Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

My Village, My Home

Napa, California, USA

February 27, 2019

"Earth's the right place for love: I don't know where it's likely to go better."  ... Robert Lee Frost transcribed by  
"If you want to get to heaven, you have to change planes in Dallas." ... Frequent flyers' credo

"Wherever you go, there you are." ... Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, circa 1441

"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." ... Thomas Stearns "TS" Eliot, Four Quartets #4: Little Gidding

"In Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs of ev'ry head he's had the pleasure to know. And all the people that come and go, stop and say hello." ... The Beatles, Penny Lane
This essay, My Village, My Home, is the companion piece to

Photograph courtesy Google Earth

Main Street at 5th, Napa, California, USA
My village, my home
Like many people, I've traveled. A lot. When you travel a lot (travel is touted as a "bug that bites deep", so if you've been bitten, you know what I'm saying), there's always the next place to look forward to. There are always the next travel plans to make. There's all the arranging, and all the re-allocating of the time and the resources from whatever's going on here and now, to travel to and enjoy being somewhere else.

Sometime around about now (I can't say precisely when it happened, but sometime around NOW), the wind suddenly went out of my travel sails. One moment I was a serial traveler. The next moment, travel was the last thing on my mind. It dawned on me I had set myself up to only live in the here and now  while en route to somewhere else (so to speak). It was more than that actually. It was I realized there were elements of avoiding  being in the here and now, elements which were fundamental to all my travels, elements which traveling satisfied.

When I got that, a new relationship with travel began - more dramatically, a new relationship with the place in which I live, this place I call "home" which I always left to travel, began. To say I started to see it as if for the first time, is an understatement. It's I started to appreciate  it for the first time. When it hit me, I literally gasped "I live  here. I really live here. This is my village, my home!". What got me is even though I've lived here for nearly thirty years, it took me this long to get that. Wow!

There's my favorite diner where the waitresses all know me, where I take my laptop before dawn, and write while having an omelet, and drinking bottomless cups of decaf. There's my gym where they know which locker key to give me (I'm a creature of habit). There's my car guy / mechanic, the park in which I hike, the hillside place with the magnificent view where I like to go just because it's there. There's my doctor, my hairstylist, my finance guy, my friends, my post office, my grocery. I'm comfortable here. Any place else is just another place else. I didn't get it until now. Oh I got it intellectually  - but I never got  it. No, not until here, not until now.

It's profound, this allowing this place to be home. Of course, allowing any  place to be home, is profound. But it's allowing this  place to be my home, that's profound.


Photography by William Anders

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Apollo 8 lunar mission

Tuesday December 24, 2968
My village, my home
Now that I'm at home here in this village, I get the access to a broader context that's available. It's a much  broader context. It's as a guy, as a dude, I'm at home here. But as a human being, my home is here on this Earth. I'm at home in this solar system. I'm at home in this galaxy. I'm at home in this universe. What's become inexorably clear is if I'm at home in Life itself, things go better, and if I'm not they don't. End of story.

I'm not certain of much. There are always variables and many possible interpretations. But one of the things I'm 1,000% certain of is given who we really  are, we live in too narrow a context - that is to say our frames of reference and our daily activities (both of which have been cultured by centuries of precedent) don't fit the actuality of what our lives could be about. We live in ways that (when we tell the truth about it) have no bearing on who we really are, and those ways seem disproportionately and strangely out of touch with what's possible for and available to us.

Once in a while (like now), it's good to step outside the way we wound up being, and let in what home really  is. We're oblivious to it. Yet it's what there is to true* to.

*   Merriam-Webster's dictionary allows "true" as a transitive verb: to make level, square, balanced, or concentric; bring or restore to a desired mechanical accuracy or form.

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