Notes on Home.
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Happy final day of ENDEKAD, 17. Hope it was a good month for you. We’re getting into the end of the year now, over the final hump of Summer. The days grow shorter and shorter, the nights colder, and the Moon is ever brighter. I love this time of year. I love hearing the cold rain on my window, seeing the snow drift down in the air currents, feel the mist on my face outside. I love the look of candlelight, the feeling of warmth knowing how cold and dark it is outside. These sensory details are forever linked to my idea of home.
For me, home is not necessarily associated with any particular place or property, as it is for some. I know people who have wept at the sale or demolition of their childhood home, and never quite felt like they fit in another place. A lot of my friends had difficulty transitioning to life at college, away from home for perhaps the first time. Or to living on their own.
I remember the first night I spent at my apartment, where I still live (and am writing this now). My parents and sister helped me move my boxes of things into the space, and transport the boxes of unbuilt furniture up to my floor. With a pile of boxes in the middle, the Sun began to set, a view I would see many many times since from my westward windows. They hugged me goodbye, saying to let them know if I needed anything, and got back into their car. I remember the elevator ride up, the walk down the hall, as quiet and empty as ever, before walking onto my carpet.
It was like wading into a pool, the realization that this was my home now. I was the only one responsible for this space. If I didn’t want to sleep on the carpet, I would have to be the one to construct the bed.
I got out my toolbox and got to work.
In the years that have passed since that night, many things have changed, but this idea of home as hideaway has remained. You’ll see this similar sort of feeling in a lot of my writing, a sense of solitude in the point of view, and a focus on cozy nooks. I’ve been fortunate to stage travels from this apartment, always coming home to find it how I left it.
I’m not sure I’ll live in this apartment another year. Not to say any decision has been made, but the possibilities are more open now than ever. I take comfort in the idea that no matter where I settle, where I’m based, I can always carve out a spot for myself, and nestle up in the coziness of being home.
You’ve just got to be willing to build the bed.
Your faithful commander,
— Ian Battaglia