I chose to photograph the entry to my home. Home is the place to which I return. It is a place that is filled with memories; presently (and pastly!) with critters who seem to love me in spite of myself; with comforts with which I am familiar – ranging from seats and blankets to the refrigerator and cookie drawer; photographs; electronic connections with folks I do not interact with face to face; and more. This particular place has not always been home – but there has always been a home. For all of my growing up years it was in Green Acres Apartments in Verona, NJ; after that it was in several apartments on my own; starting in 1979 it was in MA in a two family home; and then here in the home I own since 1981. And I know as well that this will not always be my home – but there will be a home, the place I return to…or even live in should it come to that.
When I return it is from visits with friends, from worship or church meetings, from part time work which is as – no, make that is MORE – important to my social life than to the economics of my life, from trips which enrich me and stretch my thinking. And when I do return I bring with me the fruits (and occasionally the frustrations) of those outings; each, regardless of which “f” word it is, go to my further shaping and growth.
I am blessed to travel with friends – and co-workers who have become friends. As I have grown older I have surprised myself: I am an introvert and yet out in the world I find that I am more rather than less inclined, to engage those I encounter throughout the day. This is proof: growing older is a good thing!
And as I move through the world I carry the baggage of my past – which for the most part, with help from a wonderful mentor – I have learned to use to my advantage. Out of the hardships of my youth (social and relational) I have become even more sensitive to others – to their being alone, to their not feeling heard, to being able to simply sit with others, to be present.
So for right now my imagery for return is my home. Some time later it will be to dust as we were reminded last night in Ash Wednesday services. But then, the last great return is to God. Our choir sang this incredibly beautiful song last night, “We are Dust, You are God” ...
We ask, you give. We bow, you are near.
We are poor, you are rich. We are blind, you can see.
We are weak, you are strong. We are dust, you are God.
We fall, you stand. We hurt, you heal.
We sin, you forgive. We die, you live.
Who are we that you created us? Who are we that you care for us?
Our days are few and full of trouble, but you alone are God.