It should be noted that I am not from Ohio. However, EBF doesn't lend itself quite as poetically to song lyrics. So I make do with The National's latest. The song is ostensibly about everything that comes along with going back to the place where you started, something near and dear to my heart. But it's also chock full of such beautiful lyrics, I can hardly stand it. Lofty imagery like I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees and the simple depth of I never thought about love when I thought about home.
Recently, people have been asking me if I am moving back to the East Coast, or more specifically, if I want to move back. It's a difficult question for me to answer. A part of me does, very much so. The very reason I left the East Coast turns out to be the reason I ponder going back. When I left, I wanted to be free, I wanted to sever the bonds that were keeping me tied to place. And I did, and it's meant everything. But I am undecided as to whether this weightless floating and this wandering is what I want forever.
It may just be the lot of those of us who could not stay in one place for whatever reason. There are more of us than there used to be, in this modern age. And I suppose that whenever I think about the question, it always comes down to home, the very concept of it. I don't really have a place I would call home. When I go back to EBF, I have a strong sense of my history and from where I came, but not of home. When I go to San Francisco, I remember fondly everything the city did for me, how it would envelope me in an embrace of fog on pensive nights. But I can't be sure I belonged there, can't be certain that going back would mean I had found my home.
That is when I come to the reality, which complicates things. Home, for me, is people. It really and truly is. When I am with certain people, I feel more at home wherever I happen to be geographically. It complicates things, of course, because those people are not all conveniently lumped together in a 10-mile radius of each other. So will I move to the East Coast? Perhaps. I have some sense of home there. And in Ohio. And in Pennsylvania. And in Houston. And in San Francisco. As usual, nothing can be decided just now, but the decision will become clear when it is before me. Or so I hope.
In the meanwhile, take a listen to this song, and grow a little wistful about home.