From Down and Out, Straight Home

I’m visiting my family home in New Jersey for the first time since last winter. The house is up for sale right now, my father being the only person left living here. He, myself and my sisters all agreed last year that it would be best to sell the place so that we could all go off on our own paths without the added burdon of keeping up with the house, financially and maintenance-wise, and after my dad quit his job it seemed the only reasonable option.

In music theory, any sound is said to represent one of three emotions: home, away from home, and down and out. From the “away from home” chords, you must always eventually return home. This house has been my home from the very beginning of my life’s song. I’ve returned home to this place from countless “away from home” ventures, and sought recovery here from quite a few cases of the “down and outs.”

Lately, I’ve been feeling pretty down and out. My teaching job is not going as well as I had hoped. In fact, I find myself dreading work every day that I’m not there and wishing I had more time to do what I really love when I am. Perhaps at least partially for that reason, coming home for this long weekend has felt that much sweeter. I had forgotten how purely lovely and peaceful it is to simply be in a familiar space that feels safe. Everything becomes so much more shallow when you’re not living it. Memory is shallow. Being back here now, I can’t imagine losing this place. I want desperately to find a way to hold onto it.

I’m afraid to find out, what chords do you play next, when you can no longer return home?


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