In all our sanctuaries we sit at risk




The “home” I was thinking of when I wrote this poem is a particular landscape I happen still to love, not only because, in its own way, it is beautiful, but because I associate it with a seminal time in my life, a time of growth, of emergence, of true beginning. And at that time, it already seemed to me a truer home than anywhere I had previously called home. And also, somehow, it was, and still is, a landscape large enough for gods to live in.

But other people have read the poem differently. They see the landscape described here as our own bodies. We are learning to make ourselves at home in our own skins. We are learning how.

My dear friend across the years, Nick Pole, was the first to understand it in this way. He is a Shiatsu practitioner and teacher, and has written a refreshing book called “Words that Touch.” He included the poem in it and readers have reacted strongly and positively, to the extent that one person was a bit shocked – and perhaps even disappointed ? – that the poem’s writer did not in the first place mean it in the same way that she received it. 

So it seems that there are many levels and kinds of “home.” Perhaps it is a state of being, a knowledge of belonging – not just somewhere or something to belong to, or travel back to.