder like you – and i am still not at home.

      i wish you luck with all your homesickness, friend.

  • http://twitter.com/NancyFuknPants Pants

    I can relate and I can’t if that makes any sense. I grew up in Puerto Rico and lived there until I was 20. It was not what I would call a happy home. A lot of physical and emotional abuse. I finally left because my parents could not accept I was gay. I returned eight years later. The dog I had gotten when I was 10 was dead, my cat as well was dead. My parents faces were buried in lines and loneliness. I forgave them, they forgave me…and for the first time, I felt like I was home. I love you Amanda :) ty for sharing

  • Steph

    I can understand needing to let go of a wall of memories.

    I moved out of my mums house while she was at work. Our relationship had gotten too bad and I worried about my safety and weight.

    I could only take what I could fit in the car and lots of my memories had to be left behind. I didn’t have time to take my posters… or some of my very old toys. My box of old cinema stubs from dates and notes written in school. And I felt like the house was keeping part of me. I didn’t feel complete and it took a very long time to get that back… start again.

    I talk to her on the internet occasionally now and I asked about y things.

    She told me she had chucked away everything I left.

    I still feel the pang of knowing the things I treasured are only a memory now..

    I hate people, even my boyfriend walking in on me when I am drawing or sewing… reading, on my netbook.

    I always want to ask them what they think they are doing coming in here. Why do they think that is okay.

    I always thought I was alone being happier where no one knew me.

  • Patrick

    I moved house just under a year ago now, and for the first time I had my own room; up until this point I’d shared with my brother. My parents keep encouraging me to put things on the walls and get more furniture and stuff, and I think they’re worried that I’m not making it “mine”, my own space, I don’t know what. I guess I know what they mean, it doesn’t feel like I own it or anything, it just feels like a place I go sometimes. But then it’s not just that I miss my old house either, because the sharing meant I didn’t really own that either. I mean, nominally, I call my home my home, because it is, and I like it there. But the realism of the fact that it’s only a temporary place (All things being well I’m going to university this September) always pervades for me, so I don’t know. University will be in a totally different town, possibly even a different country, and I like that idea. Maybe I’ll feel at home there.

  • LauraBee

    I reduced my expectations. I’ve lost my home too many times that I can’t stand the pain of it anymore. I won’t have it. Now, home is where my internet connection is. Or where someone who loves me is (either myself or when I can’t, someone else. Anyone else.) Sometimes it’s just a room with a door that closes. We can never have our perfect homes back. It’s a tragedy we each keep in our hearts.

  • BC

    I’ve been finding a home in cafes for years since I was in high school, and privacy in my car where I feel like I can breath a little easier for whatever reason. I guess what I am saying is I can relate, whole heartedly. I take refuge in my secrets and animosity, it’s safe and unassuming, and without expectations. You’re presence will always be enough for at least myself, regardless that we don’t know one another, you’ve got one down. Stay strong miss Amanda

  • http://twitter.com/IrishMacLeod Colleen MacLeod

    I’m feeling very low today and this captured it perfectly. For nearly three years now, “Home”, has been someone else’s place, because we cannot afford to live on our own. First a friend, then my grandparents. And my grandmother makes me feel so damn unwelcome. She is a giving person, and wonderful for letting my mother, sister and I stay here when we have nowhere else to go, but at the same time, will throw this fact in our faces whenever she gets mad at us – such as for not calling to see if she wants another kind of coffee when the two stores you already went to didn’t have the one she wanted. Small things, she can make you feel like a hideous human being. She opens her mouth sometimes, and I want to kill myself.

    “Home” used to be a cute little townhouse 15 minutes away, with 3 birds and two kittens. It was a time when we didn’t need help from anyone to pay the rent, and we were really happy.

    I have always had a place to live, but that feeling of truly calling a place Home, and it being “mine”, has been missing for far too long. It’s hard to call a place home when you dread going there at the end of that day, but in the end, it’s where all your things are, along with your remaining bird and cat – the sole reason you haven’t killed yourself. That, in a sense, is also homelessness.

    So thank you for posting this. I can’t say I really feel better, but in a way, I do.

    • T. Z. Wallace

      If your cat is the only reason you are here…then God bless that cat. Add me to the members of those who are glad that you are holding on until such time as you find your true home…a place you and your cat can be safe and a place you are glad to return to at the end of each day.

  • http://twitter.com/ms_chatelaine Elaine Gallagher

    “Home is where, if you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Not any more, for me. When I told my parents what I was doing, they said, if you go through with it, you can’t come back. The house where I grew up has long belonged to someone else and I’m no longer welcome among the people I grew up with. That constant in twenty-five years of bouncing around this and other countries is gone now.

    So what is my home? My friends who have become my family. The books I have kept beside me over the years of travel. Old memories; Marc Cohn singing ‘Strangers in a Car’ and ‘True Companion’, that I listened to in a garret in London not much bigger than the bed I had there. A box of mementoes, gig tickets, convention memberships, an old student card, childhood decorations. A hard drive full of photos. A guitar and a whistle and some books of songs and tabs. My friend of fifteen years just flew back to Switzerland after spending the weekend with me in my home, going to the folk festival and seeing the places that I go, building up a picture of me in the places where I live; the cafes and bars and parks, the craft shops and gig venues. Fixing a view in her mind of the Elaine I am now instead of the Michael she knew.

    Home to me used to mean people, pets, comfort. It might one day again, but not right now.

  • http://gabrielgrub.blogspot.com/ June_Miller

    I was recently organizing my art inspiration/lyric notebook, when I happened upon a letter I wrote to my friend on Myspace (ha!) many years back. It was about an encounter I’d almost completely forgotten about. And it pained me so much, because it was a beautiful moment that should NEVER have left my mind even for a fucking second…and the wave of emotions just crashed over me all over again.

    ‘She loved you so much, you fool. Why didn’t you react?’

    But I know why. And it certainly doesn’t do any good to beat one’s self up over past naivety.

    I’m just so glad to still have it. To regain that memory. To still let it live in my heart, fully.

    .

    My parents remodeled my bedroom as soon as I moved out. Repainted the walls, put in new carpet…the whole nine yards. Sadly, I’m not terribly surprised by any of this. I still sleep in that room, when I visit over the holidays, but it’s nothing like what it was. Hell, it wasn’t even my original room to begin with: It was originally my older sister’s room. I moved myself in there shortly after she left for the Navy when I was 11. I cried myself to sleep a lot in there–I really missed her. Eventually I just started making it my own.

    It wasn’t really a sanctuary. It didn’t have a lock. My mom would still burst in during arguments after I ran in there to get away because…well, she’s a bully. That’s why.

    Sneaking out late at night, stealing the family car as a teenager to be under the moon and stars, to get away to my secluded spots in the pale moonlight…that felt more like home.

    When the family moved out to California from Illinois when I was seven, I had distinct memories of driving through the open landscape under the full moon and looking out the window, my father playing the oldies station, and something about it was comforting for me. When we would drive eight hours from Ukiah to Ventura late at night, as an adolescent, I would look at the yellow moon rising over the hills, so big and stark against a completely black nightscape, listening to certain songs on repeat in my headphones to capture the essence of everything I was seeing (and mainly to not have to have any conversations). I still don’t quite know what it is.

    .

    Last night, I passed DJing at my local club for a night off for myself. There was a really cool horror punk/deathrock/psychobilly night at Beauty Bar in San Francisco, and I wanted to get back to my roots: music that made me feel free and inspired in my youth, and not only have to do ‘club homework.’ I don’t want to be just a DJ, Amanda Fucking Palmer. I think you should know this.

    And it was perhaps the best decision I’ve made in a while.

    I met a couple really cool, really creative people.

    I listened to some really great tunes that I’ve loved for years–shit I wouldn’t be able to hear if it was an exclusively club atmosphere.

    I took in the whole of Mission Street on a late Sunday night, in all its grittiness and grime. Sorry: I like my cities dirty. I like that edge.

    Good drinks.

    Bacon-wrapped hot dog.

    And then I drove back on Highway-1 instead of 280 to get back. And the moon was full and bright, with a haze and thick clouds rolling over it. The Mighty Pacific shimmering, but still so dark.

    And it was on the drive back I realized: this is comfort for me. This is home. Being alone in a dive bar playing The Misfits or The Cramps or Wanda Fucking Jackson, chatting up strangers but still going back to rest my head on my own pillow. That’s home.

    .

    I live by myself.

    I didn’t even realize it was kind of a big deal, until speaking with a long distance friend, recently.

    I don’t know. I live underneath my sub-landlord, and with my kitten.

    I go out a lot to even things out.

    But…the comfort of being perfectly alone when you need to. It’s very important. It helps process things better, most of the time.

    Another friend of mine says he imagines me only existing in a number of places: bars, goth clubs, and my place of business. I told him to add cemeteries to that list, and it may be closer to accurate.

    But he forgot one thing: the night.

    The night, and the road.

    .

    Home is…relative.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gemmanova Gemma Nova James

      You have a beautiful way with words.

      • http://gabrielgrub.blogspot.com/ June_Miller

        Hey, thanks. Not too shabby, considering I was forced to drive to Starbucks to write this, eh? (Our internet was down.)

        Seriously though: it means a lot. <3

  • df

    I feel the same, whenever my wife decides to ‘go through’ and clean out our daughters room… i can’t stand the thought of throwing those things out. Things that will help them remember their beautiful childhoods in the future, in those times when they might need a happy memory.

    I know they can’t keep everything, I know. More than once I have surreptitiously retrieved precious drawings or soft toys – things that have a story, a history – from the recycling bin. Some days, you can let go of some things. But I’m so scared of forgetting, and I don’t want them to forget either.

  • http://twitter.com/thecrystalcrow Kristal Crow

    What can I do, but go on?

    I’ve been physically homeless for a year.

    Mentally? ‘Bout 4. When I became mostly bedridden and the pain became too much. When I lost both my business and my dream job, my lovely cottage, and began the process of selling or throwing the physical bits in the trash, severing memories with items as if they were bits of flesh.

    No end in sight, can’t think about it much.

    Family has been kind enough to allow me to park and old tin can camper on the property, and allow me to stay. Surrounded by the memories of memories, bereft of the physical things I had imbued with those memories, a sense of place, where my heart was at home.

    My best friend, my lovely Shepherd Clapton who I could not take care of anymore, placed in a home that seemed wonderful, and THEY CHANGED HIS NAME.

    My darling boy, I love you, I miss you. I am alone and broken. THEY CHANGED YOUR NAME.

    Selling my vehicle to pay for medications. What is the difference, between the physical homelessness and the mental?

    Sometimes, I’m too tired to try. And it doesn’t matter. And I fail yet again.

    • http://twitter.com/emsquarenc James Michael

      It matters. You matter. There are very many worthy stories here but I felt yours a little more at the moment. Can I ask you a favor? Please don’t tell yourself that it doesn’t matter anymore. I’m afraid that when we tell ourselves a thing like that enough times we start to believe it. You matter. Your life counts for something. I hope you can find a place you feel is home for you again. It matters.

    • miserichik

      Kristal, stay here, with us. Never think you don’t matter. (((hug)))

  • violetpsyche

    I have never lived all alone. I have a house, kids a job and roots. The house is just a physical space. Home is wherever my family are.

  • http://twitter.com/Rachellie242 Rachellie242

    Yes! am not a big-time blogger, but did post this poem on there once & it’s always been a fav (and comes to mind when reading your words just now), “Don’t Come Round, But if You Do” by the BUK

    http://rachellie242.blogspot.com/2006/01/dont-come-round-but-if-you-do.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/mariah.maccarthy Mariah MacCarthy

    Home for me, in the past year, has been:

    A hospital room with enormous windows where I was in the process of popping out a beautiful boy who I knew I could not raise. I had six friends come to the hospital with me, but only two could be in the room with me at a time, so the others would stay in the lobby and take naps. When the contractions hurt, they gave me a hand to squeeze. When I got an epidural so the contractions would stop hurting, they brought me a teddy bear and took my picture, and the nurse on duty stayed two or three hours past the end of her shift to meet my son when he came out. That was home.

    A couple months later, the gay couple who adopted my son had him baptized in a non-denominational ceremony at a Mexican restaurant in which I took part. One of the fathers assigned his sister to sit by me and make sure I had whatever I wanted. She would ask me if I needed another margarita, and I would say yes, and in those moments I was home.

    Home is the back row of a theater where a play I’ve written is being performed. When it’s great and the audience is holding their breath, OR when things are going so, so wrong and the audience is still laughing and maybe faking it but still they want so bad, SO BAD, for the show to succeed, they’re so on your side…that’s home.

    Home is an orgasm from someone I really really like.

    Home is falling asleep holding the stuffed pink unicorn that my friend has had for nine years but gave to me because she knew I was going through a hard time.

    Home is riding the N train with my headphones. A lot of the time, these days, they’re blasting Theatre Is Evil. After the first time I saw my son’s heart on the screen, I ducked into the garden outside the hospital and listened to “Trout Heart Replica” at least three times, maybe more, and that was home.

    Home is love, or peace, or both, without fear or invasion. I switched rooms in my apartment, and the new room doesn’t feel like home yet, but until it does I can find other homes, and I will be fine.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/libbyking punksocks

    This is my favourite. Fits like a red velvet catsuit. Spin me right round.

  • Leslie

    Home is just as much being alone as it is being around the right people. I recently left my tiny and wonderful apartment of three years in pursuit of my dream. I’m staying at my parents’ house in the interim, and as wonderful and kind as they are to have me… it’s not home, most of the time.

    My home was that tiny apartment, with its lime green and teal and pink walls. I chose to leave it, but that doesn’t make me feel any less lost now.

    I’m not sure how long it’ll be until I find home again. I’m moving across the ocean, over to all sorts of uncertainty, and I’m hoping maybe there I’ll find just the right mix of things, just the right elements to make it home.

    My apartment was in a converted old house, and at the prime point of living there, all of my neighbours were people I knew. My best friend (and that description never seems to fit; she’s such an essential element of my life) lived in the apartment right next to mine. We’d talk via text before we’d knock on each other’s doors, except for when I wanted to give her a painting. My apartment was covered in silly paintings of mine and, gradually, so was hers. And, oddly, around the time I decided to move out, so had the other two neighbours. My best friend took the upstairs neighbour’s apartment, and now she’s the only one of us left in that house, looking out over the street. I felt shellshocked the first few times I went to the house to see my best friend. I’d stand in the front hallway and stare at the door that was mine for three years and wonder if I’d done the right thing.

    I have to believe that I have. And it’s weird, because my home wasn’t taken away from me. I feel like this makes these feelings less valid. But it’s painful to take yourself away from perfectly adequate situations, even if it’s in search of amazing ones.

    Taking myself away from my apartment, that small space that was all mine but with other people so close by, and taking myself away from other people at all. All my beloved friends, so much dearer to me than my lonely childhood self could possibly have dreamed of.

    Speaking of home… one night, after being out drinking and dancing. We headed back to my friend’s place, a bunch of us, sat on the couches there. I didn’t realize how tired I was, and I hate to miss a chance to be around people. We were talking and laughing and all of a sudden my friend’s gentle voice was telling me to wake up, we had to go. I’d fallen asleep with all these beautiful people’s calming voices around me, feeling so warm and loved in a way I can’t even describe. That was home to me. That was home, most of all.

  • http://www.woahmolly.com/ Molly Woah!

    I’ve never had a homebase. I’ve moved from rental to rental, from place to place my whole life. I don’t have a great deal of stuff anymore because I know I’ll just have to move it again soon. Maybe that’s why it’s always felt like there is something missing inside me, maybe that’s why I rarely feel as if I belong.

    But it’s not all sad. I’m my homebase. I don’t need a place or things to come back to. I come back to me. My memories live on, not in things or rooms, but in me.

  • Joannachronism

    This couldn’t have come at a better time, Amanda.

    It’s funny… while I’ve always felt connected to you (twitter, blog comments.. hell we’ve spoken a few words here and there over the vast sea of interweb), it is with this post that I truly feel CLOSE to you.

    Over the past few years I’ve searched tirelessly for home. I have found it a few times since then. It hasn’t been easy. But then again, what is?

    I was displaced, shunned, abused, unloved for quite some time by those people in my life who I thought could never desert me. This was my first step in realizing that the conventional “home” I had believed in for so long was not going to work for me, nor did it HAVE to. That was the most difficult part for me to grasp; I didn’t have to stick around wherever I found myself if I didn’t feel comfortable, if I didn’t want to be. I didn’t want to be, I left, I found myself, I found my love, I found my home.

    Right now, I’m suffering a depression. It’s worse than I had initially thought. It’s fucking tough. Tough to be displaced, shunned, abused, unloved by everything inside me, my every being. What a betrayal. So many of my thoughts and feelings have been distorted. It’s hard to know where home is when I don’t know where I am.

    Sometimes I forget how I came to find home over those past few years. This helped me to remember. YOUR WORDS helped me to remember.

    I may be lost and confused, but those things are NECESSARY in finding home.

    It’s where MY music comes from; if I follow the melody through the black, I’ll find myself and the place my self wants to be. That is my home.

    My love, she’s there, I’ll find her again. She is my home.

    You’re there. I’ve found you. You are my home.

    Thank you. I love you. I hope you find home again. You’ve given so many of us one to share.

  • mundens

    Never really had a home as a kid. Was the bastard son of a married naval officer, lived with mum’s mum and her friend for a bit, until she found a guy to marry her even with a kid. While I was under five we moved from Bosham, UK to Freemantle, Australia and then, after what seems to me now like a short montage of images & feelings, back again.

    Shortly after was taken out of school by mother in the middle of the day as she ran off with another man. I was so annoyed. I lost most of my toys and clothes when that happened. New Dad was an engineer, moved round the country to all the big building jobs. We followed, living mainly in boarding houses and flats. He went to a job in New Zealand when I was ten. This time had to leave all my Beano & Warrior comics behind.

    Always leaving stuff & people behind. Never any choice. Home became me by myself. Home became music & books that I could always find in my head even if I had to leave the physical objects behind. Would sing entire Pink Floyd albums to myself in my head. I avoided getting close to kids at school, because i didn’t expect to know them for more than a year, and didn’t want to experience the hurt of losing them again. Learned much later that I’d effectively stopped myself from ever being that close to people. And that includes my ex-wife & children.

    Spent eleven years in the military initially living out of barracks, home in a kit-bag, then in married quarters, finally buying a house and leaving,

    Last seventeen years as a adult, longest I’ve ever spent in one place. Feel like I now have the sort of community I never had when a kid. People who care, whom I can trust & relax with. Have started to allow myself to feel close to people again. Also have overcompensated for always losing my comics and toys by having a houseful of them. Would need a fleet of trucks to move now. Now I have the choice, I chose to stay in one place, like a dragon on it’s hoard. Sometimes other people or animals live in the house with me.

    Still doesn’t feel like home though. Sometimes, when I’m brave enough to let myself feel, I feel like I’m home in someone’s arms. But most of the time I’m still home in my head, with all those things I love that I feel I’ll never be able to adequately explain to anyone, except every now and then when I manage to write something like this.

  • alan haigh

    That was really a lovely poem that does make me worry for the you I imagine. It is such a strange world you’ve created through your performance-art-music- blog-choreography of empathy and intimacy. All that giving to virtual friends but actual strangers. I hope you find a way to refill your cup and the drink restores your lyrical power- seems like it’s dripping all over this blog.

    What your mother did I don’t think we’d ever do to our son who is twenty and living in Brooklyn maybe becoming some kind of electronic dance music composer DJ. We keep his room for him and probably will for as long as he might need it, but if he had his art on the wall it would stay till we die. I have a hand made paper rocket and stars on the ceiling over my bed that glows in the dark that he made for me when he was four. We will paint around it.

    I have a home that only the death of my brain can remove and it is the Topanga Canyon of my youth- nothing indoors of importance but those chapparel hills with live oak canyons are in my dreams at least once a week. I bonded with those hills and the Pacific Ocean from age 11 until I went to NY City 35 years ago. I can go back but I don’t have to.

  • NativeWit

    Don’t forget – home is also place the music takes you back to when Home seems to have gone on walkabout. Just listen. The music will find you when it needs to, Amanda, and try to trust that this blog is art-making enough ’til then, no?

    ———————————-

    Home is where I want to be
    Pick me up and turn me round
    I feel numb – burn with a weak heart
    (So I) guess I must be having fun
    The less we say about it the better
    Make it up as we go along
    Feet on the ground
    Head in the sky
    It’s ok I know nothing’s wrong . . nothing

    Hi yo I got plenty of time
    Hi yo you got light in your eyes
    And you’re standing here beside me
    I love the passing of time
    Never for money
    Always for love
    Cover up + say goodnight . . . say goodnight

    Home – is where I want to be
    But I guess I’m already there
    I come home – -she lifted up her wings
    Guess that this must be the place
    I can’t tell one from another
    Did I find you, or you find me?
    There was a time Before we were born
    If someone asks, this where I’ll be . . . where I’ll be

    Hi yo We drift in and out
    Hi yo sing into my mouth
    Out of all tose kinds of people
    You got a face with a view
    I’m just an animal looking for a home
    Share the same space for a minute or two
    And you love me till my heart stops
    Love me till I’m dead
    Eyes that light up, eyes look through you
    Cover up the blank spots
    Hit me on the head Ah ooh

    -The Talking Heads

  • http://twitter.com/rachel_allyson Rachel Allyson

    Almost two years ago I left a relationship that was toxic. I had been with her for over four years… lived with her for four. When I finally left, I tore through the pain and the fear that was holding me in that place that wasn’t safe for either of us, and I went back to the city where I was born — where I hadn’t lived since I was five, and I started to make a home for myself. Home was this town, but not necessarily my apartment. Home was my friends. Home was the music I was listening to. But somehow something was still missing.

    About six months after I left, she — my ex — came to visit me. It was a mistake. I wasn’t ready for it. I thought I was, but I wasn’t. It was Christmas eve. I played the hostess. We made small talk. Suddenly I was crying — sobbing — the only words I could put together were “I want to go home.”

    I said it, yelled it, screamed it over and over.

    But I didn’t want to go back there. I didn’t want to go back to her.

    I just didn’t want to be lonely.

    I’m 32. I’ve lived in 15 places since I was 18.

    Home isn’t a place. It’s a feeling. It’s comfort. I’ll always be building it, but I don’t think it will ever be finished.

    Thank you for this (and everything). It is beautiful.

  • http://twitter.com/imtherealamanda Amanda Thompson

    Thank you sharing this with us. It really hit home with me. I’ve moved every year since I was 17, and once, 3 times in a year. None of the places I’ve lived ever felt like home. They could have the “homey” touches of my personal belongings, but I never belonged. And when the end of the year approached, I would start feeling more and more out of place, knowing, anticipating the new move was drawing ever closer. I hate moving, but I love moving. Relocating your things is a pain, but being somewhere new, where you can pretend like you belong, is nice. I find I feel more at home on my friend’s sofas than I do in my own bed. I feel like an urban nomad. Always wandering. Always searching for the “right place.” Never settling. Never staying too long. My other half and I talk about buying a house and it sounds like a dream comes true. But deep down, the thought terrifies me. I’m not sure if I will be able to settle into a house without feeling trapped. Reading that you, one of my biggest role models and favorite musician, struggle with the same sort of feelings makes me feel like everything will be okay. Thank you again. I fucking love you so much! <3

  • emilyr

    The people upstairs are having a blazing row.
    My feet are freezing.
    My tea’s gone cold.
    I feel at home.

  • http://twitter.com/avonmora Deborah Chick

    I don’t go home any more.

    I moved from Tasmania to New Zealand to escape; because my home was taken away from me.

    We first moved just before I turned 8.

    That house was magical, it was everything. A garden that became our fortress, our pirate ship, our volcano, our deserted island. My siblings and I would run around in a world that existed only in our heads.

    I remember the fascination of Mulberry Juice, from the giant Mulberry tree that gre in the garden. I would have been about 5 or so, and the older brothers were all out into making weapons – blow darts in particular. I remember the aluminium pipes that would be selected and the fistfuls of Mulberries that would be carried around as everyone hid around the backyard before an all out war would ensue. I distinctly recall that someone was camped out in the Mulberry tree itself with an endless supply of plump, juicy berries that were perfect ammunition.
    The white shed always got covered with the bloody juice (much to mum and dad’s endless horror), impact spots that would slowly dribble down before the heat of the day made them impossibly sticky and nearly impossible to wash off. Not to mention us. Usually dressed in some sort of Indian or cowboy ensemble, hands tacky beyond recognition from handling the delicious ammunition, with the odd impact mark on our bodies, staining everything.
    I remember being fascinated at the way that the juice would stain the skin. It would persist after numerous scrubbings and copious amounts of soap. But it would colour in waves. It would stain once, and then if you covered the area again you would get a new tone of mulberry.
    I recall studying my hands as a child, and wondering how it did it. How a delicious little berry that had numerous uses for games, for food, for drinks, for cakes, for jam, or just to simply freeze – could make such beautiful contours of colour on my hands.

    I miss that tree.

    Our next house … was never a home. It was a place where many of us stagnated into depression. It was a blinding relief when we left. To this day, I don’t know if it was the house itself, or the start contract between it and our old home. Although I had only lived in that home with the Mulberry Tree for 8 years, my older siblings lived there for 25 odd years (I am the youngest of 8).

    When we left that dark cave of sadness, surrounded by rolling hills, wild landscapes and crystal clear rivers … I felt alive again. I felt as though I could breath again.

    Although our new house eventually became a home … when my parents decided to move house again (for the third time in my life) I chose to move away from home. I left, and left them with all of my boxes, all of my junk, my school books, clothing, art and junk of a girl no trying to grow up. 18 years of my life where packed away into a shipping container for storage.

    And now 8 years later my family still ask me why I don’t “come home to visit”.

    Because … it isn’t home.

    Home has become a place in my heart, sitting at the top of my own Mulberry Tree, holding a blowdart close to my lips as I wait for the next person to come into view. It is the place where I guard, where I protect, it is the moment that I take a deep breath to splatter the gorgeous purple and red juice all over someone. To watch their skin take new shades of purple, to watch them drink the colour in as they peer intently into the tree – wondering who it is that could mark them so.

    I won’t go home. It makes me too sad. My memories are more precious to me than photos. Because they are mine, and even though half of them have been tainted by “growing up” and coming to terms with a grief that surrounded that precious Mulberry Tree that at the time I was too young to fully comprehend … I don’t care.

    It’s my fucking tree. It is now my home.

    It is just that I no longer need to be in a specific place to feel it. I carry it with me. Even though it hurts.

    I ramble – I have not articulated any of this before.

    Thank you Amanda Fucking Palmer for helping me remember my Mulberry Tree.

    To remember my home.

  • http://twitter.com/YouveBeenGarthd Kanaan

    I was one of those kids that was always moved around. New year, new school. No time to make friends or get comfortable inside the four walls, whose angles would be my shelter, my realm, for a few months, maybe a year if I was lucky. At one point, though, I did make a friend, someone who had lived in the same house her entire life, and both her and her home sort of became mine. And we stopped moving. I wouldn’t let us anymore. We met two other people, became four, and then three again.

    We painted on her ceiling growing up. From seventh grade through our senior year, the four of us covered her ceiling in words, pictures, jokes, everything. Our lives, in the form of finger nail polish and marker on the ceiling. We covered her walls like a scrapbook, sticking everything from old christmas lights to drawings to gum packages on them.

    She moved out last fall. I think we all silently said goodbye to her room, to her ceiling, but no one talked about it. I didn’t see it again until the beginning of this month and, to my surprise, her mother left it intact. We all expected it to be painted over and torn down, but so far it’s still alive. I don’t know how we’ll handle it when it’s finally covered up, but I know it wont be well. Even though I don’t see it, knowing it’s there makes me feel like I have a place to return to.

    Aside from that, even when we lived down the street from each other we wrote letters all the time. I have boxes upon boxes in my room of all the letters she ever sent me, along with letters from another friend who came later, assorted bits of art they made, and notes from either of them when spoken words weren’t enough to calm our fights. Every few years we rediscover them. Reading through them, remembering, reliving. They will go with me where ever I go, and they will make it more home-like.

    I didn’t understand home before her and our other friend. I didn’t think I could be okay when they moved away to college, four hours away, and I was right. They are my friends, but also my sisters and my daughters. We raised each other in that room with the painted ceiling. I’m going to move in with them in a few months. They’re looking for an apartment. I’m sure it will feel like home.

  • aoliveri

    i’m going through something similar. After 43 years of marriage, my parents are divorcing. My father has his family home that he lives in rent-free. The rent from the upstairs tenant pays all the bills and he has a pension, so he’s pretty much set-for life. My mom and I live in her family home. I am the fourth generation to live here. My great-grandfather built this house. His old whisky bottles are still walled up inside. This is my home. My mom doesn’t have a job with a pension. She never dreamed of being faced with divorce after 43 years. Last year, my brother was hit by a car and his skull got crushed in. He lives in Florida. My mum would like to sell everything and go down to live near him, but that would mean giving up everything. Giving up her history. Giving up her home. Four generations of history, gone in a flash. I live in Belmont, a close knit community where family tends to stay around generation after generation. Something is changing that is affecting us all, the economy. People are selling their homes left and right to developers that plow into the houses and replace them with ugly oversized cheaply constructed condo units. On my street the past is quickly being erased. Homes that have been here for 150 years are being demolished in favor of cheap plastic cookie-cutter condos. Our oldest church was just bulldozed today. Everything is going so fast we don’t have the chance to say a proper goodbye. We are all losing our Home. i think all of us long for a place to call our own. I’m sorry that you didn’t get to properly say goodbye to your sanctuary. No matter how well it has been archived, it just isn’t the same. i hope you are able to create a new space soon, one that doesn’t require you to bundle up in your coat and hat. In the meantime, you should check out the book “Mandy”, by Julie (Andrews) Edwards. It’s a great chapter book about a girl who just longs for a place of her own. I think you’ll like it. It’s very fitting.

  • http://twitter.com/bina__ballerina binaballerina

    I’ve lived in many apartments, many houses over the years. None of them ever felt like “home.” Only in one case was there a real reason for it – years of mental and emotional abuse, and when it turned to physical abuse, I fled. I’ve always had somewhere I could go to, but it never felt right, if that makes any sense.

    Then I met my partner. I knew almost immediately that he was it. With him, I feel home. It doesn’t matter where we are or what is happening, as long as he is with me. He understands that sometimes I need to be alone, and he is happy to be alone with me; I can sit on the sofa and read while he plays computer games upstairs, but I know he is up there if I need him.

    / And I think the reason blog comments are becoming so much more deep and strange is that we are connecting with each other. It’s another home for so many of us, because many of us are so similar and we had thought we were all alone.

  • ladymiseryali

    That corny saying “home is where the heart is”, rings true in this blog. My home is snuggling with my fiance and our two cats. Where we are now, doesn’t feel like a home. Hopefully one day we will find that place, but as long as we have each other, we have home.

  • http://twitter.com/BattyRx Ashley

    I wish I could say “the world is my home,” but I cannot. Home is safe, comforting without intrusiveness. I constantly feel the World looking in, comparing me to its other outputs. Comparisons aren’t comforting- they feel more like competition. Home is accepting, supportive, loving, nurturing.

    In a house with my mother, all walls are lined with peering eyes to cast judgement. Living in fear of disappointment, but needing to show that I’m an “adult,” I’ve “matured” to independency. Just a few weeks ago I was shopping with my parents and said, half hoping for agreement, “I’m responsible, I make respectable decisions.” No, every item she picked up to put into the cart became laced with all of my wrongdoings, my parents feeding off each other to make a list of my failures. The walls are wide-eyed, catching, magnifying every flaw.

    I’m nomadic, using friends as apartments, packing up any bonds made and leaving when they lose understanding of me. A best friend of six years, and I’m struggling to keep our relationship functional. I don’t want to leave, but the things we share no longer console either of us. I feel as if I’m slowly packing my things and hiding boxes in my closet. I promise myself I’ll visit, perhaps in the same fashion as farmers rotate crops.

    I’ve found the person I want to call home. I feel like I’m in a bidding war with time. Just a few months, and I can start decorating the walls with love, intelligence, understanding, laughter- the potting soil of my individual growth. Every day I fear I’m losing him, yet I keep reminders of what we had before he moved close, assuring myself there’s more. I try to tell myself that I’m mentally housecleaning because he deserves someone without a cluttered mind, but then the cleaning feels more like destroying a home with history for sale. People choose homes for history because the history builds character. I don’t want to lose my character, but it’s suffocating me. He removes the weight, yet I’m not where he is.

    Where do you go when you aren’t -home- in your own mind? Perhaps my growth is stunted.

    Thank you, Amanda, for being my stuffed animal that I can’t travel without. You always provide comfort, especially when I most need it, when deep thought becomes too much and a crawl space is necessary.

    x

  • http://www.facebook.com/marissa.crannell Marissa Crannell

    Home is a place I don’t recognize anymore.

    I’m stretched too thin, too many places that have a claim on me.

    None of them feel exactly right but one, and I can’t go there.

    There’s never enough money, or enough time.

    And the guilt– oh, the guilt– when I choose to go there.

    It is crushing.

    Overpowering.

    I just want to go to that home.

    And stay.

    But I’m not supposed to.

    I’m supposed to be an adult, whatever that is.

    I’m supposed to be responsible.

    To finish school.

    To care for my family.

    To hold everyone together.

    And I’m tired.

    I just want to go HOME.

    Home is so far away and I’ve only been there a handful of times, and no one seems to understand how important it is to me, and I sit in my bed at night and wish I was there and never had to leave.

    What do you do when too many places are supposed to be home but only one is, and you can’t have it?

  • http://twitter.com/bostonkas K

    Amanda, I just want to wrap you up in a big warm cuddle and give you wine and write a song with you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dhyana123 Peg McAdam

    Dear Amanda Fucking Palmer,

    when I saw you today in your little prince coat

  • http://twitter.com/RobinReads robinreads

    I wish I had something profound to say. Please just know that you will get there. Your life is in such turmoil right now. It seems kind of funny that what to others might be seen as finally ‘settling down’ – staying in one place for a length of time, living with your husband – would throw your life into a tailspin. But it makes perfect sense to me. You will get there.

  • MB

    My family sold the house I grew up in 10 years ago. I was very not okay with losing my room, my home. I grew up and moved out, got married, made a new home. Now life is upside down. Separated from my husband and am back at my parents home. This isn’t my home. I’ve been here 3 months and it feels less like home everyday.

    Twice I’ve lost a home, it hurts.

  • http://twitter.com/raq_hell Rachel

    I moved to Melbourne in March of 2012. I have almost been here a year. I’m originally from New Zealand, and constantly feel the ache of homesickness. I had never lived in a different city to my twin sister, now we live in different countries. My entire family was at my house, my parents house last week and I wasn’t there. To me, home is a mix of my parents house, wherever my sister is and wherever my boyfriend is. I just miss New Zealand more than I thought.

    Thank you for this blog and everyone who has commented. Home can be anything, even just a fleeting moment of knowing you’re not alone in that homeless feeling xxx

  • RedLioness

    I’m here on a rainy night in Brazil, after reading you, thinking about home and to be
    brutally sincere I don’t think I have a home outside my head. Sometimes I find
    peace, some little vapid peace in a song, in a word, in a verse, in a book,
    inside a movie, something that makes me laugh but never a home. I realize that but I try to live my days like I don’t: it helps to deal with that kind of despair of not finding sanctuary.

    The thing is: I wish I didn’t need to ask or find home but that Home was something I could
    receive like a present or witness, like a miracle.

  • IAmAGraveyard

    I think some Green Day song says relevant words; “Home is where your heart is, but what a shame, because everybody’s heart doesn’t beat the same…”
    There’s a Spanish word for what you are talking about. Querencia. The only way I can describe/remember it is from where you draw your strength, from where you rest and at the same time wake up. Where your home has been made, purposefully or by accident. My querencia is my best friend. With him, I am at peace in even the most terrifying places. I just hope/pray/wish/whatever that you and everyone else discovers theirs

  • Véronique

    You wondered what has happened to your blog. I started to figure it out in Twitter replies and realized that was a rather poor medium for this. :)

    I used to sing freely. For reasons I choose not to go into, I became afraid to sing. I was afraid of my voice. Then listening to PJ Harvey did something really special. It gave me permission to sing again. It was her courage, her going for the edge, her refusal to edit herself. Listening to her gave me the courage to find my voice again and indeed to find a new and better voice. My real voice.

    For whatever reason, many of us get into these kinds of situations. We’re afraid to express ourselves. We’re afraid for all kinds of reasons. What you seem to have a particular ability to do with your writing is to give people permission to let go of that fear. You express yourself fearlessly. You give us your heart. That is extremely powerful. It breaks barriers. It banishes fear. You see the evidence in the comments, on post after post. People become unafraid to show their own hearts.

    You write a beautiful, heartfelt blog post that becomes a catalyst for beautiful, heartfelt comments. That’s a wonderful gift. Thank you!

    xoxo

    – Véronique

  • Musings

    I’ve been thinking a lot about home lately. Maybe because I am, in all likelihood, about to move — move across the continent, one way or another.

    I’ve lived in New England most of my life, Boston my “adult”, post-college life.

    Boston was the first city I chose. It is colder than what I wanted, noisier, less glamorous. I didn’t love it at first, and I’m not sure I totally love it now — but it fits me. Kind of like when you keep putting a sweater on and it stretches out and the neck hole gets large until it can only be your sweater, and no one else’s, and it’s the comfiest sweater you’ve own.

    I’ve fallen in love in Boston, had my heart broken in Boston, cried so so many times, and been simply content, walking around a lake in the fall. Most of my favorite cafes, strangers-now-friends, friends-now-strangers came from this gray, nerdy, awkward, chilly place. I came out to myself, for real, in Boston, and found my calling here. Somewhere in the background, Amanda, you sang.

    I’m not sure when the switch was made — when my childhood home was no longer mine, and Boston became it, but all of a sudden one sweater fit and one sweater didn’t. For me, Boston is the home I created for myself, the place, more than any other fits. And I’m about to leave, alone, to a place that won’t fit me yet.

    Home is about finding that thing (place, person, moment) that fits, or having the time to let it settle, stretch, become a part of you.

  • Kat

    Funny how different a definition can be. To me, “home” is where my bed is, my dogs are and where I sleep the deepest. I am only comfortable here,however, when NO ONE else is here. I feel such a joy when I get the house to myself with my pups. I play the piano freely, which I NEVER do when someone is here. But as soon as the house is empty..I gravitate toward it. “Finally..I can play and not be judged.” The dogs always fall asleep next to me in the living room when I play it. Everytime. :)

  • http://twitter.com/RAH_HELL Scatter Brain

    first this blog really confused me. i thought its written in a weird way. i love it!

    amanda, this reminds me of the steppenwolf a lot. i see why its your favourite book.

    i am very lucky to always have a house i can go back to. the old house that i grew up in. as it is a farm it will always be in possesion of my family. i will always be able to come back here. its a fucking lovely house outside, only two houses next to it, and then only nature. i fucking love it. (ha you will see it actually. the house party in eschwege…) anyway lately i dont really feel like home here even though im living here for as long as i can remember and there is NOTHING i would ever explain about in of my childhood i see it is time to move away. to move on! finished school last year and i felt really really lost the last few months. my parents and other family member put a lot of pressure on me. i should study or apprenticeship, then get a job and start a fucking career. i can only quote good old john lennon here: they’ve tortured and scared you for 20-odd years and then they expect you to pick a career! i cant i just cant at this time of my and no one understands.

    but there is a silver lining in the grey cloud. its my girlfriend. she lives in liverpool and we have a long distance relationship. (we fucking know each other because of you, how fucking amazing is that? be proud of yourself! you brought together what bellongs together. and i will thank you forever for this, amanda!!)
    so my girl has given me hope and supported and encouraged me all the time for almost 8 months now and i can proudly say that she is my home. i feel safe with her, she gives me shelter. we give each other shelter. its just not possible when you have all this distance between you.

    but! here is the best news: tadaaa! i will go home next week. in exactly one week i will be living with my beautiful girl in england. i finally feel confident again. no long distance. home!

    oh
    my
    god

    i am sooo excited i could wee myself!! and i can see the light again. i still dont have a fooking clue what to do with my life. but this pressure will stop. i can just be whatever i want, or find out what i want. …find people to make music with, become a rockstar maybe? you never know, innit? i cant wait to go home!

    what im trying to say is: i dont think home must be a place. surely not. its people you love who give you a home. wherever! home is a place for most people thats kind of true. but the place they call home is filled with people or just things they love. and if you took away those people or thing and would just leave them a place, the same place they used to call home, it wouldnt be a home for them any more. it ist not a place really. it is where your heart is.
    i hope you will find your home but im pretty sure there are many people you can call home. and isnt that ace? like you have so many homes! you have amazing fans as well and that is because you are an amazing artist AND a wonderful human being.
    stay who you are my little steppenwolf. i hope you are happy

    in summer i will come back to germany for a bit to organise a legendary party with no one else than you! god, so excited, cant wait! (can we pleeeease play a song together or two? i can play the drums (and the uke). to play girl anachronism or astronaut with you, that would be home as well for a few minutes.)

    now actually this blog doesnt confuse me any more. i am glad you put it up. its good to get these thoughts out of my head. it is kinda therapy, innit? i hope i can help you a bit by saying thank you for so much, you are home for many people who feel lost. and maybe it is because you feel like they do and you understand them? you are a beutiful mind at the end if te day.

    much love, all the best and good night.
    see you soon
    rahel
    xxx

    ps.: when i feel homesick or i’m scared or anything i listen to your songs and your voice and the familiar sound of the music calm me down and make me feel safe, like home. i only works with your music. so i can say that you are definitely a part of my home. congratulations! as a rather huge fan i hope i can be home for you in some way too.

    pps.: also brian’s drums sound like home! xx

  • Liberty

    I feel like home in a library, in an art gallery or museum, even as a non-religious person, I feel at home in a church.

    It feels like these large and sometimes elaborate buildings are blankets, if it were to storm for days and I had to evacuate and seek shelter to avoid flooding. I would be most content in one of these, hell if I could move house, it would be in one of these.

    It’s something to do with the age of them, or the things inside, I’m learning other peoples experiences from decades before by simply observing or reading or just sitting still and sucking in the surroundings.

    In my head I try to recreate them in my head as I would like them in my own house, a book nook with floor to ceiling bookshelves, overflowing with books, so much that stalagmites of paperbacks and hardbacks begin to form. So much that it is a maze to get to that seat to read.

    I’ve gradually started collecting antiques, brooches in particular; they are still stored in their little boxes that they have been shipped in. But I just think of the beautiful display that they could be in, their pins pierced through a soft velvet, the little place card with the makers details and the year that they were made it.

    Hell, I’ve even been tempted to create a small altar, but lacking any room, and the spirituality in my house, I’ve had to stop myself. But I still find myself lighting incense or candles when I need to be calmed.

    The thing I love about these places so much, is that you are required to be quiet. If you came with a group, it is slightly acceptable to keep a lower murmur of words and giggles. If you came alone, it is almost taboo to try and strike a conversation.

    You are required to be quiet, but there are so many people around you. Alone in a crowded place can be the worst or best feeling. In a large noisy bustling crowd. The worst feeling, sometimes the feeling is so intense I have to concentrate on not crying about it all.
    But with a head buried in a book, or with a gaze intently staring at artworks and pieces from time itself. With head down or just observing the architecture, the stain glass windows, the church bulletin board. These are the best feelings I have ever felt, I feel I am by myself, but not alone. Content.

    I even feel like this when I’m online, where I can learn another’s experiences, read everything they have to say about them, check up on them occasionally, and not say a word, just representing an extra number on the page hits counter. When I can be involved with other communities, but merely say a word. And I graciously thank you Amanda for being so open with your heart and soul to allow me to feel content on this blog of yours.

    I love the feeling of home, of the quietness among a number of people. The mandatory silence unifies everyone, at that moment no one’s opinion is more valid than another, and no one’s got something better to say. We are all truly equal.

    Like the quote says “The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you’ve ever had.” (Unknown)
    Somehow I recall it being different, but the message it still there, sans all the best friend on the porch in a swing. Just anyone, I would feel most content sitting with a person and not saying a word, just observing.
    When I come back from the library, art gallery, museum or church. I feel like I’ve had a conversation to
    last me a lifetime. But I haven’t said a single thing. I feel relaxed. I feel free.

  • Kelly Hyde

    Wow… Your ability to capture human emotions in an art form is amazing. This is exactly how I’m feeling right now. I’m a college sophomore, still stumbling around to find my way living independently four hours away from my hometown. I live off campus with a girl who used to be one of my very close friends. Over the winter break from classes, when we were both in our respective hometowns, we had a pretty nasty falling out–one to a degree where I feel like I can’t forgive her. Today is my first full day of returning to the apartment after that falling out, and it’s just so… ugly. I don’t feel comfortable or safe. It feels like all of the life and energy was sucked out of this place and replaced with silence and mutual avoidance. It’s stunning how much it can emotionally affect you when your home base, your foundation, is tarnished. This feeling of weightlessness is so unwelcome.

    But, as others and you yourself have said, nothing says home has to be a building. If home is a place where you don’t have to feel afraid to express yourself and be yourself unabashedly, this blog will do nicely for the moment, at least until I find a way to make these walls breathe again.

  • StMongo

    when I lived at my parent’s house, it never felt like home. I don’t know if it’s because we moved around a lot, or because I had a weird family situation (I have 3 older siblings who had all left home by the time I was 8, so I essentially grew up an only child), but it was never the “safe place” that a lot of people here have talked about. it’s not like my parents were bad people or that anything bad happened, but I just don’t have these warm and fuzzy memories of my childhood.

    when I moved out, I lived with my pets, but that’s it. I prefered being alone. never felt like I could trust anyone else with my animals or my stuff if I wasn’t there. plus, I didn’t want to put up with anyone else’s bullshit.

    only twice in my life have I ever had that “home” feeling. the first time was when I met my husband. he’s absolutely home for me. even if I spin off out of control, I can always come back to him because I know he’ll be there. he’s awesome. the second time was when we went to Scotland. holy shit, I never knew a place could feel like that. it fit like skin. we are moving there in the fall of 2014 and I can’t wait.

    I hope where ever or who ever or whatever it is, I hope everyone here finds their home. no place like it.

  • http://twitter.com/kllyclaus Kelly A. Claussen

    I’ve discovered something about myself. When I’m busy with a show, I can do nearly anything, with low sleep, short cut funds, all the woes seem to dissipate.

    and then I’m done with that show, I go to a very lonely place. Though I need the rest and the time to work my day job. All those woes that seemed so easy, dominate my existence.

    Doing what I love is so important to me. But I just wish I could love what I’m doing all the time. For me, as a young theatre artist, finding a working home is what’s most important. I don’t feel like myself when I go through this post project depression. I would like to be able to rest and still feel supported and active.

    jobhomelessness.

  • Steph

    Growing up, I was molested by my father and physically abused by my mother. I never felt at home in any corner of my house, in the presence of anyone in my family, or any other place. My home is a tiny place inside of me I go to. Most of the time I can’t even find it. People around me don’t get it. But all these stories from you and the authors I love warm my heart very much it kinda feels like I’m home.

  • Melly

    This all makes complete sense to me – on an artistic level, my mother has never understood how I can dance on stage in front of hundreds, thousands, but not JUST in front of her. Growing up my “dance space” was in the basement, and while practicing or choreographing I lived in paranoia that a parent would walk in on me, catching a glimpse of some unfinished or unpolished piece. I know my mom means well – she loves to watch me dance and thinks it’s gorgeous, so my fear was never her judgement, just that it was not meant for the eyes of others.

    On a “home” home level – my parents and grandparents BOTH moved at the same time i graduated high school. Everything was turned upside down, i felt like the rug had been pulled out from beneath me, like i literally had NO home. I was moving away to college and the home (homes if you count grandma) weren’t the same, i’d never lived there. The homes weren’t even in the same city, and one wasn’t even in the same state. I always felt bad whining about it, it didn’t feel like a REAL hardship, but it’s an odd feeling to go to your parent’s house and not have a room. Sure, i have a room to stay in, but it’s not MY room. I’ve not lived there, or grown up there. Nothing in the room was picked out or placed by me. It’s a strange and unsettling feeling.

    But i’ve grown to understand, in a sappy way, that for me, my home is when i’m with mom and grandma. No matter where they happen to be physically located, if i’m with them, i’m home.

  • http://twitter.com/NancyBoi NancyBoi

    Amanda, your post warmed me, made me cry for my lost homes and rebuilt me. I am tempted to tell you that home is inside you but it is not. It is in us all.

    Home is inside you
    Home is inside your family and closest friends
    Home is inside this community
    Home is inside the familiar faces in your favourite places
    Home is inside all the humans who are alive, have ever lived and will ever live
    Home is inside every living being

    Our place inside this home ebbs and flows from the solitary oneness of ego to connectedness will all living beings

    The places and things we accumulate, be they houses, possessions, talents, fame, jobs will be scattered and rebuilt by death if nothing else. Home will continue but be different every day.

    You have been a companion of mine in building and rebuilding home through the failure of relationships, to losing my home, losing my job and profession, losing my muse to write and through the rebirth of these. They have very different form and feel today but they are full of love and connections. The secret for me is that this doesn’t have to come from me, it comes from the whole world of my new home created by every connection with every living being.

    I have watched your home grow and change as you have made your choices this last few months. The choice to pin your place and time to Anthony is a choice to change your home. It is not at all surprising that your moorings have slipped and that things which have always come easily, now come hard. They may come back, they may not. Rest assured that the future is amazeballs.

    Amanda, Melbourne is a very different place at this time of year without your vibration in it. Thank you for the aching sadness and blossoming hope.

  • gardeniagrl

    Irony: I read this whilst sitting in my car, outside of my apartment. Here in my car, I guess I do feel safest of all…<>

  • Tiffany

    Amanda, I’ve written many different drafts of what I want to say, and none of them are good enough.

    But please know this: I’ve been a fan of yours for years now. I remember sitting in my room when I was in high school, scrolling through your blog because I was lonely beyond words, and to me, your words were home.

    Sometimes, home doesn’t look like what you think it should. You’ve always held a little piece of “home” in my heart.

    Sometimes, home looks like a cup of coffee at the end of a long day. Sometimes, home looks like a room. Sometimes, home looks like a person.

    I still don’t know where my home is, exactly. I’m at college now, and my house doesn’t feel like home. Neither does my dorm, really. In a little over a year, I’m getting an apartment. I’m scared that won’t be home either.

    I think my home is scattered all over the place, in little embedded fragments. Most people just don’t know that they’re carrying something so special to me, I guess.

    I’m never far away from some piece of home, but it’s not whole like it used to be.

    Thank you for being a little piece of home.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/KoleBigEars Kole

    My parents died in 2008. Mom in March, Dad in August. They were in debt because of medical bills. I just let the house I grew up in go. I couldn’t pay for it either. I haven’t been back, I have no reason to go back. Right now though, I’d give anything to be able to call them up and ask to come home while I put my life back together. I am not sure of anything anymore. I don’t think I have a home. I certainly won’t have a place to live after tomorrow when a local charity comes and picks up the last bit of my belongings. I have a suitcase and a couple small bags bursting at their seams, filled with the last remnants of 36 years of my life. Clothes, toiletries, my parents death certificates, a few pictures…all that remains. I think I am heading to Portland. No job, no where to stay, no friends there. But Seattle doesn’t feel like home, so I need to leave. Maybe I will just have to keep traveling to find my home. Maybe I never will…

    • T. Z. Wallace

      There are some journeys we would rather not take but life pushes us onto the path anyway. Good luck on this road you are on.

  • Druggy

    I just… I don’t know how to thank you.

    I’m currently losing the house I grew up in. I go back there three times a year, when I can afford crossing France from north to south.
    I almost never go back, but it’s home. More than my tiny, empty, dead parisian flat is.

    I know it’s mostly about the people. My family’s alive, even if far away. But still, I had somewhere to hide if I needed to. And it’s almost gone

    I’m lost in a big city that doesn’t feel like home, because no one is giving birth to that set-me-up-on-a-futon-and-point-a-heater-at-me feeling in my heart. I realized, just a couple of weeks ago, that this is why I feel lonely and sad and not at the right place : no one makes me feel like home here. And now you’re writing this, and I feel my heart shrinking, and I read the comments and I want to hug everyone.

    But this is why I have music. The last warm, familiar thing to hold on to. A few records that will never go away, I can close my eyes and go there, go back, anytime. You’re a part of this. And I don’t know how to thank you.

  • Louise

    I was six when we moved house. My parents had been talking about it for ages, so long in fact that I didn’t think it would actually happen. It was fine for them, they were ready, they’d reached that decision to separate from the home they’d built and create a new one, one closer to my
    grandparents so we’d be a bigger family.

    I hated it. I was leaving behind all the things that meant anything to me, to this day I still say I grew up in that place where I lived for just six years. I didn’t fit in where we moved to, and our new home wasn’t a home, just a house. My parents didn’t understand, to them it was a great new place, a new start and they wanted me to see it that way too, so in the end, to please them, I set a date when it would be my home and from that day I called it home. I lied.

    I was an outsider for a long time but finally I found my place, sort of, made friends, made some decisions about where my life was going and yes I’m relatively happy, give or take the usual things life does and doesn’t throw at you.

    Sometime after I started work my Dad casually commented on how much I’d hated it back then but how ‘now’ I was glad that we’d moved. What?! I was furious. How dare he tell me how I feel! How dare he decide that I was happy about it, that I understood, that my life was better because of it? How did he know that? He’d certainly never asked and it just wasn’t true. Yes I was happy, but so what? Who knew what my life might have been if I’d grown up in our old house. Ok, so they were probably right, the neighbourhood was going downhill rapidly but I didn’t understand that then and it doesn’t change the feelings they created in me by doing it, and just assuming it was all alright now just made me feel it all over again.

    I don’t resent my parents for the choices they made, but I think there will always be a little bit of resentment for their failure to understand the effect it had on me (and it did have a lasting effect).

    As for the need for privacy amongst loved ones, I think it’s because with strangers you get to choose what and how much to reveal of yourself, you get to protect whatever needs protecting and there’s no expectations, no one to call you out if you don’t open up completely.

    With family and close friends there’s almost an expectation or demand that you tell them whatever they ask, because they think they have the right to ask anything that falls within their own ideas of sharing… And then they will hold it up against all the things they already know about you and make a judgement? Right? Probably not actually, not in the majority of cases, but I think it’s there in our minds all the same, because they know more about us and we care what they think, it’s easier for them to hurt us without ever meaning to.

    If you don’t know me, I can be myself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristi.klein.3 Kristi Klein

    I often sit alone in my room thinking “I want to go home.” even though I supposedly am ‘home’, but it doesn’t feel like home anymore, I’m not quite sure it ever really did. I don’t know where my home is, but I’m excited to find it.

    • disqus_NQvnp0an6J

      i hear often … home is where the heart is… when you find it you will be there… im still looking.

  • Heather Jo

    For me, home is writing, it’s reading certain books, listening to specific artists, it’s watching particular movies. It is also the road between Stillwater, OK and Page, AZ. The places at the ends of that journey have never felt like home, they just feel suffocating. One place was the losing and the other was the searching. And now when I go back I feel claustrophobic. At my dad’s it’s not so bad, just feels like moving backwards which I cannot abide. In Oklahoma though, I literally feel my soul leaving, hiding, waiting to run. A place where I spent all of my childhood and lost all of my security and every time I go back it feels like one long silent scream. Now, I’m finding home in the people and the places abd the doings

  • http://twitter.com/AmandaRusso1410 Amanda Russo

    Thank you! All of these years I’ve been searching for that “something” that was missing. I thought it was Love!!! I spent years and relationships desperately trying to fill that gap that lies somewhere between my heart and my soul. But to no avail. I was even engaged, twice! Clearly I don’t understand relationships….. Since I was using them like a band-aid. After I left my 2nd fiance, (I proposed both times and I was the one that left both of them) I vowed that I needed to figure this out. I knew I was hurting these two women and their families, and did not want to allow my damaged past to continue creating destruction in other people lives. I just couldn’t keep hurting people. Twice was more then enough.
    I’ve been single for 3 years now, absolutely afraid of “falling in love” again. Afraid of tricking someone into loving me again. But desperately keeping people that i was seeing at a distance in hopes that it would buy me time for the rose colored lens to fade away, knowing that sooner or later I would see that they are not perfect, then maybe just maybe I could approach this relationship with some semblance of sanity. Instead of the hopeless romantic approach that comes naturally to me. I just did not want to make a promise I’m not sure I could ever keep. All the while hoping that they would not love me while silently begging for them to fall madly and totally in love with me.

    But you see it’s not LOVE or lack there of that created this hole, it has been the sense of home. That feeling that I now understand simply because of how you described it in this blog. So AmandaFuckingPalmer AmandaFuckingRusso thanks you from the bottom of my broken heart. You can’t mend the wound, until you find the source of all the blood.

  • http://twitter.com/NancyFuknPants Pants

    I just found out my good friend Steve passed away in Afghanistan (army soldier). Why is this relevant to this blog? Because last time I had talked to my friend his one and only wish was to come back HOME. I never got to say bye to him but I did tell him how much I fucking loved him and missed him. And he told me how much he fucking hated this god damn war and how he was just a boy when he made the decision to leave. At 24 he died and he never came back home. And I dont know how the fuck to stomach this. But ty, Amanda, for this blog. Thank you so much. Because I cant find the words, but reading yours is keeping me sane. I LOVE YOU

  • Elizabeth

    When I was younger, I didn’t really have a home. My mom and dad divorced when I was six. Mom had to move around looking for that higher paying job, the one that would make up for my father’s lack of child support. I would spend summers at my father’s house (my stepmother hated t when I would stay there) and every other weekend as well. He lived about an hour away.

    I had few friends. It is difficult to make friends when you are never in the same place. But I wrote. And I sang. And I read. And I laughed at the jokes in my head. And I cried because of the loneliness.

    Eleven years ago, I met a man who loved the fact that I wrote, and sang, and read, and laughed at myself. He helped me to realize that I was worthy of having a home.

    I’ve lived in the same house for ten years. The longest I lived in a house prior to this was 2 years. It is stable. I am loved. I am home.

    Sometimes, though, I want to go back to being a nomad, moving every couple of years, avoiding being rooted down. Sometimes it’s hard to accept the fact that I have a home now. So much time was spent “homeless” that having a home strangles me. Thankfully, my husband gets that and lets me feel the feelings and waits for me to remember how special our home is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/OWspicywatermelon Nicole Xao

    “i like being alone around people.” Me too. And…I know the feeling of needing something to call home. Even when you have a place to live and sleep and eat, it’s not always home. Always looking..sometimes the place that feels like home isn’t a place you can always go home to..and that’s hard…

    And I still feel beet-faced and sweaty when anyone hears me before I’m ready to share. Music is an intimate grove of heart flurries. It’s hard to let people in for the first time, to let them lay their footprints in the snow.

  • lamissv

    Oh, darling. The songs will come – maybe. And if they don’t… What are we when we lose what we do? We are still ourselves. Draw something. Write a story. Write your blog. Ground yourself. Be kind.
    I have been trying to write a new record for my band and it’s been going very slowly. I have decided to do weekly songwriting sessions to give myself structure. And I write. A lot of songs are “meh”. And I figure you have to get through the meh ones to get to the good ones. And maybe the meh ones could be good ones, if I only just shut my brain up and trusted the process. And maybe I should be drawing. Maybe I should be writing solo songs. Maybe I should be dancing.
    When I go through stuff, my creativity cannot always catch up. I want to punish myself for this. And then I realize I just finished my Master’s degree, went on two Westcoast tours, put on a huge record release show, promoted the fuck out of our self-released record, am working through my parents being unwell and far away from me, am planning a Euro tour, am trying to be happily married, ride my horse 4 times a week, work and keep the house clean. There’s only so much of me and that it getting stretched thin… The songs will come when I have time for them. When I invite them in. When I can promise them quality treatment and good homes.

    As always, I wish you the best of luck. Shut down the Twitter when you have to. Meditate, do yoga, be inside yourself, be with your friends and family, open those emails. We’ll still be here, waiting to hear what you have to say.

  • http://twitter.com/redcanvasmonkey Chris Hall

    I grew up a military brat, never living in the same place for more than 3 years at a stretch. I’ve grown up without a sense of ‘home’ as a place. Just as a relocatible series of objects.
    I am now a grown man with a family of my own. My parents moved from a house that was never mine to a smaller place and gave me their old grandfather clock. We had been living in our house for about ten years, but the first night I heard that old clock tolling the hour I felt an overwhelming sense of HOME that I didn’t know I had been missing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/OWspicywatermelon Nicole Xao

    I was trying to remember what your words reminded me of…It was something I wrote in October:

    Today I woke up tired,
    homeless housecat
    in my bathroom.
    Spent my day
    like a dollar,
    wrinkled and powerless,
    but necessary.
    The cat was rejected
    from all of the shelters.
    I found a home
    for her.
    She’s
    happier.

    A break in the day,
    I’m met
    with incidental Eskimo kisses,
    happier.
    Home
    is not a word I use
    lightly.

    Hospital
    visit, tired now showing clearly,
    responsible and worried.
    I must be an adult
    who cares.
    He’s in bed.
    His cat
    takes the same medication.
    He has trouble
    with his thyroid.
    Yesterday he woke up vomiting,
    losing blood.
    He drove himself
    to the hospital.
    The nurses are nice.
    His liver is bad.
    I say he should have called me.
    I would have
    abandoned
    the cat.
    Homeless
    isn’t permanent.
    Is it?

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      it changes every day. but homeful is never permanent either.

  • http://twitter.com/FractalGeekUK Mike S

    I totally get wanting to be around people but also needing to be solitary part of the time. A major reason my partner and I are still together is that we give each other space to be, to get on, and have time to do things apart, giving us things to talk about.

    Given connections here in London, It’s unlikely you’ll need to, but if you need a place to hide, we have space and snug, music, instruments and quiet rooms, open space or cosy snugs, fast internet (the ultimate way of hiding in plain sight) and good whisky, …

    My mother died 2 years ago, so the house I called the family home for 35 years is gone. The money from that enabled us to get this house, but also meant our house of 27 years is gone too, and we are forging something new. Some friends walked in last weekend, and their reaction was that it felt like a home. Gradually we are restoring the things we love, and are taking the reorganisation as an opportunity to cherish loved thinks anew.

  • http://twitter.com/Russty Russty

    I have spent all of my adult life running from loved ones trying to hide how emotionally broken I was. Last year on the day before Halloween I literally broke. I was put in a hospital, because they feared for my personal safety. I felt safe nowhere. Even being in my house was scary. Nothing I did could convince my broken mind that I was going to be okay and that people weren’t going to hurt me. The thing that scared me the most was doctors kept telling me I had to let go and let loved ones help me. My brain kept screaming, “If I let people in then I will have NOTHING that is mine!!!” When they released me I spent months locked in the house in utter fear that I was going to take my own life or someone else will. All I could think about was death and I worried what my children would do when I was gone. I was in a prison in my mind that seemed impossible to unlock.

    One day my partner of 16 years took my hand and said very gently, “You have to let me in and let me help. It’s going to be okay. Together we’re going to beat this. Let me worry for a while.” Something in my brain just broke open and I cried holding on to him and I had this moment that changed my life. I realized he’d been the one constant thing in my life. Through the death of our child, my illness, my nervous breakdown, and every bad moment in my life he was always there holding my hand just waiting for me to say, “Okay come in, this is me. The real me.” I looked at him and told him the one thing I’d been hiding my whole life. He hugged me and said it was going to be okay. I looked at him and realized all this time I’d been looking for my home and he was always there just waiting for me to open the door and walk inside. It took me till I was 37, but I finally found my home. And he lives in my heart so I take him with me where ever I go. For me the oddest thing was as soon as I let him into my life it seemed like I found more of me.

    Thank you for the reminder to not take for granted the peace I’ve found in knowing that to one person in the world I am their safety and comfort. I am their home and that’s a huge thing. If you haven’t heard Tom Dickin’s song, The House, you must listen to it. It’s just perfection and makes me get all teary every time I hear it. I told Tom that it perfectly describes my “house”. It’s like he wrote the song about my love. It’s musical beauty in the way only Tom can sing it.

  • http://twitter.com/_TeDiouS_ Tom Steiger

    This will probably sound trite, but home for me is the front row at an AFP gig. Or maybe my second home. It really is the best place with the best people in the world. Every time.

  • http://twitter.com/hynzytheweirdo Dan ‘Hoops’ Hynes

    I haven’t had a home, or lived anywhere that felt like it was my home, in over 3 years now. I moved out to go to university in September 2009, and the day after my birthday, two weeks later, my parents moved into their new house – they had no need for a big house now both their sons had moved out, and more need of the money they’d get from selling it.

    My room in the flat I shared had limited wall space, and was perpetually cold (poorly placed radiator, crappy single glazing) and criss-crossed with the new wiring they’d installed – it had to be in its own little pipes outside the walls so no idiot would accidentally drill into them and electrocute themselves – so I had little room for posters. A year later, I moved to another flat, didn’t put my posters up, and that’s when I really began to feel in limbo. Lost if you will.

    Where I lived in Manchester was not my home, and my parents’ house wasn’t either. I had no home, but shelter. I suffered the worst bout of depression I’ve ever had, failed my exams, and spent the summer of 2011 revising at my parents’, not getting to know the flat I had decided to move into with my girlfriend. It became her flat – the bedroom her bedroom, and so on.

    And now to the present day. I still share the same flat with my girlfriend, but it isn’t home. It never will be. And I’m still not clear of this bout of depression. If I had a space to run to, to hide from the world in, then I might be a little better. But there is no space. I don’t have a home.

  • rainbowglitter

    I just returned ‘home’…which in fact would either be my bed…not room, or my car. The rest of the house has always been some sort of comunity area, where noone ever wonders about someone else wishing for privacy. It even feels as if closing a door would be an act of breaking some unspoken rule everyone has acepted. It’s been this way for as long as I have memory, and everyone seems to be totally happy with that. If you happened to close your door for a whole day, someone else would be asuming something wrong must be happening with you.

    I can sing out loud in my car, I cannot do it in my room. I never dared to dance at random. Even if eyes and ears around might not even stop to aknowledge it. It never felt safe. I can dance with strangers, I can tell them about how much I hate my knees, or about teh good or bad day I just had. And I learnt, that many people out there are actually wanting to talk about it, and share about their own. And the actual fact you know so little about the other, just seems to make it a whole lot easier. Yet, I can’t have a serious talk with someone online while in my room, because someone might and will interrupt.

    I feel more home when listening tomusic wghile waiting for the bus, or at an empty corridor at school, than when I do at my own house.

    I can’t help but feeling violated every time someone digs into my belongings and takes decisions about them without asking. It makes me sad, and it makes me angry. I know objects are just that, objects, but I feel I have the right to not get ripped off from memories without being asked. Its just different if the decision is mine, on my own times.

    But I like to believe home doesn’t need to be a house, it can be other places, other sounds, smells and people. But it’d be nice to not feel as if you are borrowing a home for a while sometimes.

  • i forgot

    I’m an artist, I haven’t painted in two years, I sometimes take photographs. I play the ukelele all the while. The paintings will return, if they want to, I’ll remain being me when that happens, and I’ll be glad. But I’m not scared now, I know they’ll return, as I know the songs will return to you, you just got to give the muses time. They just tend to go on holidayswithout letting us know.

  • http://twitter.com/KlementineBS Klementine Sander

    I’m only 15 – I’m the age that most people on here are reminiscing about. But that doesn’t mean my experiences are less worthy of being written down. I’ve moved around a lot already, because my parents (who are strangely enough schoolteachers) are apparently nomads. That’s normal enough, but usually, 7 year olds are not asked to, when moving house, also leave the country, continent, hemisphere…and all their extended family. I moved from Australia to Portgual. Then I moved back, with only my mother, due to work situations. Then a year later, I returned overseas, this time to Germany, where I spent a fair bit of my childhood anyway, as we have a house there and I speak a little German. I have German heritage, you see.

    That’s not all the moving we did – we can’t stay in one house ever, it seems. There’s a heritage house in a small Aussie town where I lived for 8 years in total, on and off, 6 months here and 1 year there. It’s full of my early childhood memories, from before I went overseas. The cubbyhouse Dad built me. The tree my brother and I tried to make a treehouse in. The driveway I learned to ride a bike on. The gardenbed we hunted for worms in.

    We sold it a few months ago.

    It was awful, and yet somehow though I’ve always been greatly opposed to selling the place I thought of as my home, I was OK. I’m used to change, I’m flexible, I get used to new things incredibly easy. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve moved, but I know my parents have moved 20 times in 18 years of marriage, so it’s probably about 15 times. It doesn’t worry me too much anymore, the actual house itself. Once I have my bed and my laptop, I’m probably fine. That’s good.

    At schools, I manage to slot into my place after a little while, but it tends to feel as though I’m only visiting – everyone else knows each other and I’m going to leave them all soon anyway. That’s probably my worst sense of homelessness – to not fit in with my best friends here, to sit and watch them be carefree and know that I can’t quite join in fully.

    This is a confusing rambling. Anyway. When I moved back to Australia, I was desperately upset. I started at a new school, I wasn’t happy there at all, they called me a Nazi, they called me Lamington instead of Klementine. I missed Germany, so, so, so much. Every day I thought about Germany and wished I was there. I wrote daily to my friends still living there, long emails about how much I missed everything. I was 13 and I didn’t like my own country, I didn’t want to be there at all. That made me feel guilty.

    Two years later, I still adore Germany. In many ways, it’s my home more than where I was living when I was 13. I’ve moved yet again, and I still miss Germany, but I don’t feel such a burning need to go there anymore. I WANT to, but I don’t feel like it’s the only place that feels right anymore. And that makes me feel so proud of myself. My home is where I make it. I feel confident that I’ll be able to manage in the future. I hope that’s not misplaced confidence.

    I’m so much more positive about my friendships, because I know I can stay in touch via the internet. I know I can keep my friends after I leave them. I know that it doesn’t matter how soon I’m moving on, I can still enjoy myself while it lasts, and live in the moment, and laugh til it hurts and cry later if I need to, instead of mixing my laughter with tears at the thought of it all ending.

    I know. I’m overdramatic, I’m just a teenager anyway, I’m stupid to not enjoy myself and worry about leaving instead. But hey. It’s how I feel. Your blog makes me feel I should share my story too, no mater how inconsequential it is. Maybe, just maybe, one person will relate to it. Or take hope from it. Or just appreciate that I took the time to write it. Even if that doesn’t happen, it makes ME feel better to write it. It makes me feel like I belong in your community. That makes me feel like home. It’s so lovely to be accepted no matter what, as I am here, despite not having been here since the start. So thank you, AFP fans, and thank you AFP, for having such wonderful fans.

  • http://twitter.com/Kambrieldesign Kambriel

    I once had a card that on the front said, “I want to be alone…” ~ and inside it read, “together with you.” In years since, I’ve considered that line through various filters. In one way, it’s finding a simple quietude, a blissful sanctity with someone you love, but in another way it hints at something more tragic… that even whilst together, we can feel so very alone ~ ignored, disconnected. It’s possible to feel loneliness most sharply in situations we’re not “supposed” to be alone… at gregarious parties, the middle of bustling cities ~ especially for those who are naturally introspective, or tuned to a different frequency from that which is going on outside.

    Truly though? We’re connected in loneliness, that sense of homelessness, too. Perhaps it’s now easier than ever to connect with others at any time of the day or night, to bare our inner thoughts to anyone who cares to listen, so it’s easier to distance ourselves from those feelings, but at our core, there’s still a need for quiet, and yet an expectation that we are somehow “wrong” for wanting it. But it’s not wrong ~ one person’s withdrawal, is another’s serenity and it’s healthy (and in some cases, necessary) to cocoon yourself on occasion and let the rest fade to a gentle murmur. Re-center, re-focus, and revive to later, re-join.

    I’ve been both literally & figuratively homeless in the course of my life. Ultimately, the most important place to find home is a combination of within yourself (your private sanctuary), and as part of the entire world (our universal belonging). Home is in your heart, and you give a home to those you allow into your heart.

  • Vallie in Portland

    They say home is where the heart is. That’s true for me. My husband and I have been together for almost 14 years. Home has been so many places in the past 14 years. Home is riding around in cars together while listening to music. Home is sitting in a movie theater watching our favorite films. Home is us sitting on a couch together, me surfing the internet while he plays video games. Home is where he is.

  • Guest

    I’ve been ridiculosly open on my blog and on twitter about finally getting a diagnosis of bipolar – after almost 30yrs of begging for help. About self-harm about paranoia and self-hatred. About all the horrible things

  • http://twitter.com/maliseangie Malise Angie Hulme

    I’ve been ridiculosly open on my blog and on twitter about finally
    getting a diagnosis of bipolar – after almost 30yrs of begging for help.
    About self-harm about paranoia and self-hatred. About rape and bereavement and self-doubt. I’ve written it in fiction, in blogs. I’ve talked about it to total strangers. I’ve put it out for the world to see.

    Piece by piece I’ve been opening up all the crap I’ve kept so hidden for so long.

    Nobody spoke to me. Nobody helped me. There was nothing for me to read, no-one for me to talk to, nowhere for me to go. I don’t want anyone else to ever have to deal with that, and it’s a fight against my introvert and my shame – but I know the right thing to do is to keep speaking, keep sharing. For every person that gets uncomfortable and turns away, there’s one who gets uncomfortable but keeps listening. For every person who shrugs and dismisses me, there’s someone who realises they’re not alone.

    I’ve also given myself a single goal. Every day, just once, no matter how shitty I feel, I will find a way to make one person smile.

    I spend most of my time at a computer – music, gaming, writing, reading. I have my own corner in every place where I spend time, and that’s what I do. I live in a little bubble and I only let people in a certain way before stopping them. I distrust even the people I trust, which makes zero sense and yet is still true.

    My home is in the love I try to give, even when I can’t find it in myself. It’s in the people who remain even when I try and turn away. It’s in those little corners, where I watch the world even as I hide from it.

    Home can be anywhere or anything. Privacy is whatever you choose to keep to yourself. The pain and the love drive everything I ever do.

    I’m in a hypermanic depressive phase right now. It’s been over 5yrs since I cut myself, but every time this happens I want to go right back there. The reason I don’t is that whatever I do to myself in my own head, whatever hate I harbour – I retain my love for others. Always.
    THAT is my home. That love for everyone else, no matter who or what. That’s the thing I have, no matter what else.

  • Boots

    This is the first time I commented on any of the blogs, but having it hit this hard warrants joining in.

    I am not at home in my house of ten years. I am surrounded by family and pets and love, but I am not comfortable. I am crawling out of my skin to get to where I feel comfortable, which I still can’t find.

    But lately, I have been setting up camp in people. Seeing if they’ll rearrange things and let me live inside their rib cage, just for a bit. I feel safe when they can hold me, but it seems, as of late, that it doesn’t matter who is doing the holding. Just as long as I am being held.

    I think I try to set up homes in feelings, especially those that are fleeting. The feeling of a moment in time where everything makes sense. It’s discouraging watching what I build up in my head crumble as the moment cannot be recreated, even with the same materials.

    My homelessness is making me a vagabond among friend groups. I flit from one to the other. I leave some parts of me there and then pack up and go somewhere else. When I finally stop I wonder why I don’t feel whole.

    I want to find a safe place. I want to find somewhere that makes me feel almost whole. Sometimes I think it is this house, this town, this state, or this country. I make grandiose plans to travel, but I know I will end up just as lonely and without the tiny support system I have built up.

    Thank you for writing this. This ache I feel has finally found a name.

  • Sarah Kate

    Home is where I feel safe enough to break, where I find the shoulders on which I can cry. Home is where I can let every aspect of myself show, and not fear the repercussions from the ones I love. Home used to be in my parents’ arms. Home used to be the house in which I grew up.

    When I was ten, my big brother died, before my eyes and in my home, and a stranger took his place. It was terrifying and confusing. Afterwards, my parents told me not to tell anyone what happened; this is a family secret, they said. Everyone else will think badly about us.

    I was never encouraged to talk about it. It sat, like the proverbial elephant in the room, and slowly ruined home. My parents pretended that everything was better, that we’d healed the break in seconds flat. They ignored the festering wounds in our family, in our home. My home, my safe place, began to shrink; downsizing, retreating from the rest of the world, until it left my parents’ house completely. In sixth grade, home was my bedroom, surrounded by my stuffed animals, where no one else could be without my permission. In high school, home was in the school library, hidden among the stacks, surrounded by my favorite books, where no one came, and no one would see me cry.

    The summer before college, I left my parents’ house and went to work in my college’s theatre. I shared an on-campus apartment with three other girls whom I had just met at work. I walked into my room, and knew. This barren, concrete square of a room was home, because the strangers outside already loved and accepted me for who I was.

    Home is where I feel safe enough to break, where I find the shoulders on which I can cry. Home is where I can let every aspect of myself show, and not fear the repercussions from the ones I love. Home is surrounded by my friends. Home is my college campus, with the family I have chosen.

  • http://twitter.com/MollyHalloran Molly Halloran

    Amanda, I’m not sure if I can express the level on which
    this particular blog touches me. It hits
    closer to home than any of your most amazing words have hit me, and your words
    are like air to me. They have sustained
    me through the last several years of my life and have carried me as if on wings
    through things I could not otherwise have survived. Never before have your words come so close to
    mirroring my own life and thoughts. I
    hate that you are feeling this way, have felt this way because it has been you
    alone who have kept me alive, kept my heart alive. The only thing I know to do is to tell you my
    story and how you have so affected it so tremendously.

    I’ve struggled with life since the very beginning. Sickness.
    Death. Loss. Depression.
    Bipolar. Anxiety. Agoraphobia.
    Loneliness. Isolation. This is not to say there have not been good
    days and months and years, but they have been hard won. I have been lucky. I have talents. Music spoke to me from an early age. My first memory is a musical one. I was blessed with a nuclear family who loves
    me, even though I know I haven’t lived up to their hopes and dreams for me.

    Home was always the same place for me. I grew up in an addition onto the house my
    mother grew up in, in rural Northwest Connecticut. I went away to university in Rhode Island,
    but physical and mental illness forced me to drop out not once but three times
    and I was never able to finish my double majors in music and philosophy. To be honest, I never really felt comfortable
    and safe anywhere but at home in Connecticut anyway.

    In December of 2008, the smoke detector went off on the
    second floor of my house. I thought our
    woodstove was probably smoking a bit and wasn’t concerned, but went upstairs to
    turn off the alarm. When I got to the
    landing, I saw smoke billowing out from under the door to my sister’s
    bedroom. Without thinking, I opened the
    door and saw the room engulfed in flames.
    I closed the door and told my mother to call 911. As we ran through the house gathering our
    many pets, the thick black smoke grew thicker and thicker. It seemed like hours before we began to hear
    sirens, though our house is only minutes from the fire department. My sister’s cat, afraid, hid under my bed and
    wouldn’t come out. To be honest, that
    cat was my best friend and I confided more in him than any human, and I wasn’t
    leaving that house without him. Though I
    couldn’t breathe through the smoke and my body is somewhat weakened by
    fibromyalgia, I lifted the bed, frame and all, clear off the floor and reached
    underneath to retrieve the cat in the far corner. I still don’t know how I did it.

    Though the house didn’t burn completely, it was a total loss
    due to the damage from the smoke and water.
    The only place I had ever felt safe was condemned. For two weeks, I coughed up black phlegm. The girl with the wild lion’s mane of curly
    hair watched an alarming amount of hair drift down the shower drain. Due to struggles with both our insurance
    company and mortgage lender, we would not move into our new house (built on the
    same footprint) for nineteen months. In
    the interim, we lived in a house trailer on our property. The day they hauled the trailer away, the day
    we moved into our new home, as I lay on my new bed in my new room reading, my
    mother called from the next room. “Molly,
    Meg, come in here. Something’s wrong
    with Daddy. He’s not breathing.”

    When I went into my parents’ bedroom, my father lay fallen
    over on his bed, his guitar fallen to the floor. He was gasping for breath, his eyes searched
    for something to focus on. He struggled
    to speak. As I called 911, I could see
    his heart beating through his white undershirt.
    I didn’t know that was possible.
    My mother and I lifted him onto the floor and began CPR. When his heart stopped, time stopped. Again it took hours to hear the sirens. The paramedics went through the motions, but
    I knew he was gone. He was 57; I was
    29. In the absence of a home, he had
    become my safe place. I came to realize
    later that he had always been my safe place.

    This new house has never felt like home to me. I feel like I can never go home again. I feel homesick all the time. But your words and your spirit carried me
    through. And when I read your blog or go
    to one of your shows, it feels like home.
    It feels safe. Once in a while,
    for a few moments, because of you, I feel safe and at home. When you lose the
    brick and mortar, you learn that home isn’t necessarily a place. You can have home again, Amanda. Home is something constant and something
    safe. Neil is home. Anthony is home. The blog is home. We can be home for you if you let us.

    As always, you’re in my heart.

  • http://twitter.com/donfabulous don fabulous

    I feel the same, whenever my wife decides to ‘go through’ and clean out our daughters room… i can’t stand the thought of throwing those things out. Things that will help them remember their beautiful childhoods in the future, in those times when they might need a happy memory.

    I know they can’t keep everything, I know. More than once I have surreptitiously retrieved precious drawings or soft toys – things that have a story, a history – from the recycling bin. Some days, you can let go of some things. But I’m so scared of forgetting, and I don’t want them to forget either.

  • Amanda

    Not entirely relevant to the blog…but, I wanted to let you know that you, more than any other artist/person/thing, inspires me to create.

  • http://twitter.com/TheReddestRose So Red the Rose

    The weirdest, coolest thing about this blog is how it always makes me feel less alone. Scroll down a thousand comments and there we all are, smiling from the faces of our avatars, sharing secrets, tears or laughs over all our common ground. And it makes the world feel a little warmer, a little safer – the way I feel when I’m at a really good rock show, an AFP show maybe… And somehow the very fact of the music and the atmosphere and the way we’re all loving it turns strangers into comrades for the night. And we sing to each other, dance together in the dark & feel the love curling out to us from the stage. You all make the world feel like that for me. Like I might run into you on the street and smile in recognition of a kindred spirit. Home is where I feel connection. Lately I feel it here. I am ever grateful. <3

    This popped up on Twitter right as I was posting: "A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud." – Ralph Waldo Emerson – Relevant!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.elizabeth.cleveland Sarah Cleveland

    I’ve lived in 21 houses in less than 20 years, home is where my butt is. I’m afraid I don’t really connect with what you’re saying.

  • Lydia

    Listening to you makes me feel less on my own.

    • Lydia

      Right now, I don’t really know where my home is, and I am curiously okay with that fact. I spent so much time so wrapped up in the problems of my family, and the people around me that I didn’t even feel like I existed as something separate. Coming out of that is strange, and hard, and I keep finding myself forming attachments to people that end up kind of sucking, and making me feel like it would be easy – way too easy – to get erased again. I am coming to the conclusion though, that being aware of that fact,and at least (mostly) knowing what I don’t want, means that I’ll be okay. Hopefully. “We’ll figure it out” sounds like such a throw away statement, but in the end it’s kind of what we have.

  • http://www.facebook.com/PinkHarlequinade Ainsley Louise

    I’m not sure I even know what a home is, not completely.
    Not my home.
    Amongst my artwork, between the brushstrokes,
    Within my books and my stories and my singing.
    But they’re all outside of me or too far within,
    So I can’t live in those.
    My bedrooms have been many
    And they were never shared
    By they have always been the place where I hide or cry or pretend
    Or talk on the phone
    And brew my stories
    But I didn’t build them and they aren’t my own
    So they’re not my home
    Not yet.

    And my mother is not a home, she doesn’t care where we are or what I do
    And my father stopped caring years ago
    We stopped speaking years ago
    So my parents aren’t my home.
    My brother and sisters are older than me,
    So we’re more like friends who just happen to be familiar (family)
    And I was really an only child.

    My friends change too much,
    They grow tired of me
    (Except one)
    And nearly all of them know to just smile and nod
    Or even if they’re intrigued by the weird girl with the galaxy inside her head
    They can’t quite reach it,
    So they stand back a little
    Like visitors at a museum
    And that is not my home.

    So I’m not sure yet, really
    If it’s waiting right next to me
    Or just out of sight a little
    But it smells like paint
    And paper
    And it sounds like distant company
    And it feels like comfortable loneliness
    And I might know it when I see it
    But not yet.
    I’m not home yet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=755559615 Xrictina Tolia

    I recently moved towns to study Music Technology and Acoustics. Right now , I am 9 hours away from what I grew up calling home. Days, weeks, months have gone by and I’m beginning to realize , every day, that all the people that I love, and grew up loving, my family , my friends, my best friends, my dog, all of them , are left behind. I’m in the stage of my life where I’m supposed to make new friends , study , achieve my goals, step on my own two feet. Not that I don’t want all those things, after all everyone grows up knowing that eventually he’ll go through that stage, it’s just that every minute passing by makes it harder, makes me feel more lonely. Luckily, not just for me but for the whole world, there’s music. After spending several days listening to Blues, lovesongs, songs about loneliness, music that I couldn’t help but listening, music that even though I felt shit already , had the power to make me feel even shittier about my life at that moment, a song went through my mind. It’s called “Home” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. That song apparently is a duet, between a man and a woman. The most repeatable lyric of that song is “Home, let me go home. Home is wherever I’m with you”.
    That song made me realize, that yes, even though we like to call ourselves individuals, even though, all of our actions in our lives are based on our hopefully upcoming happiness. No one, at least no one that I know of , is , or can be happy as an individual.
    Now , I’m not stating here that the only way to be happy is to find someone that makes you happy. Everyone has that person. The problem is , that sometimes , we get way too lost in our thoughts, in our minds world, we all know that living in there is very tempting, but no one can survive alone, they’ll eventually drive themselves crazy .
    I guess what I’m trying to say is, everyone goes through his or hers dark phases. Some last a minute , some may even last years. That girl , Amanda Todd for example, grew up in her dark phase, she had forgotten what being happy feels like, she eventually lost hope and committed suicide. Well… Don’t lose hope. Since “Home is wherever I’m with you”, find that “you” guy and take advantage of each other. He/she might be in our lives right now, he/she may appear to have lost his/her ability to makes us feel like home, or make us happy but the truth is, WE’ve lost the ability to appreciate the people around us. No person that we’ve let in our lives is there to harm us. Since we chose the people we’re surrounded from, make them worth. We can make them worth. We chose them. We are the leaders of our lives, and if we are not happy, we are the only ones that can make us happy again, other people are just there to help us , and if we won’t let them do that, then no one will.

  • http://twitter.com/TheSimonb Simon Barnett

    Probably someone else has said this, but I think this blog is the lyrics for your next song.

  • jaegerjensen

    We lived there for 20 years until they quit their jobs
    moved away and then they demolished the house

    They moved to a house in the countryside they have owned for 30 years
    I moved out on my own
    to stand on my own two feet
    trying to create a home away from home

    They sold the house 10 years later
    the new owner demolished the house

    They are now in their seventies and still very much in love
    they live in a semi detached house
    they could decide what kitchen tiles they would have
    when it got build
    they could decide to have under-floor heating
    when it got build
    They decided to create another home
    when it got build

    When we left the first home, I cried as we drove off.
    I think we all did.
    When the second home went, I cried even more
    I think we all did.
    When they moved into their new home, I cried because
    I knew it would be their last but also because
    I know I would never have anything like this

    I felt that time had destroyed my childhood memories
    and that none of it had ever excited
    That all those years without mobile phones or the internet
    with bad haircuts, avocados, Jim Henson’s Creature shop on the TV
    was all a dream and I had nothing to show I had lived through it
    except my self

    I used to be married to a spanish girl with a carrer
    She had the money and that was fine with me
    We lived in a semi expensive flat in a semi expensive part of town
    We had a great kitchen and balcony
    But we were not happy
    It didn’t feel like home
    and soon both my soul and heart broke

    I am now 38
    I have live 7 different places in this city
    I now live in a shared house surrounded by everyone elses loud music
    I live in a foreign country
    I have no job
    I have no security
    I have no drive
    I think I might even have a depression – well at least thats what that
    womans magazine told me when I took the test

    Sometimes I sit alone at night staring out the window in my room
    and have a conversation with the moon about the fact that
    I would ever have one of those. A home

    A place to charge your batteries
    A place where you can do what you want
    A place where nobody is going to tell you no!
    and if they do you can tell them to get the fuck out!
    A place where you paint the wall bright pink or knock it down
    should you so choose to

    When it all gets too fucking much I walk to the local cemetery.
    It’s a walled heaven away from the chaotic city
    It’s an oasis of narrow paths and old trees
    It’s full of ancient dead people in over grown tombs
    so I don’t have to deal with the living

    Here I can think
    Here I can feel
    Here my soul feels at home

    I once laid down on a old grave just to feel the cold stone against my back
    Don’t know who it belonged to – all I could make out was the year 1834
    I felt stress free for that moment
    I don’t want to die, at least not now – but I made me calm on the inside

    When the neighbor plays his music way too loud and all I can hear
    is the rhythmic thump of the bas
    I escape to the old local pub

    Here I sit and drink the one drink I can afford on my welfare
    Here I can sit in a corner and just be for hours
    Here I feel like my creative daemon come to me and whispers in my ear
    and makes me write in notebooks and on napkins
    I feel the need to be “someone” is drowned out by the
    chaotic loud voices of people having a good time

    Here I can be creative
    Here I can just be
    Here my heart feels at home

    After 9 years I now feel at home in this foreign country because I chose to – I made up my own values and definition for a home. I set my own goals to surround myself with my version of homeliness. Its hard – but living is the hardest thing known to man.

    We all have a choice of home and it isn’t just one of wall paper or sea view
    I think it is very much a choice of heart and soul.

    M

  • Reynardo

    Undoubtedly you’ve had quite a few offers, but … would you like me to look at one of those pictures your mother sent and see if I can persuade it to open?

  • http://twitter.com/Gerrrmz Jessie Sebastian

    For the longest time home was an old battered leather edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray, always in my pocket or buried somewhere at the bottom of my one bag of clothes. Carried delicately through the many squats of Brighton and London, England. The only thing I had to keep me warm on November seaside streets where I slept at the age of 18. Then one day I left it, in a haze of alcohol and regret, somewhere on a stained mattress in an abandoned pub in Depford Bridge. I couldn’t go back, and I wept.

  • http://twitter.com/IndustrialClef Rasheeda Wilson

    The only thing I can say is that is part of life to feel a little lost and feel like you have been kicked out onto the pavement, right on your arse. Most of us go through it and I know for a fact you always come out a little stronger and a little wiser. Sometimes you need a kick out of your ‘home’ to see what else is there. And I believe you will find a place again. Your home isn’t gone. Just moved onto a different area that represents your life right now and all you have to do is have the courage and will to find it. Keep strong and safe. xoxoxoxo <3

  • ayeshah

    I was trying to figure out where I feel at home and I have decided that I feel at home on bus journeys. On my own, surrounded by 20 or so people, all travelling. it’s nice.

  • http://twitter.com/lyingrain Coraline

    I remember when i first left parents’ house for university. i was fighting nervous breakdown in the same time. From Monday to Friday i was in university town, and the week end had to come back to their place. As i was getting more more bad, parents sent me to a schrink. I explain that “i have no home” feeling. no one got it. In france we don’t have tw words like “house” and “home”, so none around got my point. Fortunately, there are always great people to write great books…

  • MegIsMissing

    I’m really scared to post this here, but I think maybe that means that I need to.

     I hear “home is where the heart is”…my heart can’t even make up its mind about what it wants to need. I live in a big blue house, at the top of a hill, and when I tell people “I’m going home”, that is where I’m going. Yet every time I use that word, home, I cringe a little inside. I grew up  in a grey, shuttered house on a busy road, in a small town. For years, that was home. Before I know better. Before I began to understand how even the things that feel solid can melt at any moment. I’ve heard myself say, many times, “wherever my family is, that’s home”. Yet while living with no connections in the world beyond that family, I feel so terribly lost. And then I’m walking down the street, looking at my shoes. And then I’m walking down the street and a song I’ve listened to a hundred times strikes me in an entirely new way and in that instant I’m right where I belong. There are these moments, flashes of “home” that blind my heart with too much joy. I sometimes think I could piece them together like puzzle pieces, yet I’ve never tried, and I know that’s on me. I’m lonely all the time, no matter who,  or how many people, I’m with. I love the feeling of being surrounded, yet I am terrified of being smothered. There isn’t enough world for me to experience, and I become so overwhelmed by the things I haven’t done yet. Every other person I pass on the street I imagine growing old with. Every single person I talked to today I wished I could punch in the throat. People’s mouths are too large for the amount they have to say, and when they’re only talking to hear themselves I feel so lost. I feel. I feel. All I ever do is feel, but never the things I would want to. Welcoming arms feel like prison bars. A cold shoulder is a hard slap and my fists are begging to hit their way home. My feet were designed to brush the ground with every step, and to never grow roots. Because staying put is for pussies, and adventure is the only way to lose yourself. I could sink into the misery until I came out the other aide thinking I was happy. Is that what I’m doing? Am I fooling myself? I know I’m not home now. Home is a used book store in Boston. 
    Home is a boy who only wants me when he’s drunk.
    Home is a blog I’ve filled with poetry I hate.
    Home is the voices of the people in the videos I watch online, who I will never meet.
    Home is a shitty venue packed with strangers who all share my love for this song. 
    I think maybe, home is a dream.
    For a long time I have believed that when I fall in love, for real, mutually, I’ll be home. That will be that. Happily ever after. I’m sure this has something to do with the fact that I raised myself on Disney movies long after it was healthy. No matter how many times I tell myself that all I need is me, there’s a part of me that knows that’s a filthy lie. I feel lost when I’m alone, yet that’s the only place I’m comfortable. Maybe if I could stop looking so hard for a home, it would find me. 

  • Meagan

    I miss my old bedroom like I miss an old friend. I had poems and lyrics and drawings and posters and ticket stubs pasted everywhere. I sat in that room and smoked out the window, playing my guitar and singing my heart out and collected aluminum cans, much to my mother’s chagrin. It was my solace, it was my cave.

    Then my grandmother died, and as it turned out we were poor. I had never noticed. We didn’t own our house. So, we had to move. I was 19. I had no money to myself, so away we went. All of us in our caravan to a home far away from the one I had been borne into. It was terrifying.

    My youngest sister floundered in her new school, far away from the things we knew as normal. Like, music and art- those things did not exist here. Still don’t.

    I got married quickly as if to try to latch on to something I had left behind. A bandaid to keep tethered to what I missed so much. Home.

    It’s been years now, 2 kids, still married, living in a rental, and although I love my family very much, I still feel like I’m trying to find my home sometimes.
    Although- I feel warmth in my heart when I hold my children. That feels as close to home as I am ever going to get.

  • http://matthewebel.com/ Matthew Ebel

    Ever feel like you haven’t written something “amazing” in, like, five years?

    Like you made your “Sixth Sense” and now all you seem to crank out is one “The Happening” after another, no matter how hard you try?

    Tell me about it. Goodbye Planet Earth. http://ow.ly/h6mPd

    But it’s not about ME is it? It’s not about how this shit impacts ME. It may have started that way— hell, isn’t all art born from a grain of narcissism? Express Yourself, as the Madonna said? —but eventually, as with all things growing up, it becomes less about ME and more about YOU. About fans.

    When we were on stage for Jeff Pulver’s ill-fated Twitter conference in Boston, I was thinking about technology. You were thinking about connecting with people. You’d already moved past “Everybody Look At Me” and were moving full speed towards “Everybody Get Together”

    “Amazing” music isn’t what makes you feel good about your music. It’s what makes your fans feel amazing, whether or not it has the same effect on you. We must draw satisfaction from the way our music changes others, otherwise all we’re doing is masturbating. And as Green Day said, that loses its fun after a while.

  • tammy

    We moved a lot whilst I was growing up and finally settled in a tiny town in southwest Nebraska when I was half through 7th grade. 1977. I never really fit in, because my last name was not local and I was transplanted. Home was truly my grandmother’s home; the home I’d known since I could remember, the one that was *always* the same and holds (still) the continuum of my early memories–but even that was sold when I was 16; the summer i not only stayed with my grandparents but helped them move to the smaller house. God, I fucking miss my grandmother. However, my parents decided to up and move to another small town in Nebraska two years ago, after nearly 34 years. It was all said and done before I’d had a chance to say goodbye to the house for a last intimate look around, and alight one more time in the town for which I hold such deep ambivalence. Even though my room was remodeled years ago, it still had the same angled ceiling walls upon which my Hardy Boys posters (which I could still see if I only just squinted the right way) plastered the surface. Goodbye to the place my family called home since I was 13, that hasn’t been my real home for 30 years, because I got the fuck out the minute I graduated, becoming a visitor; my real home is with my husband in Maine. Still, it’s gone. And, I suppose it’s now, finally, no longer known as “the So-and-sos old house” (the people who owned the house before my parents did), but now as “the Browns old house”.

    But there are words and ideas and thoughts from places and people like you, that keep what home really was and is, alive in mind.

  • Bob W.

    “Home can be the Pennsylvania Turnpike.” I know indie rock fans might retch a little bit, but my wife’s sister sang Billy Joel’s “You’re My Home” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATQ5ays9t1I) at our wedding, and it was very nice. We changed the already tame lyrics even a bit more for the family audience — but then again, we’re not AFP!

  • Page

    “Home is where, when you go there, they have to take you in.” I read that someplace years ago, and I never forgot it. I don’t know who said it, and I don’t really need to. But i hope everyone who reads this, has it, in some shape or form. If I had a million dollars I would buy a big old ramshackle house and use it for that purpose: so that anyone who needed it, would have a place to take them in. :)

  • Kate Williamson

    For a while I was lucky. I had two homes. One, my childhood home, where my family lived, and the other, my boyfriend’s apartment, where the two of us lived together. I used to confuse people, because I would call both places home. I preferred the home with my boyfriend, because my mother is a very angry person, who screams at the slightest provocation. Until I left, at age 20, I was the one she would scream at, mostly. When I left, my sister became the target. But it wasn’t abuse, of course. That was just mum, right? You shouldn’t make her mad. So I had my home with my boyfriend, where we didn’t argue, or shout, or throw things. It was great. Two years in that house, which he had bought before I met him, and it had gotten too small when I moved all my things in. So we chose a house together, and he bought it, because he was 6 years older than I, had an income, which I as a student didn’t. We decorated it together, chose the paint colours, a green hallway, a blue bedroom, a blue study for him, and I had the sleepout at the back, painted pineapple yellow, lined with white bookshelves. I loved it. That was my favourite place, sitting in a rocking chair from my parents’ house, curled up with a book while I heard him laughing with his friends while he played video games. We lived there together for nearly two years. In March of 2012, my father broke up with my mother because he finally couldn’t take the way she treated us, and he moved out. My childhood home was no longer a home, with my dad gone and my mum crying and ranting about how horrible he was, telling us lies about what he was doing to her. They had been booked on a two month holiday to Scandinavia in July and August. Obviously they were no longer going together, so I went with mum to help her start to get over the situation. My boyfriend said he was fine with it, it was a great idea. So I went to Denmark, and Norway, and Greece, and Sweden. I missed him, and my home, the entire time, every time I had to hear her rant of every thing dad had supposedly done, every time she accused my baby brother and sister of betraying her for not supporting her the way she needed to be supported. I enjoyed visiting those places, we did have some good times, but those are the tings that stick in my mind. We returned to Perth on September 02nd, at 7pm. My boyfriend was there to meet me, as I had requested. We went to his parents’ house for Sunday dinner, as we had done for the past 5 years. Then we returned to my house. He had painted the living room red while I was away, and I was admiring it when he sat me down, to talk. He then broke up with me, because we no longer clicked, since after 6 years I still didn’t dance, or like dogs. He had taken my key off my keyring before we even got in the house. He drove me to my parents’ house, where my dad was now living since my mum had walked out a month before we went away. All my stuff was in a house I could no longer enter. My childhood room was now the guest room. My sister had moved out a week before I returned, so I took her larger room. I am just now starting to adjust to my change in life. I have all my books surrounding my bed, which is very comforting. However, just as I am getting used to this, my mother has gone seriously mental, bashing on first my sisters’, and now my dad’s, house and windows. Dad has had to get a restraining order against her. My home feels unsafe. Dad is going to Thailand for a month, and it will be just me and my brother, who is young and often out. i just wish she would get some help. I don’t know what to do, or how I should feel about her. She’s my mother, and I love her, but right now I kind of hate her too. She didn’t speak to me for three weeks after brodie broke up with me because I wouldn’t take things out of dad’s house for her. Brodie had already gotten a new girlfriend and I would have liked to talk to her about it, but she was off having a snit because she didn’t get her own way. I don’t know.This is a very rambly post, I’m sorry. It feels good to write it all out, though. If it had been one thing at a time, it would be easier to deal with. But life comes at us however it wants and doesn’t ask us what is easiest for us at the time. Such a bitch. I think the worst thing, to my mind, is that he is still with the new girl, and she is going in and out of what was my house, hanging out with people who were my friends.

    Anyway. Thanks for opening up this space so I could vent. I feel a bit better now. :)

  • fraenzi

    maybe it’s time to – in a way – lose what you have become
    bon voyage

  • http://www.facebook.com/javispa72 Javier Aladren

    Upon living with roommates in tiny places I really came to terms with the fact that I need private space in my life. More than just “I can’t create with people around me,” which is true, but I just need to have a space that’s mine and mine alone. It always scares me looking at my mom and my stepdad. They share everything. Same office, same bedroom, same bathroom. Part of me is afraid that this burning need for my own temple means that I won’t have as good or as fulfilling a relationship as my parents do.

  • Kelly Spoer

    i cried. when i read this. knowing this is how it felt all those years ago (2000) right before i went to college, when my room was plastered with my collage of life over the past four years. And my mother told me that i had to take it all down and pack up my room because she was going to use it for something else while I was gone.

    I was lucky enough to be able to take it down myself. But I was so angry that I threw it all away. Angry. Losing my place that wasn’t really my place (we moved around a lot, this was the longest I spent in a school, in the same home) and besides, I wanted to get out because no one understood me. Life was hell at home.

    fast forward 13 years later, i finally found a “home” with my fiancee. Although the apartment is not 100% perfect (really, who did the wiring in this old building. two prongs? really?) it’s home-ish. but really home is where Jack is. And that feeling when I’m with him. and not the apartment per-se.

    I felt lost my whole life, and there are times where I still do. But i found a place where a home can grow.

  • Marissa

    Oh dear Amanda.

    In last 2 weeks I broke up with my boyfriend of 7 months (whom I didn’t love, but with whom I felt pretty much safe but quite sad at the same time – I still don’t know why) and consequently found out that another ex-boyfriend of mine started dating the girl that got us 2 together some years ago (not a big deal but makes you feel the cold shower running down your spine the moment you realize it – right?). I am a super feeling-loving-sensitive person, crying everytime there is a matter to cry about (I simply believe that if you feel emotional overwhelming, it’s one of the best ways to get over it, and I don’t care what people say or think because it works). But it’s 2 weeks and I still haven’t shed a tear. I was being all that stiff, trying to direct all this energy in the record I am doing now with my new band (I succeed at this now. Woohoo for me). Everytime the sad thoughts were filling my mind, I kept repeating “whatever and ever, amen” mantra in my head. It works too. No tears.

    But this blog made me wanna cry. I didn’t though, but the thought of it made me realize that probably your blog is more real for this moment in my life now than any of this things happening.

    There’s no place like home. So where am I?

    (some Minor Threat song quote)

  • http://www.facebook.com/vermeilxsadness Alisha Rose

    I wish there was a way I could truly express how amazing and wonderful I think you are

    You’ve had quite the roller-coaster ride lately. After many shocking, unexpected turns on the ride it’s understandable to feel ungrounded. Even though you’re a superhero in music, you are human too. I know you’ll find home soon, think of yourself as a gypsy who can make home be wherever you need it to be.

    And remember, at times like these inspiration can come and those feelings can be channeled into creativity. It all happens for a reason. One way or another

    Love you!! ((BIG hugs))

  • jaegerjensen

    We lived there for 20 years until they quit their jobs
    moved away and then they demolished the house

    They moved to a house in the countryside they have owned for 30 years
    I moved out on my own
    to stand on my own two feet
    trying to create a home away from home

    They sold the house 10 years later
    the new owner demolished the house

    They are now in their seventies and still very much in love
    they live in a semi detached house
    they could decide what kitchen tiles they would have
    when it got build
    they could decide to have under-floor heating
    when it got build
    They decided to create another home
    when it got build

    When we left the first home, I cried as we drove off.
    I think we all did.
    When the second home went, I cried even more
    I think we all did.
    When they moved into their new home, I cried because
    I knew it would be their last

    I felt that time had destroyed my childhood memories
    and that none of it had ever excited
    That all those years without mobile phones or the internet
    with bad haircuts, avocados, Jim Henson’s Creature shop on the TV
    was all a dream and I had nothing to show I had lived through it
    except my self

    I used to be married to a spanish girl with a carrer
    She had the money and that was fine with me
    We lived in a semi expensive flat in a semi expensive part of town
    We had a great kitchen and balcony
    But we were not happy
    It didn’t feel like home
    and soon both my soul and heart broke

    I am now 38
    I have live 7 different places in this city
    I now live in a shared house surrounded by everyone elses loud music
    I live in a foreign country
    I have no job
    I have no security
    I have no drive
    I think I might even have a depression – well at least thats what that
    womans magazine told me when I took the test

    Sometimes I sit alone at night staring out the window in my room
    and have a conversation with the moon about that fact that
    I would ever have one of those. A home

    A place to charge your batteries
    A place where you can do what you want
    A place where nobody is going to tell you no!
    and if they do you can tell them to get the fuck out!
    A place you paint the wall bright pink or knock it down
    should you so choose

    When it all gets too fucking much I walk to the local cemetery.
    It’s a walled heaven away from the chaotic city
    It’s an oasis of narrow paths and old trees
    It’s full of ancient dead people in over grown tombs
    so I don’t have to deal with the living

    Here I can think
    Here I can feel
    Here my soul feels at home

    I once laid down on a old grave just to feel the cold stone against my back
    Don’t know who it belonged to – all I could make out was the year 1834
    I felt stress free for that moment
    I don’t want to die, at least not now – but I made me calm on the inside

    When the neighbor plays his music way too loud and all I can hear
    is the rhythmic thump of the bas
    I escape to the old local pub

    Here I sit and drink the one drink I can afford on my welfare
    Here I can sit in a corner and just be for hours
    Here I feel like my creative daemon come to me and whispers in my ear
    and makes me write in notebooks and on napkins
    I feel that the need to be “someone” is drowned out by the
    chaotic loud voices of people having a good time

    Here I can be creative
    Here I can just be
    Here my heart feels at home

    After 9 years I now feel at home in this foreign country because I chose to – I made up my own values and definition for a home. I set my own goals to surround myself with my version of homeliness. Its hard but living is the hardest thing known to man.

    We all have a choice of home and it isn’t just one of wall paper or sea view
    it is very much a choice of your heart and soul.

    @jaegerjensen

    • http://twitter.com/bostonkas K

      Thank you for sharing.

  • Rachel2

    Well, I’ll be downvoted to oblivion but I’ll say it: I think it’s just a tad self-indulgent to get upset about your parents cleaning out your room, when you’re in your mid/late thirties. You’ve said as much yourself, in “seriously Amanda”, so I hope you’re not too offended by me saying that. To be honest, all I could think when reading that was, you’re lucky you had your own room; plenty of kids in the world don’t. You’re lucky you had parents who let you tape stuff to the walls like that; my father would have gone ape. You’re lucky they let you keep it there for so long, and you’re lucky they were thoughtful enough to photograph it all for you. Ultimately, it’s just stuff. It’s impermanent, just as you, me, and everything is. It holds no value beyond that which you choose to place upon it.

    The concept of home is different. Home isn’t the stuff you put in it, which, in this case and in most cases is an attempt to *explain* or reinforce your idea of yourself, to yourself and others. I try very hard nowadays not to live through things, but to just be in myself. Not sure I’m making sense. Basically, fuck stuff. It’s not you. It’s clinging. It’ll only make you unhappy. I always get other people’s lyrics in my head whenever I write, and these are the ones that occur now, words from the end of La Dolce Vita, as heard in The Divine Comedy song “The Certainty of Chance”:

    We need to live in a state of suspended
    animation, like a work of art; in a state of enchantment.
    Detached.
    Detached.

    Home, though. God, home is such a difficult thing. I had a crappy childhood in the home my parents still live in. And yet I dread the day when they are gone, and it is sold. I simply can’t imagine anyone else living there. But is it my home? No. I can’t be comfortable there, not with all the memories. So what then? Just nostalgia, just covetousness, just grasping. Really, it is the fear of losing my parents as an anchor point, of finally being an adult and alone in the world- that’s what’s bothering me.

    What if all the stuff you own disappeared? What if your house disintegrated and your friends and family abandoned you? What if you never found that perfect milieu of solitude and company and belonging that you call home? Who would you be?

    You. No different, no better and no worse. You, still. You. Still.

    Once we truly realise that, I think we’re home. Lest you find me insufferably preachy, please note that I’m barely in my own street, let alone home*.

    *Argh, more lyrics, Ani this time: stumbling down the gravel driveway of desire/trying not to wake up my sleeping self-loathing.

  • damaia

    i like being alone around people.

    Try undergrad sometime. You’ve never been so alone around so many people in your life.

  • http://twitter.com/MargaRandom Margaret

    I’m here at Amanda’s urging and I’m grateful for it.

    I think the first time I realized my room was my sanctuary I was 12. We were in the third house I could remember. I thought it was permanent. My dad died when I was 8 and my mom was dating for the first time since then. They built a house together in the suburbs. It was a split-wing layout so my half of the house I had all to myself since I was an only child. I remember hiding in my room several times when my mom’s boyfriend would make my mom cry. When they finally broke up and he moved out my mom started having money problems from paying for the house by herself. I remember walking home from school and sitting by my window to do homework because the power was turned off. I remember singing “In My Room” by The Beach Boys to myself. That song spoke to me and it was the first time I remember being connected to music like that. Here are the lyrics:
    There’s a world where I can go
    And tell my secrets to
    In my room
    In my room

    In this world I lock out
    All my worries and my fears
    In my room
    In my room

    Do my dreaming and my scheming lie awake and pray
    Do my crying and my sighing laugh at yesterday

    Now it’s dark and I’m alone
    But I won’t be afraid
    In my room
    In my room

    Fast forward a year and my mom and I dropped everything and moved across the country. I didn’t know anyone so I spent most of the time in my room. It was small and warm and mine. I loved it. I started using my dads old camera and fell in love with photography. My first darkroom setup was in my closet (probably not the best idea since no ventilation). The first photo I ever took, developed, printed, mounted, and framed was a picture of my room. I titled it “In My Room”. We left that apartment when I was 17 and I haven’t had the same feeling for my room since. Everywhere I live now seems so big and cold.

    I can’t imagine what it would have been like to have that for my entire life and then having it disappear. I’m still searching for a replacement for the room I had for three years. Right now I have my own two bedroom apartment. That’s what everyone wants right?! It doesn’t feel right. No one understands that. At least I thought no one did. Now I know all of you do. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/bostonkas K

    Last winter, while visiting family in another state, I got
    homesick for the first time in my life. It was the craziest feeling, Amanda. I
    had thought myself immune. I’ve always carried my home with me – in the winter
    when, as a terrified child, I cowered while my mother screamed and threw plates
    at my father; in the winter when, at 19, my father threw my things out the
    window as my mother took my house keys and told me to get out and not come
    back; in the winter when, at 21, back in Boston, no place to live and no money,
    on the payphone near the Store 24 across from Berklee, again rejected by my
    first landlord in this world (I overstayed my lease by two weeks, maybe that’s
    why she’s always hated me?), I couch-hopped. It never really mattered where I
    stayed because the places weren’t what home was about. After being in a
    long-term relationship for years and getting married, still moving around a
    lot, buying a place, more moving, home still wasn’t about the place.

    But then last year: that feeling came roaring in, with teeth, 4 nights into a
    10-day stay away. A hollow, yawning chasm opened in my chest late one night
    while lying in bed reading, and I felt a kind of terror/despair. Despairror?
    Terroair? I suddenly needed to be surrounded by things of mine, in a space of
    mine, in a routine of mine. Familiar air. Familiar smells. I didn’t understand
    what this was. When did “home” become externalized, dependent on tactile
    things? And, with increasing panic: Why didn’t I feel like “home” was
    with my married other, which is what I had always assumed? Oh, fuck, this was
    homesickness? I cried like a child and there was no way to soothe me. I spent
    the rest of the trip trying to smile and enjoy things, trying trying trying,
    but just didn’t feel better until we got home.

    I’d thought for a long time that my home was wherever my
    soulmate/married half was. But it turns out that no, I’ve always carried it
    inside me. And at some point it got lost.

    I don’t have any answers, just understanding and love, and
    thanks to you for providing this place for us all. It’s another home, of sorts.

  • BitterlyAlice

    So many comments; it seems both futile and beautiful to add my voice to the throng.
    I was raised in a series of cabins in Canada’s far north. We traveled around by dogsled and my parents dealt with diapers and dolls and temper tantrums at -40C. I grew up with wolves and caribou as my closest neighbours. I grew up sleeping on beds of spruce boughs. My mother planted wild herbs on the sod roof of each cabin, and when mountain storms blew in they smelled like sage and snow.
    I live on Vancouver Island now, and when storms blow in from the sea you can smell blackberry bushes and wet cedar, but also the inversion from the mill.
    We moved to civilization – a two-room log cabin just outside a town of 1300 people) when my parents split. I was seven. I’m twenty-three now, and I’ve traveled all over the world. Not everywhere, of course – I haven’t seen all there is to see, and I never will – but I’ve been enough places that I know where I’m meant to be.
    I’ve started to go back. Over the last five years I’ve hiked and snowshoed to our cabins. Sometimes with my mother and sister, sometimes with boyfriends, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. The buildings aren’t all standing now – the permafrost has warped the walls, and one of the roofs has collapsed (I poked around in the wreckage and found some old tin cups and my father’s tobacco pipe, our Christmas stockings and one old moccasin) – but the buildings aren’t the point. Those cabins aren’t home.
    Home is that wilderness for me; it always will be. Home is tumbleweed lichen and raven calls and cranberries dug out from under the snow. Home is where I can hear myself think, where mountain storms blow sage and snow and stories through the spruce trees, where I can sit with my feet up in the sunshine and listen to them. Home is hard work – it’s chopping wood and hauling water and snowshoeing for miles and miles and hours and hours and backpacking through swamps and tussocks and buckbrush – but it’s worth it.
    Because you’re right. There’s no place like home. That’s where the stories come from.
    I hope you find your home, Amanda. I’m going back to mine.

  • CMH

    The collage section really struck home. I recall returning to my parents’ house – at that time I thought of it as home- after my first year in college and finding that my bed was replaced with something “more appropriate for guests” and my walls…that all my friends had signed and created art upon, had been covered with a neutral beige color. I was devastated… it was as if my parents had willfully and mindfully destroyed my presence in their house. I felt truly homeless at that moment. Fortunately, I’ve found a home now surrounded by love and laughter. Perhaps home isn’t the physical act of connecting with others in a specific space, but instead is the beats between those interactions where we can sit back and think and be.

  • Sai

    One thing you said really hit it with me, about sitting in your car and feeling safer.

    I feel at home in my car when I’m completely alone, or in a cafe or city where I am surrounded by hundreds of people who don’t know me. I’ve always found it easier to open up to someone I barely know, whereas talking about personal things to good friends is more difficult.

    I only got my first car before Christmas, and I love the freedom. Work has been kinda shitty lately (though I still appreciate how amazing it is to have a job these days) and home feels overcrowded. So I take the long way home. I drive down little roads that I have gone past so many times in my life, that I’ve wondered where they go and find out. I sing at the top of my voice and sometimes I scream and shout. It broke down for two weeks and I felt like I had lost some important part of me.

    Now I have it back! It may be shitty and expensive. It may have cost more than it’s actually worth to fix, but it’s mine. And I need that.

  • @combot_elliot

    The first time I read this post there were no comments. It still meant alot that what was said, was said. But coming back to it today and rereading it. Seeing and even reading sone of the 235 comments before mine I have to say it means more now than it did before.

  • Cindy Holt

    My childhood home collapsed into it’s foundation about 15 years ago. It was a house of animal hoarders and filled with God only knows what, but it was my home. I could hear the waves crashing on the beach when i opened my window late at night. I had bright yellow daisy sheets and everyone who ever came into my room wrote something on the wall in black marker. It was a total mess, but it was home.
    I’m 38 now with my own children and have created a childhood home for them. I even gave a home to my father, despite his not giving me much of anything except the ability to forgive people and let go of the past.
    Sometimes I get really sad and wish I could go back home to that crappy house. Then I get even sadder when i think that someday my own children are probably going to feel the same about the house I am in now.

  • ts14

    But Amanda, I believe you did just write a song. I was singing everything from “and I felt perfectly alone”. Beautifully written.

  • http://www.facebook.com/krogh47 Louise Krogh Nielsen

    Someday, when I’ve finished it, I’ll send you my story, Going Home.

    I know you may never ever read it, and that’s okay, but you just reminded me so much of it today.

    It’s a strange one about an Angel, a Snail and an Eagle, searching for a place to belong.

    Good luck on your journey, I hope you find it.

    Thank you for being you.

  • Lemonchis.

    My Parents moved from the house i grew up with and did not tell my Sister or me about it. We live in another country, so why bother. It hurt me so much to hear from my cousin that all my things were being sold and that she managed to rescue my comic books, some movies and some small things (meaningless to them, but with certain depth to me). I live in NY now, and as you know, no apt here will ever feel like its yours. People move all the time and while you might find a space to temporarily call home, it will not be for a long time. I understand you perfectly, and I am homeless with you.

  • http://twitter.com/size4riggers size4riggerboots

    I’m one of the lucky ones, I think. I was brought home from the hospital to the the place I still call home. It has been my home for 30 years now. Of course, when I went to uni I rented my own place, and then I stayed in that town and continued to rent, but those places were never home. Now I work at sea, so I live in the place that I work more than I live anywhere else, and that is not home. When I’m back in the country I stay with my boyfriend, who loves me more than words can say and I him. But he lives at his mum’s place, and it is not mine, or ours even, and it is not home. Home is the places I played when I was little; home is where we have to do the washing up at midnight because my mum can’t stand waking up to an untidy kitchen, but we sing while we do it; home is a sheep giving birth at 2am; home is fresh picked garden vegetables; home is a room, crammed to bursting with all the things that I have found while travelling the world. Home is so many things, but the best word for it is sanctuary. My parents, who have worked so hard and long to make it so wonderful, now sometimes talk of selling it, because it is big and the garden is getting too much to cope with and my sister and I have (officially anyway) “left home”, but the mere thought of it not being there for me makes me cry.

    My home is still there but won’t be forever, and while I’m not there myself much these days, Amanda, you’ve reminded me of how deeply precious a gift I have, thank you. xxxxxxxxxxx

  • Jean

    Crowdsource new songs from the community! With lyrical/musical recognition given to the fans involved. Yes, this is totally heading down the crowdsource musicians for beer path but FUCK the haters! A true AFP fan would die and go to heaven just knowing you’d sung their song. Nevermind the limelight they’d get. And that they’d be able to add musical collaboration with Amanda Palmer to their resumes. I’m just saying. Plenty of fans. Plenty of experiences. Plenty of writers and musicians who are creating daily. Be the conduit while your muse is on vacation. (NB your muse is ONLY allowed a vacation, not retirement).

  • angharad-hamlet

    i’ve spent a while thinking of my response. i haven’t commented on these blogs in a few years – i just became a silent watcher, never loving any less but silenced by hatred of my own voice, i suppose. so i made a new account on behalf of this post.

    it hurts a lot, to be silent in art. it hurts a lot and it hurts to watch others face it and it’s hurts to see someone (you) that you look up to so much be in that stage of homelessness regarding art. i agree. art is from the home, art is home. i don’t know where my home is, either, since i have been in this spiral that doing art gives me horrendous anxiety and self-loathing. i have panic attacks thinking about drawing. when i show things i’ve created, i panic and cry for people to look at my art because i hate myself so much for being unable to have the creation be enough. for a long time i’ve talked about the reason i am dead is because my art is dead. sometimes it comes to life, sometimes i paint. recently i’ve just been doing applications for art school with this knowledge that i’m going to fail out of art school because of anxiety.

    the other day, i put up some art online. a few people liked it. it wasn’t enough. i hated myself for it not being enough. if i don’t call it home, perhaps someone else will and it will heal me? art is not just for me. i need it, but i need it to connect. i’m at a point where i spend so much time thinking about being dead that i want these fruitless things. i want a home, i want to be doing art for myself.

    anyway, a few days ago, this happened. i got upset. and then you were saying something on twitter, perhaps a prelude to this blog. and i started screaming to myself, alone in my room the way i like it, “STOP PRETENDING ART IS HARD”. i told myself “FUCK PLAN B” especially because i have no plan b, i will fail as an artist and as a living thing simultaneously.

    i am greatly saddened by your two years of silence. i feel it in myself, it’s empty, it’s a home waiting to happen that just doesn’t. does it come back? i do not know. i can hope so, i can struggle. i hope yours does. but this whole perspective – watching as those you love (and i spend so much time struggling with the fact that you are a real person, that i have in fact touched you and kissed you and read these tweets and blogs for YEARS AND YEARS) get stuck, just like you. it’s a lot. it’s good. i try my hardest not to put you in a different light – but it’s hard, as you must know from adoring artists. it’s hard and i hope you get home. i’d like to get home too.

  • catface

    I moved out of my childhood home when.i was about 13. It didn’t upset me at the time; i never had many friends round there anyway. And i still took everything with me because i am a hoarder.
    But years later i revisited the area,drove past my old house, and only then realised how much everything had changed, and found myself feeling quite… Deflated.

    I think that’s the best word to describe it. Not quite upset but not exactly over the moon either.
    Guess its hard looking back an realising the Constant that you thought you had has actually been unsettled.and interrupted
    Huh, life.

    I too like being alone. Its comforting. Its safe. Its nice.
    I like being around people too, but i like being quiet around them. Take it all in. Enjoy thethe banter going on around me.

    I think its ok to be alone. Its ok to want to be alone. Its ok to be comfortable in your own company. Its healthy.

  • Erin U.

    My car is my home. Hands down. And o know this feeling so well. I have to be home/alone to write. If im not there I can’t. I’ve been feeling surrounded in my “actual” home. But mt car, man, im alone and unseen and it’s perfect. Also my therapists office. My therapist is wonderful. Makes me feel loved and comfortable and I cab sat anything. Thar feels like home. To be around people but to be able to be any shade of grey that you ever can be at any moment and it’s okay.

    Much love afp. Much much love. I hope you find home, love.

  • http://twitter.com/MorganB41 Mjorgan Blöm

    goddamnit amanda i needed to not cry any more. you have this superhuman power of reaching in and literally pulling my heart out.

  • http://twitter.com/Saffric Sara Benjamin

    I believe that something always has to be lost in order for something else to be found, even if all that you find is some vaguely naked pain to poke at. It seems it is only in that peculiar frisson state of change, that true growth (and writing/art/music) seems to happen.

    That being said, it would have been nice to have warning that your hodgepodge quilt life masterpiece was going to be turned into raw canvas again. I am glad she got some pictures. Its not the same of course, a gravestone portrait of sorts, but well, digital better then not at all.

    I have deliberately never decorated anywhere I have ever lived in my adult life. It seems too much of a commitment. The only concession is the quote written in sharpie on the wall “censor the body and you censor speech and breath. The body doesn’t lie. You must tell her story -Cixous

    I would imagine the intimacy of strangers is easier. They can see everything, and nothing. It says volumes about the the friends you can feel ‘safely alone’ with. I guess you can say people like that are three dimensional, human members on your current ‘wall of existence’.

  • http://twitter.com/sigilgoat SigilGoat

    my grandmother died in the spring. i moved to the east coast in 2011, and didn’t have the chance to visit. she got sick and died in 2 months time.

    my mother and father got divorced when I was three. i’ve never lived in the same place more than 3 years. objects became my home and i to this day have a really hard time getting rid of things. they are important, i need my objects because they stay, even though my rooms, houses, hallways, driveways all change.

    my grandmother had the house on her property build when my mother was very young. my mother and uncle grew up in that house with the orange, red and brown shag carpeting. the strange yellow 70’s style glass windows near the door no one used. we all went through the garage.

    when i was young my grandmother and i would go out in the forest behind the house. we would pick lady slippers (calypso orchids) and Johnny Jump Ups (i have no idea) and press them in her old, fragrant encyclopedias. frogs were in the pond, and were cacophonous at night. I would hear nothing but frogs out there in the Oregon backwoods

    her ex husband, my estranged grandfather, owned the forest land. i heard he sold the lumber. drained the pond. he sold the land to rich californians who came in, built a large house, drove SUV’s up the mile long gravel driveway. i think they have a pool. this is strange in Oregon.

    I sat in high rickety chairs along the breakfast bar, pulling hot taffy in my soft hands when it “felt like snow”. its the only time we could make taffy, my grandmother insisted. I would run my sock covered toes over the warped tiles in the kitchen, sitting near the woodstove, watching the snowbirds (oregon junco) and finches hop around in the snow, eating the oatmeal and other foods my grandmother offered.

    there were rotten holes in the deck, covered with green moss. i was always afraid I’d fall through.

    deer would come and eat the apples in her orchard, and she made so much applesauce. i spent at least one weekend a month in that house for over a decade. i don’t remember why i stopped

    she had an old appalosa with one eye named Apache Painter. his eye socket was sewn shut with the eyelid. it would still try and blink. that horse terrified me, but i would pet his nose and feed him apples anyway. she had rows of niagra grapes. they have a thick, sour skin and a very sweet inside with multiple seeds. i would get bags of them to take back to my house. my friends would all spit out the skins and seeds. i would spit the seeds, but loved the sour skins

    the gate to the horse pasture was old and when you opened it, earwigs fell out of the wood. i remembered that earwigs were called that because they crawl in your brain. I never opened that gate again, but asked her to for me. i was convinced that black widows lived under the toilet seat, and always lifted it to check before going to the bathroom.

    she had clay-rich well water. when you would run the bath, the water would start out dark red, then clear after a few seconds. i saw ghostbusters with the pink sludge ghost bath. i wouldn’t go into the bathroom until the tub was clear after that. i had a platform waterbed at her house. i was sure there were snakes under it. i would jump out of bed, running fast enough that the snakes couldn’t get me.

    such a scared kid, jesus.

    these are the things i thought about when i visited for the last time. the feeling of that terrible fucking carpet. the spots on the wooden floor where the furniture i knew used to be. especially the matted spot where the threadbare davenport (couch) sat, and my grandmother would clip coupons while i sat on the floor watching coupons.

    i went in the kitchen and opened every cupboard. they were still covered with her news clippings. some were recipes or kitchen tips. i found the list of food I would eat as a kid. grapefuit. oatmeal. grilled cheese. i found the terrifying diet tips, that men prefer a small woman, 10 tips to a slimmer you.

    my grandmother had a 20 something inch waist in high school. she wore small in everything. she was incredibly thin. i learned later that my grandfather called her fat. that she limited her calorie intake to 1200 a day to stay small for him. she wrote down everything she ate.

    it must have been so strange for her to have a fat granddaughter.

    my mother and i walked down to the orchard. we passed the grapes she had planted in 2011. She never got to taste them. She left a note on the counter with the species and their placement for the next people to own the house.

    we picked asian pears and blackberries, the only things still left in season. “don’t go in the barn” my mother said. “there’s pissed off deer in there”

    We ate the pears, then went to her gravesite, which was incredibly surreal. on the drive back to my mothers house, i imagined laying there in the trimmed grass next to her headstone. i would tell her all my secrets.

    of all the things in my life, she was the most stable and dependable. she was my home. she is gone.

    it means a lot to me that you will read this amanda. that your people, our people, us weirdos will read this. i couldn’t make it through the comments on this blog. i just wanted to tell someone who cared about these stupid fucking things that i think about, that i’ll never see or touch or taste again.

    thank you

    • RiverVox

      No, thank you! This resonates so much with my memories of my grandparents house. They took care of me while my mother worked and their house was my main home. Sometimes when I can’t sleep, I walk through that house in my mind. I wish I could draw it. You should write this all down in your own files and expand it to save for the day when your memories are less clear. But you should take comfort in the fact that they live in you. My grandfather was committed to feeding wild birds and there were feeders in the windows and in the yard. My first word was “dee” for Chickadee. I am sitting here 30 years after they died looking at the bird feeder in my window. I have taken that part of him without even being aware of it. I know the names of all the birds, and I am teaching them to my children, who will probably also feed the birds. When I make my grandmother’s chocolate cake, or cut the kids’ toast into soldiers when they are sick, she is with me. The secret is, you don’t need the house, or the stuff to remember. She will be with you when you eat an Asian Pear, see an Appaloosa or an earwig. To quote Amanda “no one’s ever lost forever they are caught inside your heart, if you garden them and water them, they make you what you are”, truly.

  • Tharpy

    I can’t imagine life without homebase. Yet for me, that scenario almost happened 2 months ago. We were within mere days of losing it. Everyone needs a homebase. I hope you find yours again.

  • insignifikunt

    the only place i ever feel at home is at gigs. surrounded by people there for the same reason i am. and i only mean when i am up the front with all the most dedicated fans who won’t talk to you during the music and destroy the moment.

    alone but surrounded by people all there to feel something. all there to love.

    i’ve never had my own space. i shared a room growing up and when my sister left, she left a lot of her stuff with me so it still doesn’t feel like my space. she is still everywhere and that makes it even harder.

    the closest i felt to having my own space was a hospital room. i could close the door and shut out the misery that was filling the ward. i could put on my iPod and close my eyes and pretend i was at a gig. but even then, that space was invaded by nurses, doctors and most distressingly sometimes other patients and friends or family i didn’t always want to see.

    whenever i’ve been away from my house, when i’ve travelled or been in hospital for extended periods, i have missed it, but it has never lasted long. within days the desire to get out overwhelms me.

    i want a home as well, but i don’t even really know what that feels like.

  • Snadrs

    I come from a family of hoarders and always want to throw things away because the stuff represents oppression to me. Your post and the comments made me realize how hard this must be for my 10 year old daughter who relates to the world around her through the tiny things… a scrap of wrapping paper, part of the flap of an envelope, a brightly colored string. I need to remember.

    My mom died. I’ll never go home again. I have to try to remember what it was like to be a kid for my kids sake.

  • paintedblue

    I just went home for an audition this weekend, it’s the first time I’ve been back since we moved out and rented out our house. It hurts so much to think of strangers living in the midst of my childhood. Thank you for this.

  • http://twitter.com/KalypsoNator Kalypso

    I had a huge bout of homelessness when I moved in with my now-husband in 2007. He had a big house and I was sharing a bedroom with my daughter in a crappy apartment, so when it was time to cohabitate it only made sense to move in with him. I was REALLY happy about starting a life with him, so I didn’t realize until after I’d moved that I suddenly felt extremely homeless. My apartment was so stupid, with its too-small heater and marks on the ceiling so I could tell where to put the buckets when it rained, but it was MY stupid apartment, and all the stuff in it was my stuff, and I bought and paid for it by my self. I really felt I’d lost my autonomy, and it was a HUGE shock being so upset when I thought I’d be so happy. I actually felt more homeless in those first few months than the time when I was actually very briefly homeless.

  • http://twitter.com/Queerp Brianna[h]

    Oh. Oh goodness. This is exactly what I’m going through right now. You just described all my struggles as a young artist perfectly. I got home tonight, back to my family’s home, and immediately wanted to leave again. I don’t feel safe and happy and home here, except for when I’m in my room that I painted and filled with art and love. I felt more comfortable in the room of a boy I met a week and a half ago, the falling-apart bunk bed in a hostel across the country, the Very Specific Bench outside Peet’s Coffee in Harvard Square. We are each other’s home.

  • Erica

    Last week I cried. I couldn’t understand it. I had that feeling of having your sternum split, wedged open with a rough piece of wood letting the wind below in. It feel a bit like there was no gravity on my heart, like I wasn’t securely weighted – I suppose a bit like the naked feeling when you cut your nails short.

    We had had to rebuild the room I always used most at our bach (an extended family holiday place) because otherwise it would have fallen down. In rebuilding it though we changed things. Adults wanted a double bed not an old wwII hospital bunk. The shower and lovely worn out smoothed rusty enamel old sink left. It was made 1.2 meters bigger. It seems minor. It feels so very very different. It smelt good. of candles and lamps and musty old fashioned raincoats. All of my most solitary alone-with-others experiences are from a tiny strange greenish painted room. Every dawn I climbed out the window to not wake people up. I made peace with and learnt my new adult-ish face in candle-light in the mirror. The sea outside was always there without barging in to talk while I drew at the desk or got rid of homework or used the reliability of the place to finally figure out something, where my head was so secure it could be open to dangerous maybe unstable untested ideas – what I need to draw but could harness to learn integration or some other topic that was a little mind-bending and needed me to trust it.

    It feels like so many facets of me can be understood by that room and now it doesn’t exist. And neither does the desk. I sat in the other room where the desk never was and felt like something had vanished before I had realised it would leave. Somehow I need to make another desk spot with waves out the window. I don’t know how but I’m going to have to figure it out.

    I too feel happiest alone among people. It made me smile. I like the way it feels like people care but are letting you breathe. Being is a lovely thing. Sometimes it feels as though I drink calmness from other people, trees, wind or the sea. It isn’t in me exactly until I find it. Maybe being with others can be a kind of meditation. I hope you find your home. If it takes time please don’t discount this blog. It is different than songwriting but it too touches people, makes life seem beautiful and worth paying attention too or worth surviving until it gets better. Thank you always for this,

  • http://www.facebook.com/gemmanova Gemma Nova James

    The only place I have ever felt at home was on a psychiatric ward. I lived on there for 4 months, and then another 3 over Christmas 2 years ago. I met my best friends on that ward, friends that I felt I could trust with my life. They were bat-shit crazy and brilliant. I couldn’t say the same for my friends on the ‘outside’ world. Y’see to me, THIS is the psychiatric ward, the outside. That was the ‘real world’ I felt more at home and belonged there than I have anywhere, and I didn’t want to leave. Sitting playing piano and making bracelets and stealing biscuits and laughing and getting alcohol smuggled in and messing about and crying and screaming and hugs and the smell of hospital and overdoses and dancing and dying and living and the strongest foundations for friendships I have ever, ever come across. I felt like I could be more myself there than anywhere else I have ever been in the world. I wish I was back there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gemmanova Gemma Nova James

    This is the missing piece. It’s beautiful.

  • My Problem

    I find it too hard to read what you write when there’s no capital letters to indicate the start of sentences. From comments I feel I am missing out on what you say. I don’t know why I can’t read it. Maybe I have some problem. :-(

  • http://twitter.com/Cara_1969 Cara

    Slept in a crib in my parents room until I was 7 when my kid sister was born. I got to share room with an older sister until I was 10, then it became MY room. My parents let me paint the room and furnish it with furniture I built myself. I, as you, had posters and stuff I thought were cool on the walls.

    My kid sister kept it all as I had left it until she moved out, for her that made it her safe place. I’m glad it did. It never became a home for me. When my parents sold the house and asked me to come pick up things I wanted to keep, I told them to throw it all away if my sister didn’t want anything. The home made table was adopted by a niece. Someone else took a shelf I’d made. It didn’t matter to me. I don’t know what happened with the rest.

    I already had a home. It isn’t a house, exactly, although there is a house there. A very old house, that smells of dust and ancient times. It is more a place. In the summer the entire place smells of hay and forest. For me it’s a magic place, because when I’m there, the hidden drawer in my mind, that contains ‘home’, becomes visible. It enables me to enter. It’s been my magical home since before I can remember. A few years ago I became the official owner of it.
    It isn’t always a happy place, sadness happens, frustration happens, because it’s real. Still, it remains safe, I think it always will. It’s been my cornerstone for which to anchor my sanity to

    I hope you find yours.

    *hugses and hang-in-there thoughts*

  • AFinch

    My room is my home. As a child I shared it with my brother, it was home but not sanctuary.
    A place to be me but never a place to be alone.

    At age 15 I began to share my room with my first girlfriend. Both she and it slowly became
    sanctuary. A place to be wholly me, a place to be alone if I needed it, a place
    of comfort, caring and trust. My room bore witness to many firsts; first kiss,
    first ‘I love you’, first argument and first breakdown, to name but a few. For
    six years it was my home (yes, I was with my first, and only, girlfriend for
    six years). But things changed, as they are wont to do. The relationship ended and my home
    betrayed me; while it was my place to escape and shut myself off from it all,
    it was also the place that reminded me most of her; the two were intrinsically
    linked and without her it felt wrong. Fortunately this feeling didn’t last long
    though and I endured; my memories fade quickly, for good or ill, and I rebuilt.
    I reworked and reshaped it and my room became my own once more.

    Now a couple years have passed, she and I are friends again, in a different way than we once
    were but a good way none the less and my room is my sanctuary again. But day by
    day I feel my room begin to betray me a new. As each day passes it feels less
    like a home and more like a cage. A plush and comfortable cage but a cage all
    the same. It holds me captive in my rut, a place to shut down, not a place to
    progress. When my depression deepens, it is a place to manage but not to deal. It
    is a place to immerse myself in the creativity of others but no longer a place
    for my own creativity.

    I need a new home, yet I do not wish to leave the one I have regardless of the poison it
    contains.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eleanor.nettleton Eleanor Nettleton

    Homeless homeless….midnight sleeping-this brings up on the jukebox in my brain Ladysmith singing…Never forget Amanda Wherever you go there you are. Alone can be a trap,Nuclear families equal ISOLATION we are never ok in solitary,we are capable of self rape and torture..
    NURTURE your inner nature, let go picking the scabs of our old walls of memory can let out the pain,but its easier to let it go and heal by no being lonley(looking back) or. Afraid (looking forward) Old sage Ram Dass had it right the circle of words – be here now

  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.snider.520 Steven Snider

    When I was 21 I was living with my boyfriend of the time, the one who took my virginity in a relationship sense though not necessarily my sexual virginity. I was invited to a party one night and since I had been driving myself nuts all day blasting 4 Non Blondes and feeling sorry for myself and my lostness, I agreed to go, perfectly expecting nothing remarkable to happen and hoping maybe for some hookey time from the prison I had created for myself. As it turned out, the apartment was filled with complete strangers and each one as unique as the last. Being a people consumer I really loved this and found myself gliding through conversations and wine like I could never be sated. I finally alit upon the most georgeous Middle Eastern man, I believe he was from Syria. He had been travelling the entire world and was spending some time in Grand Rapids just to see what it was about. He wanted to cook me dinner, he wanted me to talk to, and he wanted me to share. He needed a companion and I needed a way out; my friend told me it was time to go home. I thought she was just concerned about how I was having more fun than her at the party and how the man she had come to see and used me as a crutch for was not paying her the mind that she felt she deserved so I hastily said my goodbyes and promised that I would call him if he delivered a telephone number to the owner of the apartment whom I was sure I would talk to again, he being the very same friend of my friend she had brought me to witness her being with. Whether due to her jealosy or due as she said to the fact that she “wouldn’t be responsible for breaking two people up” (God how I remember her saying those words, all smug and self-riteous, like she only knew what was best for those around her) I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter. That night I felt at home, because I was among familiar strangers partly, but more because there was the promise of familiar strangers to come and new places and new and new. My friend was at a loss to understand my complete and utter grief over losing that complete stranger. I broke up with my boyfriend as if I were having an affair, I moved to New Orleans, and I left everyone behind in order to be as completely alone as I felt. I’ll never have the adventures I would have had with that elegant, eloquent man, but I discovered something that my friend tried to prevent. I only feel completely happy when I am alone and alone in New Orleans I found that New Orleans was not my home, but alone and surrounded by all that life and love and debauchery and not really being a part of it is my home.

  • Jende

    I feel so homeless when I am angry. When I have had an argument with my boyfriend, the man I live with. When I am without my books. When I don’t know what to do next. I feel homeless since I have discovered that when you don’t feel good no one will know if you don’t tell them (and that is why it is important to speak when you are not ok). I feel at home since I have discovered sleeping in someone else’s arms, the sound of an other, trusted heartbeat. Home. What a weird notion.

  • http://twitter.com/IMJASMINE_MARIE Jasmine

    “you see
    privacy and safety
    to me
    don’t mean

    alone.

    it is why i don’t feel invaded when a stranger approaches me

    but why i do when a loved one knocks at the wrong time when the do not disturb sign is up”

    You will find your home, there’s a big, a big hard sun, beating on the big people in a big hard world :( we don’t need you to write a song until you’re ready, until you’ve found your home

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.peters.5682 Alex Peters

    Lots of luck to you, I know the feeling of not being able to find home when you are surrounded by so many things and people and options. I know it may not guarantee anything… But everything WILL be alright very soon. Hugs and Hope! -Me

  • DJ Nichols

    I’m currently in a place where I’m trying so very hard to lose the things that are not me in the earnest hope that I can find me under all that. And I lost poetry, oh, about twenty years ago now, so I lack the ability to express very well how I really feel. But I think it feels a whole lot like this.

  • alan

    Amanda, I’ve decided to try to be your therapist- so many come here for therapy and I know you say that you get so much from your blog interactions, but when you say you haven’t written a song for 2 years I’m motivated make this unlikely attempt to intervention. I know you probably wont even read this, but here goes.

    First of all, to try to establish a little trust here’s a little flattery- not that you don’t already get inundated by that here, but because you are not actually my hero maybe what I say will resonate. You are the bravest musical artist, I’ve been exposed to for a very long time- a kind of Joan of Arc of performance art.

    Someone is brave because they take risks for a worthy cause and your risk is extreme self exposure- you seem to give it all to your audience and your fans. So much of yourself in your songs and your performance and this blog.

    I believe your empathy well has been over drawn and somehow needs to be refreshed. It’s like when Anais Ninn made an attempt at being a psychotherapist. Her high empathy and intelligence gave her real power in helping people but the process was so draining that she would have committed suicide if she’d kept up the effort.

    My Father was a very successful therapist for 60 years and he never got worn out by it. His secret- he was a narcissist devoid of empathy. He was a lovely man and loaded with sympathy- he loved helping people but other people’s pain did not become his own.

    I suspect that your own non-stop hyper-empathetic, pushing to the limits method of artology has taken a high toll and you need some kind of break from all this.

    OK- that’s all I’ve got. Probably not much use- but what do you expect from a complete stranger?

    I sure hope you figure it out because I’ve just discovered your music and think your accomplishments are amazing but far from complete.

    If this is the end of it you should know that you’ve already done more for more people than any one would ever need to justify their place here.

  • miserichik

    I’ve been homedandhomeless at the same time. I’ve had homes where I didn’t feel homey. My childhood was uprooted a few times, so I didn’t have that same sense of home as a kid. Divorced parents, dual housing, that kind of thing.

    The blog is enough. This blog is a home to us, and should be to you Amanda. This is all wee need sometimes to feel at home.

    Just listen to Louie the lobster of loss. We love you and want you to be home with us.

  • lost

    I haven’t found my home for awhile
    I wander the world lost and scared and mostly alone
    I lost home several years ago when things got bad and
    I haven’t been able to find it ever sense
    I need to get home.
    Its not a place for me, it never has been
    but is a feeling of knowing that even when I’m silent I’m heard and understood
    that no one is judging my past or my present, but just simply being
    I feel like home is so close…just a few steps away
    but I can’t find that one something or someone to be there
    to let me call them home, to hold me when I’m scared
    share happiness and sadness and fears
    I’ll find it, I just have to keep searching
    The soles of my shoes are almost worn out,
    So hopefully I find home soon.

  • Anna

    I’d like to share a part of a poem written by another one of my all-time favourite musicians, Phil Ochs:


    From the pubs of London to the hills of Edinburgh a jealous journey
    on the ecstasy side of tragedy. I watched my life fade-away in a flash
    a quarter of a century dash through closets full of candles with never a room
    for rapture though a kingdom had been captured.
    And so I turn away from my drizzling furniture and pass old ladies
    sniffling by movie stars’ tombs, yes I must be home again soon.
    To face the unspoken unguarded thoughts of habitual hearts
    a vanguard of electricians a village full of tarts
    who say you must protest you must protest
    it is your diamond duty
    ah but in such an ugly time the true protest is beauty
    and the bleeding seer crawled from the ruins of the empire
    and stood bleeding, bleeding on the border
    he said, passion has led to chaos and now chaos will lead to order.
    Oh I have been away for a while and I hope to be back again soon.

    ——————-
    Passion has led to chaos, and now chaos will lead to order. Oh, I have been away for a while, and I hope to be back again soon.

    Remember, everyone: In such an ugly time, the true protest is beauty.

  • Kimberly Santini

    this post is a song. I can’t wait to hear the melody.

  • http://www.facebook.com/meltinghalo Christine Povisils

    In my deepest depressions (since I’m a child) I have always found myself thinking “I want to go home.” I didn’t know or understand what that meant until now.

  • http://twitter.com/ctrymaus CountryMouse

    The longest I lived anywhere was for 32 years with my husband. We lived in the same apartment complex the entire time we were married. Last year we moved into a rented house with our friend. It doesn’t feel like home. It’s better, bigger, beautifuller, but … Our landlords are nice and responsive (a nice change from the landlord at the apt. complex!) and keep the property well-maintained. In fact, they used to live in the house. And that’s the rub. The husband keeps dropping hints that he might want to move back in. But you can never be sure with him. He’s one of those people who just says the first thing that comes into his head. So anyway I feel like we are only caretakers for them until they come back. I want a place that feels like home, that feels secure, that I won’t have to move again for the rest of my life (I’m 67). I guess the only way to get *that* is to buy a house, which I don’t think we can do for a few years (our friend is the one with the money to be able to do this). But even if you own your own home, there is always the possibility of “right of way” buy-out or something. :-/ We thought that maybe the landlords/owners might be selling to us in a few years. But do I want to stay here after all? I guess if we owned the house ourselves, we could call in an exterminator for some of the bug problems. We live near woods, and we get all kinds of *things*. Our landlord is not bothered by bugs, but I am. I just want a place to feel safe in. And I don’t know where that somewhere is. Or when or if I’ll ever find it. Or did I used to have it long ago and I’ve forgotten what that is? Or do I feel more insecure as I get older? ::sigh:: I do remember that when we first moved here, and I was feeling overwhelmed by the unexpected amount of bugs and then the a/c going out and other things, I kept thinking/screaming in my head, “I want to go home! I want to go HOME!” (meaning our apartment). I don’t know now *where* home is. :-(

  • Charli_Nye

    I debated on whether or not to add to these stories. With my story. There are always so many, so many great stories. I figured mine no matter what the emotional topic would get lost.

    This one hit home a bit harder than others.

    I’ve never felt like I had a home. Even though I’m 42 and own my house. I have couches, a kitchen table, tv’s and bedrooms. But I can never feel settled.

    And I know it goes back to my childhood, or mainly my teenage years and my 20’s.

    When I was 11 my parents divorced and my house that I loved became a war zone. A place of uncertainty. My mother had her fits and breakdowns, they weren’t always plain to the eyes, they were deeper than that. She had them in her own way, but her way was to get frustrated with either me or my younger brother and send us to our dad’s. This happened off and on throughout my teen years. The 80’s were a combination of fear, uncertainty, and experimentation for me.

    There were even times I had neither house to go to and I ended up staying with the parents of two different friends. They became accustomed to this. I wasn’t a bad kid. In fact I had my share of misery aside from the divorce. The funny thing is we seemed so normal to those around us. We lived in an upper class town but I was never the child they wanted me to be. I was the dreamer, the writer, the punk rocker, the child who sought love in whomever would give it to me. No matter what hell that brought me.

    This went off and on for years. I was considered beyond intelligent but had suffered epilepsy as a kid and developed a fear of driving therefore I never went to college aside from community, I worked full time in retail management. I worked hard. But in my early 20’s my mother would find reason to throw me out & I would live in motels. Later I moved in with a boyfriend, who I later suffered abuse and was raped by. My testimony was his downfall. My mother felt guilt and took me back in.

    Then I married. We had a son. We had a house. We divorced and I moved from place to place from guy to guy, had my heart broken and then remarried to a wonderful person.

    What happened throughout all of this is that I never felt comfortable no matter where I was. I could never decorate or really put down any roots. I have always lived in the back of my mind that this was all going to get pulled away from me. And often it did. Even in the beginning of my second marriage we would always stay somewhere for a year and a half and move again. Mostly due to financial reasons. Again, I never put pictures on the walls.

    Why would I put pictures on the walls, why would I make holes when I knew that in a short time I would be having to cover them up for the new owners.

    I’ve been in the same house for four years and I’m just starting to feel a bit at home here. But like all places and even in this relationship I always feel like I have one foot out, in fact it took years for my husband to realize what was happening. I’ve always treated everyone except my children as temporary.

    My mother, I love her, it’s taken us years to heal. But she used to throw everything out, be it a pair of boots by the front door, a library book on the counter or many times, me whenever I wasn’t doing what she wanted. And because of that I’ve never felt safe.

    All these years later I’m still trying to feel wanted and feel like I’m in the right place. I’m almost there. I’m about to put a couple pictures on the walls. Even though I know in three years we’ll try for something more than what we have here.

    But I need to feel like I have a home.

    For once.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kompanier Wim Jansen

    Home isn’t a place, it is a feeling.

    We all have our own unique way of sharing, our own way of connecting to people and our own way of feeling at home. You are not homeless, you are among friends, right here. Justy lok up and see the familiar faces. Wrap yourselves in our blankets and let yourself be sung to sleep.

    And do me one favor…
    In a few weeks or months or years, go back over this blog and put some music to these words.

  • scafe

    Is this swirling in the zeigeist? You really nailed that feel. Glad I am not the only one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/heather.joyce.100 Heather Joyce

    Dragon to dragon emergency!

    Don’t go under Ms Palmer – have only recently discovered you and my daughters will need the role models you will undoubtedly inspire and nurture for the next generation of women who are not afraid to be themselves.
    As one from the previous time zone, I’ll share a few observations on how it looks from Mumville, near Paris France. Firstly, some stuff to inspire (interesting how that also means ‘breathe’).

    1. MARY OLIVER – “To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.” (In Blackwater Woods)
    “You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile, the world goes on…”
    (Wild Geese).

    2. Firewood by Regina Spektor – I’m sure you know this… “One day you’ll wake up, you’ll feel a great pain and you’ll miss every toy you ever owned. You’ll want to go back, you’ll wish you were small…” Remember her conclusion to this utterly sublime, brilliant song/poem is “Love what you have, and you’ll have more love, I tell you you’re not dying. Everyone knows, you’re going to love, but
    there’s still no cure for crying…”

    3. You’re probably sick of trawling through TED. But the ‘genius’ speech by Elizabeth Gilbert is wondrous and so true, echoes much of Julia Cameron’s ‘Artist’s way’ . And if by chance you’ve not done ‘the Artist’s Way’ then go do it, it will get you writing songs again.

    4. Songwriting needs a bit of silence, stillness, space to listen for that song and rein it in. From what I see of where you’re at at this point there ain’t a lot of that going down. You might want to explore this? No, art isn’t hard, but celebrity sucks, literally sucks all that art energy out. What’s left for you?

    5. The bedroom, the home the comforts lost, aw honey, have some kids of your own. That’s the only way you really get to understand all that stuff. And no, however much you love other people’s it is not the same as the blood and guts your own body builds and pushes out into the world. The utter invisibility of motherhood is a shock to the ego that deadens and transforms. I’ve written more songs since I had my kids than I did in the entirety of my agonized navel gazing luxurious previous
    existence. Life BC (Before Children) I remember a wise friend and mother saying – you know you’ve grown up when you forgive your parents. I thought how crass, I’m nearly 40, I’ve done all
    that. Weeping into the night with a sleepless babe you suddenly get it. It’s OK doing it late by the way, don’t let the medico freaks scare you out of it.

    6. The upshot is, you obviously want to have your cake and eat it, as in artist/rockstar AND all warts bared celebrity couple. Everyone loves you and, more accurately, the idea of you. I really don’t get this last part and sometimes you court it, sometimes it seems to be spinning you down.
    The most useful thing I can do is share the recipe for the best chocolate cake in the history of the
    universe. It does require very French stuff like good 85% chocolate and crèmede marrons. But while you’re looking for that you may find that bit of peace. There is no catch, it is ridiculously easy to make. Now, when you eat this cake you will experience divine revelation hitherto unknown to the American palate -and maybe you’ll find your own answers. I really hope so, Amanda
    All the very best, Heather Joyce
    500g – ( 1 tin ) of chestnut purée (the sickly sweet one)
    100g 85% very dark chocolate.
    3 eggs
    100g butter
    Switch on the oven to 170°
    Melt the butter with the chocolate in a micro wave.
    Mix the chestnut purée with the eggs. Then add the chocolate and butter.
    Pour it into a large, greased shallow cake tin (it’s really runny), cook for about 25/30 mins at 170°. It’s kind of gooey, don’t overcook it. Eat it, squirm, squeal, gasp, groan…

  • Kris Avery

    Amanda told me on Twitter the other day, not to be afraid of upsetting people…. So this is the first comment I’ve ever made here. Might not even be seen since this blog went up a few days ago and there are more recent ones for people to be focussing on… But oh well, here goes nothing.

    I had a home as a child. I’ve only ever had one parent, being a donor baby. And my mother is quite ill in the head, though she continues to refuse to get help. So my home was not with her, not in any of the three houses, or two trailers, we had when I was growing up, and I doubt it ever will be. My grandparents however, were my whole world. Even through physical/emotional, and sexual abuse at the hands of my mother, and uncle respectively, I always felt safe with my granny and grandpa.

    My grandpa died of a heart attack when I was eleven. I’d been eleven for five days. I no longer had a place to call home when my mum went out of town. Babysitters took the place of my safe haven, and soon after, I learned to fend for myself instead. But I didn’t fare well in trying to do that. It was better than babysitters though. I never liked them.

    But holidays were still spent with my granny. Easter and either Xmas or Thanksgiving, alternating each year, we’d make the long trip down the state to spend a week or so with her. I still had a home, if only for a few days out of the year. A kitchen which held memories of baking rolls and coloring Easter eggs. A garage with grandpa’s tools, and the ceramic village they had so carefully painted. The black paint stains on the cement from an old Halloween cow costume. Little things. Important things.

    But having home so rarely wasn’t enough to fight back against the hell I lived in. In the end, I attempted suicide four separate times before my home went away forever. I was twelve the first time I tried. So desperate to get away… That house has been sold and all their things packed up. Many of them reside in my own house now. Disney figurines my granny loved to collect, the old model ship of my grandpa’s, the pictures that hung in their hallway… But those things don’t make this place home.

    She was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. Due to a quack of a doctor, her diagnosis came too late, and she wasn’t up for the fight of treatments. I will never forgive myself for not being there for her. I should have been. But I couldn’t be. I tried. I really did. I tried to be there with my mum and my aunt to help them care for her… But it only took a few days before I was looking up prices to get a Greyhound back up the state. I couldn’t handle it. Her mind was fading, as was her body, and I just couldn’t see her like that.

    So I ran. I ran to the people who felt safe, because my home was dying and there was nothing I could do. Those people were musicians. A band from Finland called Nightwish, and another called Sonata Arctica. You should look them up if you haven’t already. Ignore the hate and the drama that flies, because they are truly loving people. I couldn’t have made it this far without them. Couldn’t have gotten through those long months of her suffering without the kind words and tight hugs from them. Couldn’t have survived the horror of the years since. Couldn’t, because without them, I never would have made one very special man the promise that I would stay alive. They are truly love in human form.

    I got the phone call just a few days after a show. I was in a sleeping bag on the living room floor of my friend’s house in Ohio. I remember staring at the ceiling, feeling so lost. She was gone. The last piece of home had disappeared. And I was hundreds of miles away. I have never cried so hard in my life. I think it was mostly guilt that kept me from the family prayer, and the spreading of her ashes. Instead I ran again, this time to California, to cry and find comfort in the only people who felt safe.

    I kept searching for home, but in all the wrong places. All the friends and partners I found to latch onto were just as horribly abusive as my mother has always been. I have scars that will never heal, both on my mind and my body, from these people. Some of whom still live fairly nearby.

    I realized not long ago, that I’m still running. Yes, I have my own house, thanks to inheritance money. I have three cats and three dogs who I love very much. They make me feel loved and safe when everything feels too dark. But I am still running. I am safe inside these walls, with my dogs and cats to keep me company, and my many knives to fight back if someone breaks into this little cave. But I can’t leave my house without fear. Not here. Not in this town. Too many memories, too much hate.

    Take me far away on an airplane though, to a city where one of these two bands are playing, and I can do anything. There’s no such thing as low self esteem, or social anxiety, or fear of walking alone at night. I’ve made some great friends by running away. But I still have nothing here. No one closer than 3hrs away, and I don’t have the sight to be allowed to drive, so little good that does me. My home is where certain people are. I don’t have to be with them yet to feel home. Just being on my way to where they are. On a plane or a bus headed to that city, wherever it may be. Safety is the feeling when I’m headed home. What most people I know relate to coming back to their house after a vacation, falling into their own bed. But not for me. I feel it only when I leave here. I see them so very rarely… But they are still home. The only home I have anymore.

    This blog has come at an interesting time, since I’m embarking on a journey that will take me far away from those people for a very long time. I’m putting things in order so I can break away from my mother entirely, hopefully by the Summer. She needs help, and refuses to get it. But I need to stay safe, and sane. Letting myself be subjected to her violence and insanity isn’t going to let me have either of those things. So I have to step back. Tell her I’m gone until she makes changes. I have to do this, even though the thought terrifies me.

    But being alone means she won’t be driving. Which means cabs and bus fare to very necessary doctors appointments, some of which are halfway across the state. Which means high costs for emergency vet care for my pets if I need them rushed in at an ungodly hour again. I have no one here. No one to make sure I get home from infusion therapy every few weeks without passing out. No one to make sure my brain, destroyed by 40+ surgeries, doesn’t forget an important doctor’s appointment. No one but her. And she can’t be allowed to treat me like dirt just because she thinks I won’t leave. I will leave. I have to leave. Until she gets help. But leaving means money spent on things I’ve never had to struggle with… And that means no money to get on those planes, go to my home, whatever city they’re in, and live a life that’s worth anything to me.

    I lost my home once, and there was nothing I could do about it. This time it’s my own choices taking away my safety and comfort. My home is far away, and getting farther with every step I take towards “freedom.”

    I’m starting to wonder if it’s worth it.

  • toast

    You are the greatest inspiration. You are so strong, so unafraid to stand out. I start every morning with your music. Last night I spent a while just looking at pictures of you: such grace, such poise. You gave me the strength to wear makeup and cut my own hair. Every day I try to be amazing and you are a pillar of amazingness, you are a role model to all us girls who aren’t scared to be diffrent. Or used to be scared, before they started listening to Amanda fucking Palmer!
    I wish you were not feeling so homeless. you can come stay with me if you want, I’ve found home here. You can have your own room with a lock and there’s two cats and a glassblowing shop and a big field of peace where you can feel safe cause no one can find you.
    I am sure you are too busy but the offer is there.
    I hope and pray you find your own place of peace on your way of amazingness. Thank you for all that you do you are inspiration.

  • b_wag

    In your song Do You Swear to Tell the Truth one line always resonates with me… “i like being alone around people”. Kills me every time because it pretty much sums me up. That’s my home, alone, watching, listening, enjoying life going on around me yet having nothing to do with me.

    I’m lucky to have many places to call home. In the end, sometimes the things and places we think of as home (or family) are the things we find comfortable. It’s totally organic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jan.weisner Jan Weisner

    That reads like a song to me. I’d love to hear you sing it.

  • J

    I cried out as I read this. Neil should kiss your toes (often).

  • thetephra

    I think the concept of home is blurring, especially in this age of digital communication and global travel. As a certain pair of French philosophers say “The .. point is reached only in order to be left behind […] the life of the nomad is the intermezzo.” Perhaps what we think of as ‘home’ is just the still moments, those points of contentment, that shift and change and pass us by, only to return when we least expect them. For some those moments are connected to a physical space, for others, not so much.

    I can’t think of a specific place I would call home at the deepest level of meaning, or at least nothing with four walls and a fixed address. If home is anywhere, it’s in front of the easel, or on the meditation cushion, where for nanoseconds I get to feel connected with the universe. In the cosmic time of astrophysics, we’re made of stars that burned up millennia ago, and the miracle is just that we’re here, walking, talking, breathing. Wherever we are at any given moment and however we are feeling, it’s surely right where we’re meant to be.

  • Mae Rose

    Thank you for your constant honesty and candor. I am sat in my favorite Starbucks reading this while procrastinating on editing way too many photos and crying. Crying because I no longer feel like the only one. My housemates sometimes joke that I am antisocial sometimes since I will sit quietly and just listen – but it is simply a contentedness that I let wash over me as I let everything else wash away. I don’t have to be the extrovert all the time but it’s a time when I can be happily alone surrounded by those I love.

    I wrote about the same idea once when I was finishing up my semester abroad in NZ, that the idea of “home” and its various connotations was pulling me in three entirely separate directions. I have lived in three main places so far in my life and still feel no true concept of home – it is something I am constantly seeking in people and places and have found most often in friends. But I am learning, slowly, to find home within myself – it’s liberating and terrifying at the same time, mostly because social norms dictate that to be alone is strange and true independence is a coping mechanism for single people, but you know what, fuck social norms. In this, I’ve learned that I can be happy and comfortable almost anywhere as long as I have me, which is a promising prospect. If I am my own homebase, the world becomes my oyster.

  • nickelsalsa

    I wanted to write this days ago, and didn’t. Now it’s late, I feel lonliest as ever, and maybe getting it out will allow me to sleep, and give me some peace for a minute…
    My home was my parents. They didn’t start out as mine, but my birth mother did the best thing of her life giving me to these people she hardly knew. They were used to that, babies and friends-of-children, coming into their house one afternoon, staying in their lives for a few months, a few years, as long as they needed. By my time, they were older, foster and birth children grown up, youngest just starting college. But they saw me, and my mother told me “I knew I was going to take you, and love you as long as I could”. And they did. My mother the teacher, my father the electrician. Both children of the Depression, who remembered what it was like to go without, and who promised each other they would always help those in need. Life was illuminated, and constantly filled with laughter. When I was in high school, my mom fell, and her health wasn’t so good. I went to school, had a job, and looked after her. But soon, too soon, she got worse, and then my daddy fell ill too. I graduated, and went into full time as a caregiver. Sometimes I got frustrated, sometimes I lost my temper. Sometimes we would sit in the living room and I would rub their feet and we would watch Masterpiece Classic together, and it was like the old good times again. My mother died in 1999, and my father had to be moved into a care home about 9 months later. I moved into a studio down the street, and spent many afternoons with my daddy, watching his favorite war movies and westerns, taking him to lunches I made the older siblings pay for, buying him his favorite snacks, long after he was supposed to refrain from them. Why the fuck make an old man with kidney failure give up cookies, so he can live a couple extra months, said months being miserable, due to lack of cookies?!?! (partly his words too). He passed in 2001, and I watched his last breath leave his body…and I knew I had lost something really fucking important, I just couldn’t understand it then – I lost my home, the place where I was always sure of love, light, and laughter, and people to stand with me against everything.,,
    Since then I have moved a lot, never staying in one place for too long. My older siblings call me a nomad, and I suppose I am. I don’t think I am looking for “home” really, because I can never attain that specific place again. Maybe I am looking for someplace, something, someone…who understands the fucking importance of cookies…maybe I need to stop looking around and find it inside of me…maybe I just need to be a fucking cookie…

  • Brigid

    My first twenty years of breathing, I lived in the same house. Even when I went to college, I moved back there each summer, and even with my room gone in the re-shuffle that gave my two sisters rooms of their own and me just a borrowed top bunk for holidays I felt safest and most at home when I was inside those walls. Then my parents moved, and I lived the next summer in my college apartment instead of moving back for three months, and then the sale on the old house was finalized, and it was then that I realized I don’t have a home anymore. Not in the way I’d always conceptualized home, anyway. There are moments when I’ll sit and go through the rooms and all their familiar objects and think of how much I loved it there, and I can’t breathe.

    And maybe this isn’t quite what you’re talking about. But that’s my homeless story, and I wanted to share it, because to some extent I know how you feel. I’ve begun to find other places that feel like home – the main stacks of the university library, my boyfriend’s bed, the living room chair I’ve claimed as mine (but only when no one else is in the apartment) – but there’s a dark little place inside me that doesn’t quite believe I’ll ever have a real home again. I can’t pinpoint the reason why I’ve begun to feel so lost, but maybe you’ve given me part of the answer: I don’t have anywhere to take my bearings off of, and it’s throwing off my calculations. I don’t have anywhere to come back to if things go wrong – and what if things go horribly, horribly wrong? Will they just be wrong forever, without home to climb like a tree or a mountain and wait for that flood to pass?

  • http://twitter.com/thecrystalcrow Kristal Crow

    Thank you. I needed this.

  • http://twitter.com/thecrystalcrow Kristal Crow

    (((hugs back)))

  • Kelly

    You are fucking amazing.
    I’ve been feeling lost for a long time, and I recently stopped feeling sad about it. Like, last week.
    Your art has been a big part of that process for me.
    I have also stopped shaving my pits.
    Thank you for being vulnerable,
    you’re helping me feel like the person I’ve always wanted to be… who is now also saving tons of money by not buying shaving cream and makeup.

  • http://twitter.com/GoodbyeGrl Holly Behanna

    Oh how I know all too well this sensation…I always have, but more so since my husband has passed away…
    I’ve re-discovered this tiny, hole-in-the-wall neighborhood (though not my neighborhood) dive bar and it’s become my sanctuary of sorts…I can be completely lonely without having to be alone…there are always strangers with whom to chat and find common ground…but not become too involved. It’s dark and the jukebox is the best…and on a Sunday, it’s my saving grace in so many ways…a place to think, decompress and get ready for the week ahead…a time and place that inspires me to finally research all those things I think of during the week and never managed to get around to, or forget completely about until I am in that place, at that time…It’s been a saving grace for me…

    If anyone visits Dallas, Tx…let me know and I’ll share it with you…because I do believe these things are meant to be shared with those who are equally lonely but not alone..

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