Jul 7, 2019

I Never Leave Home





“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” ― Maya Angelou, All God's Children Need Traveling Shoe



I was born from a spirit who couldn’t find home. My mother was angry tears, and a broken child searching for a heart to let her in. In her agony she built a wall in her womb that separated us.

When my own agony came from my uncle’s abuse, I was already preconditioned to store silence. I should clarify it was a noisy silence. I was a distraught, crying child who couldn’t be comforted. My mother didn’t know my terror, so I drove her to an edge without an escape.

In roots where secrets are planted in life reasons never sprout leaves so questions brood and grow thorns. It was in that void imagination became my home. I took myself out of what I didn’t understand and lived in books, a butterfly chase, or the wild path of untamed dreams. Within me was a home where pain didn’t have a key to the door or shadows to keep me from sunlight.

Even now at sixty-eight years old with all I’m blessed to own it’s the home within that nurtures me. It is where I can travel in the middle of chaos to find peace, the place where I can grow cackles on windowsills, and no one complains my laughter is too loud or has the bleating of a goat. It is rooms where curtains are words waiting for me to write them on paper. It is a beautiful place where things don’t have to make sense because imagination doesn’t care if you’re hearing voices in wallpaper.

©Susie Clevenger


14 comments:

  1. Yes indeed. It is the home within that nurtures and saves us. Great write.

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  2. Oh wow, Susie, this is the best thing I've read today. This is exquisite. I feel for your mom with her despairing heart, and for the uncomforted child who was you. Back then, our parents didnt know how to ask the questions that might have revealed our pain. I remember being asked, by a teacher who should have known better "what's wrong with you?" and I had no words to tell her the hugeness of all that was not right. I love that you grow cackles on windsills now. I know very well how one makes a home qwithin and carries it along...I wrote a second piece for this prompt that I posted but didnt link, since it is a one link only prompt.........I searched for home a long time before I realized it needed to be within.

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  3. The best homes, the strongest ones, the one no one can take away from us live inside ourselves. I love the idea of imagination as landscape and architect. The imagery speaks of the sort of freedom that feeds souls and makes them more.

    The ending is wonderful. It brings to mind "The Yellow Wallpaper", through the eyes of a character who didn't only get away, but also built a home where to be safe and free.

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  4. It's a blessing that a home within was built at such a tender age. It sustains a whole life. The prose piece reads like a beautiful poem of strength, tears and joy.

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  5. Beautiful writing! And OMG we are kindred, even though I didn't have the abusive uncle. (I had coldness from my mother instead.) Living inwardly, and in books and nature, was exactly what I did too.

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  6. The imagination and books, a haven for many of us; I still go there too, even though I have found a physical place where I feel comfortable and safe. But you’re right about finding peace in the middle of chaos, laughing out loud and not worrying about complaints, and the ‘rooms where curtains are words waiting for me to write them on paper. It is a beautiful place where things don’t have to make sense because imagination doesn’t care if you’re hearing voices in wallpaper.’

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  7. This is incredibly raw and painstakingly honest, Susie 💞

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  8. I like very much the idea of imagination being a home, where one can be free to be who they are and also a place of great comfort. Home is indeed, within. Your moving story is so well written, you are a poet even in prose.

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  9. I certainly enjoyed reading your piece. I particularly like the following sentence,,,,,,,,Even now at sixty-eight years old with all I’m blessed to own it’s the home within that nurtures me.,,,,, love it

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  10. What a stunning piece Susie. Your sorrow is prevalent, but so is your peace within.

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  11. I love this, Susie. The home within is the best possible home. You can carry it with you wherever you go! We can choose our own furnishings any time we wish.

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  12. OMG this is stunning a tale. I particularly luv this line
    "Within me was a home where pain didn’t have a key to the door or shadows to keep me from sunlight. "

    much love...

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  13. this is a great piece of writing, Susie. So heartfelt, and moving.
    yes, perhaps the best home is within oneself, where we can make peace with ourselves, dream our dreams, and yes, things don't have to make sense, they don't need to, because "I am I" and I am unique. :)

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