The Happy Woman Who Lived in the Shoe
This is about the time that seniors in high
school are getting those life-changing thin envelopes or those
fat packets complete with post jigging rituals.
Boy, am I glad
that I am past that.
Now is a time of peace. Sure, maybe I’m
working on a few scholarships or preparing to make waves at the
regional Mock Trial competition this weekend (deadlines
seem to be ever-present), but I am in the door. I am in UT.
My heart reaches out to those who are
in the midst of college applications.
About this same time last
year I remember this one particularly meddlesome application essay
for UNC Chapel Hill that I had to
It read (to this effect): “Robert Frost
once wrote in his short story, ‘Home
is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.’ North
Carolina’s very own Thomas Wolfe once wrote, ‘You can’t go
home again.’ Which author is right? And defend your stance.”
break into it, get my mind around it and transcribe it into
Thus I went with the generic option #2: “Write
about something significant.”
But the question stayed with
me. I am getting closer to the answer.
I have heard many students
begin to refer to Austin, Texas, University of Texas, dorm X, as “home”—consciously
displacing the house where their parents live.
The definition of
a. “The physical structure within
which one lives”
b. “an environment offering security
c. “to the center or heart of something”
allegiances to Place X or Place Y have long been abandoned.
army brats out there, or businessmen and women with constant relocating
job requirements, or traveling circus people, or simply
(as is my mother and thus explains the events to follow and thus my ultimate
might also share my sentiments.
I have lived in many a paradise.
I have spent most of my time in Florida and Dallas, but have nested
in Portugal; Aspen, Colo.; the Cote d’Azur (Cap d’Antibes);
Asheville, N.C.; and now Austin, Texas.
In each place we created
The first time we had to leave and return
to Dallas (Dallas being our headquarters) it was very difficult.
Life chilled over
I dealt with the separation.
But within six months we embarked on another adventure—this time France—to
start another home in Villa Samurai.
It was the second time around experiencing “uprooting” that
I realized that these homes don’t consist of the stones that constitute
them, but the memories and warmth that we take from them.
Home is where
the heart is.
Change is inevitable. It is the centrifugal
force that nudges or sometimes slings us forward.
We change, others
change, places change, circumstances change. So…which stronghold
is sturdy enough to house the moments, people and places that we
don’t want to change?
Only our hearts
are sturdy enough for that job.
And it makes sense that way.
No mortal can
resist the hand of God and his determined change. The power of
resisting change (in essence, the possessor of the ‘remote
control of life’ with
the pause button on it) belongs solely to a divine superpower. (I say
divine because even Superman doesn’t posses this power.)
believe this divine superpower resides in our hearts.
remains: Are we housed in God’s heart (the figurative
sense of ‘heart’)? Or do we house God in our hearts?
he is that which constitutes our hearts. God is love? The truth
stands. The heart transcends the boundaries of man.
right about now, and from here on out, and since birth only works
one way (in so far as once something is born, one can’t challenge
that things existence) I feel like the woman that lived in the
…except the shoe is a heart…and smells like cookies, not shoe.
I have all of these people and memories, smells and sights, running
around inside me, making themselves at home.
I am always at home…
Friends may leave
our side, but they will never leave our hearts.
Sometimes I wish
I could transport back into the tactile world of my memories and
indulge in them, soak them in, take detailed
notes and absorb
I might have missed the first time.
A touching piece of writing came to
me, in response to these journals, which exactly pinpoints this
feeling of nostalgia. It is the nostalgia,
of a dead man, nothing more and nothing less. Simply a man left with
only his memories and nothing to do.
This nostalgia awakens what is alive
in us, and reminds us to breathe in life with such ardency that
you can enjoy it forever knowing that
has to be the best time.
Question: Are those of us who aren’t
at home in heart any different than those on the street without
Are those on the street who are at
home in heart any different than us with actual shelter?
Enough late-night reading for you. Go home.
Any questions, comments, ANSWERS, insights into the universe are
surely welcomed and greatly appreciated. Leila.firstname.lastname@example.org