the nature of home


by Hannah Kemp
Photographer Hannah Kemp, check her tumblr out here…

I’ve never took a step past my front door without the intention of looking for something.

Twice I’ve been out West, the first experience was for all intents and purposes solitary, most of that trip was spent walking unfamiliar streets and enjoying being a stranger. It was bittersweet, some things were going on in my life that were hard to process. One moment I’d be stealing away to a hiding spot to cry my eyes out, the next I’d wipe my tears and wear a genuine smile as I interacted with people or saw something beautiful that I suspected most people living there had grown to take for granted. The luscious red rose that had wrapped itself around telephone pole in a derelict part of town, the wild gardens that seemed to spring up in the oddest places, crossing the river on a huge bridge taking in the expanse of the Colombian, or walking in downtown Portland after the fall of day (that got to be a little creepy).

The second time was to spend time with a friend. I’d missed him so much and the moment I saw him it wouldn’t have mattered where we were, but we were in a beautiful part of the country. That time, thanks to him I got to see a lot more of the place. Waterfalls, the ocean (it was stormy, cold, and fucking glorious thank you very much) after driving miles through mountains and trees, and the bits and pieces of a city which the natives, as I’ve mentioned before, learn to take for granted. Both times I enjoyed, and both times I fell in love a little more.

Today I sit in my crazy mess of a house in the midwest, missing the West terribly. What’s odd though is this sense that I’m looking for something I don’t have. The West is beautiful beyond doubt, and where I sit things are finally thawing out, it’s flat and white. There isn’t much going on really. Like I said, every time I’ve left it was because I was looking for something, and now I realize it’s a sense of home. Here’s the kicker, whether I was in Portland, Duluth, Minneapolis, or stranded in the middle of downtown Fargo due to a storm with a friend’s apartment as the only place to go to, I carried a sense of home with me. I felt comfortable everywhere I went, and sometimes when you’re looking for something all you have to do is sit still long enough to realize you have it.

I hope to go out there again and see far more, other places too, I’ll leave this place for a week, or maybe months or years and it won’t matter. Home at the end of the day is something we carry, a sense of ourselves that is not affected by exterior factors. This is what I hope to remember wherever life may take me.