On Home


For me, home is associated with a person
that you want to be with.
The idea of home.
The reality of home is something else completely different.
Different from the idea.
Different from the ideal.

The reality of home is like being on a roller-coaster
out-of-control at Niagara Falls in a hurricane.
It is an emotional challenge, 
a continual confront to my sense of balance.
The assault is something I hunker down against.
But the weapons I use against the onslaught,
the attempts to rip me limb-from-limb,
are the sharpness of my mind,
and the sharpness of my tongue.

I have become used to this attempt to make me a nonperson in my own home.
So home—in actuality—is the arena.
Day after day after day.

Prove yourself worthy.
But worthy is something that only gets me punished.

I see this in Jesus these days.
And Dorothy Day wrote about it.
She did so much for certain poor women,
and they turned on her like rabid dogs,
tearing her apart—or trying to—
with slander and other cruelties.

And Jesus—
no one can be a prophet in his own town—
just talk about healing “one of you,”
and over the cliff you go.

So the question is:
Do I carry the image of a welcome hearth around with me whereever I go?
Or am I faced with the challenge
that this madness is “for my own good”?

Or both?

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