Gran's Apple Butter Blog

October 6, 2010

Going Home, Excerpt: And/Plus (3/I)

Filed under: Book Series,Front Porch Rambles,Going Home,Gran — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 12:24 pm

Chapter 3 – And/Plus
Excerpt from Going Home, by Mary Batson

Now that you know a little bit about Mikey and Gran, it’s time to talk about the Big Picture.

Just what does it mean to Go Home? At the risk of splitting hairs, Gran used to say it was important to be precise in one’s wording. Words are powerful, we’re creating with them all the time, whether we know it or not. Once we realize this, it becomes even more important to pay attention to the words we say, and even the ones we think.

So it seemed fitting, here at the beginning of what is really Gran’s story about going home, to pause to look at those words, to make sure I understand what Gran meant by them, and hopefully you do, too. True, they’re only two words, but maybe there’s more to them than we realize.

I won’t use a dictionary, ‘cause I’m pretty sure we all know the basic meaning of the verb “go” and the noun “home.” Of course, already here Gran would be concerned, thinking we’ve limited these concepts by labeling them “nouns” and “verbs.” What if Home can also be a verb? How does this influence our perception? However, since Gran isn’t here right now, I’ll leave that discussion to her and keep this as simple as possible.

To me, “to go” or “going” implies movement of some kind – traveling, not the status quo, hit the road, Jack, and take Bessie with you. It means you start in one place and you wind up in another – this is, after all, what defines a journey. Whether you’re on your own two feet or in a car, a plane or a tour bus, whether you’re moving forwards or backwards, you’re basically going, following a trajectory of sorts from Point A to Point B or maybe Point F, with a few stops along the way to enjoy the view or buy some homemade saltwater taffy. If all goes well, your trip may be the shortest line between those points, although that’s really up to you.

OK, stay with me here so I don’t get lost. There are different ways and paths for all this going. Add to this all the different kinds of homes. So with an infinite number of ways of going and roads to travel and final destinations and all the in-between-points that are just as important as the beginning and the end, where does all this Going Home start, and where does it finish? N-o-w you get the picture.

First tip on Gran’s Front Porch: She doesn’t know, so she can’t tell you! Perhaps it never does. Maybe every time we turn a corner or step back a notch, we’ll see this idea from a whole new level. Why not? You’ve probably already thought of a few kinds of goings home that Gran and I won’t get to. That’s great – maybe you should write a book, too!

Of course, there’s also the distinction between “going home” and “coming home” – at least I thought there was, so I asked Gran about it one day. In my mind I saw the two quite differently, left hand or right hand, receiving versus giving, take your pick, one or the other. But Gran had another way. She asked me what would happen if I took the word OR and replaced it with AND – how would that feel? I thought about it for a while and decided it felt pretty darn good. It wasn’t about one or the other. It was about both.

Going home was about giving and receiving, coming and going, breathing in and out. Either aspect alone wouldn’t work for long – that only left me off-balance and blue in the face, and sometimes so out of whack I didn’t know which end was up. Gran’s question helped me see that the key was finding my balance in the middle. When I would let go of both extremes, both edges, and settle back into the space between, then I would be at home – with myself and everything and everyone else. Because that’s where home is. Not down the road or around the corner or over yonder somewhere – someplace where I’m not – but right here, where I AM this very moment. Here in the middle of me.

But enough about that. The point is not to belabor the issue, but simply to guide our minds in a new direction. Now we can break out of the box, step beyond our immediate thought of what ‘going home’ means, and raise the question of how different our lives might be if we truly believed we live in ever-expanding circles of home.

Gran said this idea changed her life. I know it changed mine. Just think: How might it change yours?
© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010. All rights reserved.
Download Chapter 1 or order your copy at!


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