I am officially home now after a dozen days away. I have seen family I haven’t seen in years and missed others who I have the privilege of seeing more frequently.

I am thinking about the saying “home is where the heart is.” My actual heart has been far from home at times but when I think about it, my thoughts were often found beyond the places I inhabited. I’m unsure of what actual presence I had among family and friends when I was unable to be with them. It would please me to know they thought of me half as much. It is interesting how when we are in one place our minds are in another. I get the idea of being present in the moment but there are times when to survive we must escape the moment and live where we cannot.

We all find ourselves in places we would rather not be whether it is in line at the grocery store or the waiting room of the proctologist. Maybe the sages who sit on rocks can find something meaningful to cling to when they are having their prostate checked but all I can think about is getting my ass out of there. There can be meaning in things that never happen or places we wish to be. Imagination is a gift and a tool. If I can make a fairy tale out of something unbearable I am no worse off than the one who actually enjoys the taste of jail toothpaste. I did embrace the puddles of sunshine rare as they were but it was what I carried in my heart and mind that got me through.

In jail it is forbidden to whistle. The story was that the guards would whistle as they led an inmate to the gallows. If you can carry a tune in your head, the wind across your lips and the sound in your ears can remain silent while the song rings strong. What we carry in our hearts is at times more magnificent than the scenes we actually play out. A melody in your heart can transport even the most withered soul to shore.

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