Michael McCarthy

Where Are You Most At Home?

MY BROTHER

A yearning yawp
Echoing such a lonely melody
A hearty laugh
That’s really a cry
Pretending
Or simply unsure
A human heart
Tender
That little boy
Running naked
In the wild
With a grin
And a sly smile
A man now
Longing for a true friend
In the messiness of things
A human heart
Longing for a break
For something new
For something real
My brother
So close
So far.

This poem is about my brother, but in another sense it is about each one of us. We are trying to make our way in this world. We want our lives to matter – to really matter. We start off young and eager. As a child, I played furiously and with reckless abandon. It was fun. Another new day was now in front of me. Life was an adventure which I did not ponder. I woke up early each morning and got going with something. The aroma of each new moment somehow made its way to me. I was not conscious of it at the time, but the fragrance of life was always before me. I simply followed its scent.

Isn’t it true that we possess an insatiable appetite to make connections? Do we not long for communion with just about all things? Whether it be a purple flower, that dim star you spot in the night sky, the glistening ocean on a clear morning, a muddy puddle, a cuddly golden retriever or your classmates, teachers, colleagues or green mountains, fire, rain, summer winds, winter storms, the man on the moon, butterflies, a sound, a touch, a child’s laugh, a child’s cry, we desire to be connected with and in right relationship with the stuff of our cosmos – even the wild stuff. Moreover, we come to the startling realization that we are indeed part of the cosmos. Oneness thrives.

Consider friendship. Someone likes you. You matter. You do things together. You have a companion. Your friend enjoys spending time with you and vice versa. It just feels good to share the things of life with another person – a meal, a tennis match, a conversation, a laugh, a gripe, a concern, an idea, a dream and even silence. A great characteristic of friendship lies in its reciprocal nature. Each one of us, I believe, wants at our deepest level to be discovered and known by someone. It is true, “friendship is a rare treasure.”

Where are you most at home? Is it an actual place? Is it a state of mind? Is it something else entirely? What is the character Dorothy, in the film The Wizard of Oz, referring to when she says “there is no place like home?” We all seek, like Dorothy, to be at home in this world or perhaps in another world. We journey on looking for the rainbow or for the wizard or for something. What is it we really want? What drives us? Each person is profoundly alone in their travels and yet intimately connected. Life is strange.

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