Friday, April 30, 2010

Nothing but a Memory

Borrowing inspiration from here:
HD's blog
I'm glad to finally know who sings this song:
The House that Built Me, Miranda Lambert

Fact of the matter is I heard it driving home with baby G asleep in the backseat about 6 weeks ago.  I sat in my car in the dark and cried.  I thought Miley Cyrus was singing it and so I couldn't find it on itunes to buy.  Turns out that was probably for the best b/c it still makes me cry and I have been enjoying NOT crying lately.

HD is getting ready to move out of her house.  Her nuclear family began and grew there.  They built it from scratch.  She brought her babies home to that house.  The way she describes it, the house and her memories there are beautiful.  This is not the case for me.  I will be relieved (yet sad) to leave my current residence.  I have told friends I am hoping for something smaller and newer.  Wherever I end up moving I will welcome the lack of memories there.  I will embrace the blank slate that is mine to decorate.  I will cherish the void of a painful history.  The beauty of sunsets will not be colored by arguments or tears.  The majesty of the moon rising will not be witnessed from a chilly sleeping bag.  There might even be a finished floor.

I'm sad and torn.  This house's owner loves his house.  It was the one thing he wanted to keep come hell or high water.  Hell and high water came at the same time.  He left.  I left.  The house stayed.  It's empty; metaphorically speaking of course.   Literally, it's**tty memories.stuff.  Existing in empty is less painful than trying to grow amidst anger and rejection.  We truly reap what we sow and if you plant something poisonous in toxic conditions, you cant expect a prize-winning rose to grow from that cultivar.  This is horrible.  You do not generate life.  You do not generate hope or forgiveness or pleasure or kindness or peace.  You grow apathy.  You grow disgust.  You grow contempt.  You grow but it's ugly.  Eventually nothing grows and what was there dies.  I left.  He left.  We died.

So back to the song with some out-of-order quotes.  I told HD not to worry b/c "home is where the heart is" which doesn't have to be under a particular roof.  Really.  Humans have led nomadic lifestyles in search of food and fair weather forever.  In that case, home is where the full belly was.  You can give your heart to someone, maybe they're your home.  Maybe you're theirs; I think some dude I dated for way.too.long. used that one on me once.  Lame.  But cool to think about.  Maybe so.  "Home" can also be your safety zone in a game of hide and seek or various board games, no?  If you're "homeless" you lack a home, but of what definition?  Maybe having a home=being grounded, being safe, being secure.  So, first quote:

You leave home, you move on and you do the best you can.
I got lost in this whole world and forgot who I am. 

Yep, the songwriter is probably referring to leaving the home of our parents, but there's room for interpretation of "home" to include our "safety zone".  I think there's also room for it to be an ageless reference; we can be in the middle of a mid-life-crisis and found that we have wandered away from our home.  I would argue that when you find yourself in the middle of any crisis you have moved away from your "home" and to some extent forgotten who you are.  Yep.  It doesn't take "this whole world" and it doesn't take "forgetting".  Sometimes, it.just.happens.  I'll debate the causality of the relationship later.  Maybe.  Eh.

Secondly, she sings:

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself
if I could just come in I swear I'll leave. 

For me, this verse doesn't translate directly.  I'm hoping to leave this place, this current physical home in order for the brokenness to start healing.  "Out here" could mean simply physically outside the house of my youth or in my case, the frappin' desert southwest.  For me, the "brokenness inside" is going to have to heal "out here" but in a new home.  Ummmmmm "out here" is my new home.  Funny thing is, I rarely took a glimpse of how lost  and broken I was.  Amazing, I know.  Denial is a strong, strong, sometimes self-preserving, emotion (and oddly contains the same letters as Denali).  More on mountain climbing later.  Maybe.

Now I realize if I were to try to return to the home of my youth, or to try and re-create it, that wouldn't be beneficial either.  That would be sad.  That's a whole other country song I'm sure.  I want a healthy release of what's been horrible as well as a release of any unhealthy expectations of what home should be like. If home is where the heart is then we each carry it with us anywhere and everywhere we go.  That is simple!  Well, Edgar Allen Poe aside...

Lastly she says:

Won't take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me. 

Which is a true statement because all the physical stuff is stuff.  She's singing that because she doesn't want to take any stuff from the house, that maybe it's not the stuff that made her who she is anyway, it's the memories.  Maybe it's healthy not to get too attached to a single place or 4 walls anyway.   While it's helpful to have a rooted identity somewhere you'd like to call home, I don't think that definition is an address exclusively.  And if you dislike the memories you have in a certain address then double bonus- you can leave them behind too.  


  1. Your new home will be a place you feel at peace...the place you cuddle and snuggle your sweet baby girl...the place you get to start over, fresh and new. Thinking of & love you both! :)

  2. you are such a beautiful, introspective person honey... much love (from a place you once called home) :)